The Dictators Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics


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A groundbreaking new theory of the real rules of politics: leaders do whatever keeps them in power, regardless of the national interest. As featured on the viral video Rules for Rulers, which has been viewed over 3 million times.

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith's canonical book on political science turned conventional wisdom on its head. They started from a single assertion: Leaders do whatever keeps them in power.

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They don't care about the "national interest"-or even their subjects-unless they have to. This clever and accessible book shows that democracy is essentially just a convenient fiction. Governments do not differ in kind but only in the number of essential supporters, or backs that need scratching. The size of this group determines almost everything about politics: what leaders can get away with, and the quality of life or misery under them. The picture the authors paint is not pretty.

But it just may be the truth, which is a good starting point for anyone seeking to improve human governance. He is the author of 16 books, including The Predictioneer's Game. Alastair Smith is professor of politics at New York University. The recipient of three grants from the National Science Foundation and author of three books, he was chosen as the Karl Deutsch Award winner, given biennially to the best international relations scholar under the age of This is a fantastically thought-provoking read.

I found myself not wanting to agree but actually, for the most part, being convinced that the cynical analysis is the true one. See All Customer Reviews. Just a few days ago, I saw a three-year-old wandering around at at night and wondered if he was lost or jet-lagged. The parent came over and explained that they believed in children setting their own sleep schedule.

The problem with this approach is that it may work, or it may not. It […]. In order to do anything meaningful, you have to know where you are going. Strategy and tactics are two terms that get thrown around a lot, and are often used interchangeably in numerous contexts. But what exactly do they mean, what is the difference, and why is it important?

In this article, we will look […]. We all hope totalitarianism — a form of government in which the state has no limits in authority and does whatever it wants — is a thing of the past. Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia showed what the end of humanity would look like, and it terrified us. Example : Millions of individual voters or small shareholders. The Real Selectorate influentials , who actually choose the leader. Example : Senior members of the Saudi royal family or big institutional shareholders. Example : A handful of board members and senior management.

They propose five rules to keep a hold on power in any system: 1. Control the flow of revenue. Pay your key supporters just enough to keep them loyal. As Machiavelli wrote in The Prince : It is easier for the prince to make friends of those men who were contented under the former government, and are therefore his enemies, than of those who, being discontented with it, were favourable to him and encouraged him to seize it.

Though the logic of politics cannot be changed, it can be applied to finding windows for change. If you liked this post, you might also love : Breaking the Rules to Rise to Power: How Norm Violators Gain Power in the Eyes of Others — Idealists among us would hope that people with power who break the rules quickly and loudly fall off the corporate ladder. Principles for an Age of Acceleration.

The Great Mental Models Book. Suggested Reading 5 Mental Models to Remove Some of the Confusion from Parenting Reading Time 9 minutes Just a few days ago, I saw a three-year-old wandering around at at night and wondered if he was lost or jet-lagged. As featured on the viral video Rules for Rulers, which has been viewed over 3 million times.

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith's canonical book on political science turned conventional wisdom on its head. They started from a single assertion: Leaders do whatever keeps them in power. They don't care about the "national interest"-or even their subjects-unless they have to.

The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics

This clever and accessible book shows that democracy is essentially just a convenient fiction. Governments do not differ in kind but only in the number of essential supporters, or backs that need scratching. The size of this group determines almost everything about politics: what leaders can get away with, and the quality of life or misery under them. The picture the authors paint is not pretty.

But it just may be the truth, which is a good starting point for anyone seeking to improve human governance. Strangers in Their Own Land. Arlie Russell Hochschild. Prisoners of Geography. Tim Marshall. Nick Bostrom. Mary Beard. The Fifth Risk. Michael Lewis. Hans Rosling. Dean Burnett.


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THE DICTATOR'S HANDBOOK - Bad Behavior = Great Politics

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The Dictators Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics The Dictators Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics
The Dictators Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics The Dictators Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics
The Dictators Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics The Dictators Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics
The Dictators Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics The Dictators Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics
The Dictators Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics The Dictators Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics
The Dictators Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics The Dictators Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics
The Dictators Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics The Dictators Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics

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