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4 January, 2023

The 7 Habits Of Authoritarians

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Our democracy is in danger.
The 250-year American experiment in self-government is threatened by a global rise in authoritarianism. Together, we can preserve democracy for future generations.

Authoritarians use a playbook to overturn democracy and steal power. Learn to recognize and counter their seven habits.

Dictators used to overthrow democracies by a military coup. Now they use “salami tactics,” to slice away at democracy a sliver at a time. Learn how it's done so you can help protect American democracy based on the wonderful guide by Protect Democracy.

Seven Habits Of Authoritarians

Seven Habits of Authoritarians
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How these seven habits kill democracy

  • Politicize Independent Institutions — All democracies have functions that operate independently from partisan political actors, from law enforcement to central banking. Authoritarians attack and seek to capture those institutions.Politicizing Independent Institutions
  • Spread Disinformation — Many politicians lie, but authoritarians propagate and amplify falsehoods deliberately and with abandon and ruthless efficiency.Spreading Disinformation
  • Aggrandize Executive Power — Authoritarian projects cannot succeed without the cooperation or acquiescence of legislatures, courts, and other institutions.Aggrandizing Executive Power
  • Quash Dissent — Strong democracies have strong oppositions and an independent press. Authoritarians seek to silence those sources of dissent.Quashing Dissent
  • Marginalize Vulnerable Communities — Many authoritarians attack vulnerable groups intentionally, sowing division and attempting to turn the many against the few.Marginalizing Vulnerable Communities
  • Corrupt Elections — 21st-century authoritarians generally maintain the facade of elections while tilting the rules against their opponents, suppressing votes, and biasing or even overturning the results.Corrupting Elections
  • Stoke Violence — Most autocrats deliberately look the other way from political violence. Many actively inflame violence to stoke fear, division, and feelings of insecurity.
Authoritarian fascists have 7 habits that destroy democracy

Protect Democracy

Protect Democracy is a cross-ideological non-profit group dedicated to defeating the authoritarian threat, building more resilient democratic institutions, and protecting our freedom and liberal democracy. Our experts and advocates use litigation, legislative and communications strategies, technology, research, and analysis to stand up for free and fair elections, the rule of law, fact-based debate, and a better democracy for future generations.

Authoritarian takeovers rarely happen overnight. Today’s authoritarian playbook is a process that happens piecemeal and is hard to distinguish from normal political jockeying. Their report, The Authoritarian Playbook: How reporters can contextualize and cover authoritarian threats as distinct from politics-as-usual outlines the seven fundamental tactics.

Infographic design

This infographic created with the free Infogram app in a few hours is a brief visual summary of the 28 page report. It shows how Trump and DeSantis apply the authoritarian playbook with video clips from YouTube. The infographic includes links to more details. It can also be printed or embedded in a website with this code:

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TakeAway: Protect democracy. Learn to identify and counter the 7 habits of authoritarians.

Deepak
DemLabs

DISCLAIMER: ALTHOUGH THE DATA FOUND IN THIS BLOG AND INFOGRAPHIC HAS BEEN PRODUCED AND PROCESSED FROM SOURCES BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, NO WARRANTY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED CAN BE MADE REGARDING THE ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, LEGALITY OR RELIABILITY OF ANY SUCH INFORMATION. THIS DISCLAIMER APPLIES TO ANY USES OF THE INFORMATION WHETHER ISOLATED OR AGGREGATE USES THEREOF.

Printed version of 7 Habits of Authoritarians

Seven Habits of Authoritarians
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