How does one oppose a dictatorship, with no resources? [closed]

The Politicus
Mar 04, 2022 07:12 PM 0 Answers
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Imagine the following situation: you live in a large country that has been ruled for a whole generation by a dictator. There is only a semblance of civil institutions, but in fact all courts follow orders from above and bend laws as they wish; all elections are systematically faked, and the parliament is full of dummies that vote unanimously for anything that would please the dictator. There has been opposition, but nearly all its members either got in prison, died under various circumstances, or fled the country to avoid the two former outcomes. The same has happened with independent media, and the official media is full of militaristic and nationalistic propaganda, believed by the majority of population, especially the older generations.

Street protests happen from time to time, after arrests of popular oppositioners or new repressive laws, but they are violently suppressed. As a result, less and less people are willing to protest openly. The youth are afraid of arrests, fines, and physical violence by police, and few go out. Typically, the arrests for taking part in any demonstration are about 15 days, and fines are typically 15% to 30% of average monthly salary, but there is a chance of multy-year prison sentences for public expressions of opinion, such as demonstrations or even posts in social media. And although these chances are low, they scare the youths a lot. And the older people just believe that the safest thing is to do sit quietly in any circumstances (this is how they have survived the previous regime), and many of them agree with the state propaganda that wars and repressions are necessary for some greater good.

Now the country has started a war against its smaller neighbor for no obvious reason. Perhaps, the dictator just could not tolerate having a successful democracy in a neighboring country. So now thousands of people are dying. You feel personally responsible for all this shit and want to stop it.

The problem is, you are nobody. You are a young researcher in computer linguistics with no resistance-related skills and all wealth destroyed by a recent market crash. You have a network of several hundred people with similar pacifist and democratic views, but most of them are young hipsters that are very afraid of any violence; a large proportion of them has recently left the country. So basically, you are alone and with no resources. You try to agitate your community for new demonstrations, but the passive part of it does nothing because of fear, and the active part mostly prefers to emigrate. And you have no idea of an efficient action that could help end the dictatorship or the war.

The country's economy suffers a lot because of its international isolation following the war, so you hope that there some elites displeased with it and they might arrange a coup. But you don't know who these elites are and whether they exist at all, because everything about money and power in your country happens in the shadow. Of course, the dictator has some friends that owe him money and power. But the dictator's power seems to be their only shield against public anger, so these friends seem to be loyal to the dictator. And it is not obvious whether there are any other types of elites in the country.

The dictator himself is not likely going to end the war, because his reign is based on the fear he imposes both to his own citizens (of repressions), and to other countries (of larger wars). And if he stops the war, he would lose his reputation of a strong and dangerous leader, less people would be afraid of him, and he would be overthrown faster. So he is going to continue the war as long as possible, and repress the citizens who oppose the war as traitors. Therefore, for ending the war, it seems necessary to end the dictatorship.

So the questions are:

  1. What is a realistic way the war could end, except the natural death of the dictator (that might happen in tens of years)?
  2. What can a person described above do, to increase the likelihood of ending the dictatorship and the war as soon as possible?

Both opinions and reading sources are welcome.

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  • March 4, 2022