help_outline Skip to main content
PO Box 4041
Bellingham, WA 98227-4041

Contact Us
Copyright © 2021 • All Rights Reserved • Terms of Use Privacy Policy • Powered by ClubExpress
Add Me To Your Mailing List
Shopping Cart

News / Articles

How Democracy Turns Into Dictatorship

Published on 7/11/2022
United to Protect Democracy, a not-for-profit organization, and its sister Protect Democracy Project, have issued The Authoritarian Playbook: A Media Guide. This pamphlet is directed at journalists, but it will be helpful to anyone trying to understand the American political scene, including League members.

The Authoritarian Playbook describes the seven basic tactics used by aspiring authoritarians. They are:
  1. Politicizing independent institutions (such as courts, intelligence, and national security agencies).
  2. Spreading disinformation.
  3. Aggrandizing executive power while weakening checks and balances.
  4. Quashing criticism and dissent.
  5. Marginalizing vulnerable communities.
  6. Corrupting elections.
  7. Stoking violence.
The pamphlet advises reporters to consider whether a given event fits this playbook, how significantly it departs from precedent, its frequency, and whether it poses a systemic threat by concentrating power, involving more than a single actor, and evading systemic restraint.   

Clearly and carefully argued, with examples from many countries, The Authoritarian Playbook rewards thoughtful attention. A great many respected academics and public servants act as board members or advisers to the two organizations that produced it. More information, and the complete text of the pamphlet, can be found at The Authoritarian Playbook.