Leslie Cook

Six Rules for Surviving an Autocrat

In Politics, Trump Apocalypse on November 15, 2016 at 10:25 am

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au·to·crat | ˈôdəˌkrat | noun : a ruler who has absolute power.
I just read this really great article written by Masha Gessen about surviving an autocrat. I suspect that we now have a president-elect who aspires to be an autocrat in the mold of Vladimir Putin, so this list and the associated article could be useful. If nothing else, it’s very interesting.  You can read the whole article  at Autocracy: Rules for Survival
Here are her Six Rules for Surviving an Autocrat:
  1. Believe the autocrat. He means what he says. Whenever you find yourself thinking, or hear others claiming, that he is exaggerating, that is our innate tendency to reach for a rationalization.
  2. Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
  3. Institutions will not save you. It took Putin a year to take over the Russian media and four years to dismantle its electoral system; the judiciary collapsed unnoticed.
  4. Be outraged. If you follow Rule #1 and believe what the autocrat-elect is saying, you will not be surprised. But in the face of the impulse to normalize, it is essential to maintain one’s capacity for shock.
  5. Don’t make compromises: Like Ted Cruz, who made the journey from calling Trump “utterly amoral” and a “pathological liar” to endorsing him in late September to praising his win as an “amazing victory for the American worker,” Republican politicians have fallen into line. Conservative pundits who broke ranks during the campaign will return to the fold. Democrats in Congress will begin to make the case for cooperation, for the sake of getting anything done—or at least, they will say, minimizing the damage. Nongovernmental organizations, many of which are reeling at the moment, faced with a transition period in which there is no opening for their input, will grasp at chances to work with the new administration. This will be fruitless—damage cannot be minimized, much less reversed, when mobilization is the goal—but worse, it will be soul-destroying.
  6. Remember the future. Nothing lasts forever.

#TrumpApocalypse

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