How Dictators Come to Power in a Democracy
[…] Lessons for us today:
- Bad economic policies and foreign policies can cause crises that have dangerous political consequences.
- Politicians commonly demand arbitrary power to deal with a national emergency and restore order, even though underlying problems are commonly caused by bad government policies.
- In hard times, many people are often willing to go along with and support terrible things that would be unthinkable in good times.
- Those who dismiss the possibility of a dictatorial regime in America need to consider possible developments that could make our circumstances worse and politically more volatile than they are now — like runaway government spending, soaring taxes, more wars, inflation and economic collapse.
- Aspiring dictators sometimes give away their intentions by their evident desire to destroy opponents.
- There’s no reliable way to prevent bad or incompetent people from gaining power.
- A political system with a separation of powers and checks & balances — like the U.S. Constitution — does make it more difficult for one branch of government to dominate the others.
- Ultimately, liberty can be protected only if people care enough to fight for it, because everywhere governments push for more power, and they never give it up willingly.