Just in time for the election overthrow season, it’s the new book, “Coups d’État for Dummies”!
Welcome and thank you for buying Coups d’État for Dummies. If you’re in the market for a coup, a putsch or a revolt, you’ve come to the right place; this book has everything you need to start a governmental overthrow.
First things first; you have to find a nation state with a weak or convoluted political structure. For example, look for a country that instead of electing its leader by popular vote uses some bizarre indirect method with guaranteed inequitable results.
If you’re lucky, you can use that shaky structure as your lead-in to a revolution. Adopting an autocratic persona may allow you to convince enough naive voters to get you elected head of state notwithstanding you may receive fewer votes than your opponent.
Such a move is faster and cheaper than the traditional overthrow method which involves enlisting a country’s military and engaging in expensive and often protracted armed maneuvers. Remember; coups by vote are always less expensive than armed insurrections.
However you obtain power, it is essential that you then lay the groundwork for an eventual dictatorial overthrow of the existing government structure. Oftentimes, you will be obliged to engage in a second electoral round before you can consolidate your power and eliminate any such nuisance mechanisms.
If you win the second round, that’s great. You can use your next term to undermine, remove and replace any remaining democratic safeguards.
If, however, you somehow slip up and fail to achieve re-election, you will have to adopt a different approach, namely questioning and undermining the legitimacy of the state’s voting structure.
But don’t wait until you’re in a second election campaign; start badmouthing the system as soon as you first take power. That way, it will come as no surprise to voters when you raise this issue after your unsuccessful re-election campaign.
Don’t forget to enlist friends, family and politicians in your coup attempt. Ideally, you’ll want them to eagerly support your position and to urge the public to follow suit. At the very least, ensure that they don’t question your approach and agree to let things “play out” for as long as it takes.
You’ll also need a team of lawyers to overwhelm whatever court system is in place with a blizzard of legal actions. Stacking the courts with your own judicial appointments can also be of great assistance.
Be sure to carefully investigate all the ins and outs of your country’s voting process. Just because the votes are against you doesn’t mean that there isn’t some obscure workaround that will allow you to overturn those results.
For example, believe it or not, one nation’s constitutional structure apparently allows a state legislature to substitute its result for that of the voting public. You might be surprised at how effective the application of a little political muscle can be in getting lower level legislators to do your bidding.
Note that a heavily armed citizenry in your nation state may be a distinct advantage particularly where your citizens have formed a large number of homegrown militias. Note, too, that key to being a future autocrat is your ability to manipulate and subvert the media. That way, with any luck, you can sway a sizable portion of the public into an almost cult-like state of mind.
Finally, once you have successfully achieved your desired coup, all that’s left is the division of the spoils among friends and family. That and the adoption of whatever new title you deem appropriate be it King, Emperor, Il Duce or der Führer.