The Dictator’s Handbook

Power is an ancient concept, with formalized attempts at understanding it going back to at least Machiavelli and almost certainly to Sun Tzu. In a more modern context, authors Mesquita and Smith in their 2011 book ‘The Dictator’s Handbook’ explore the factors that drive how politicians gain and retain power, with special emphasis on coalition building. Tonight we discuss how realistic this framework is, and what lessons can be learned on a local level and to the body politic in America as a whole.


Myth of the 20th Century – Episode 177 – The Dictator’s Handbook

— References —

– The Prince, Machiavelli (1532)
– The Concept of the Political, Schmitt (1932)
– Democracy, the God that Failed, Hoppe (2001)
– The Logic of Political Survival, Mesquita et. al. (2003)
– The Dictator’s Handbook, Mesquita and Smith (2011)
– From Aristocracy to Monarchy to Democracy: A Tale of Moral and Economic Folly and Decay, Hoppe (2014)
– The Syndicate – American Underworld – Part 1, Myth of the 20th Century (2018) –
– The Syndicate – Criminal Empire – Part 2, Myth of the 20th Century (2018) –
– Korean Tiger – the Park Chung-Hee Era, Myth of the 20th Century (2020) –
– The historical basis for vote distribution in this year’s election goes back farther than I thought… by several million years, Underdog of Perfection –

One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s