From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation, by Gene Sharp

Discussion in 'Protest Advice' started by AShettle, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. I am relatively new to these forums (except for having been a regular reader of the Green Brief for the past few weeks) so I hope people will forgive me if I am posting something that has already been discussed. But, I came across a manual a week or two ago that I thought might be of interest to Iranians, given their current situation:

    From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation, by Gene Sharp
    (NOTE: This links to an 85-page PDF file)

    The author (Gene Sharp) has interviewed people who have participated in actual, successful revolutions around the world that have brought down governments. In this publication, he analyzes what kinds of strategies are effective -- and what are not so effective in bringing down governments. There is an appendix with about 200 nonviolent "resistance" tactics that people have used in these kinds of circumstances. This list itself might be worth a read in case it stimulates any new ideas for action. (Though it is clear that Iranians are quite creative already!)

    But, Gene Sharp also cautions that, if there is no plan for what happens after the old tyranny is defeated, then bringing down one dictator can simply create a power vacuum that a new dictatorship could exploit. Basically his point is that, although it is possible to bring about democracy, it is not as simple as bringing down a dictatorship. The ground work for building up the democracy has to happen while people are still working on bringing down the old dictatorship. If you wait too long before worrying what happens the day after the government collapses, then you end up with more of the same old government you've always had, just with a different set of names and faces. He offers a few broad thoughts on how to prevent a new dictatorship from taking hold -- not a recipe, but more a set of cautions and caveats with lessons learned from past efforts similar to what Iranians are trying to do now.

    I hope that people here find this useful: RT

    (PS, I'm using my twitter screen name as my screen name here. But 90% of my tweets are just re-tweets of other stuff, only a little fresh content related to Iran.)

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