The Elements of a Coup

I’ve heard a lot of comments on “coups” recently from all sides.  I’ll admit I’m running from memory that is rather old, but if I remember, this is what pretty much defines authoritarian coups.

  • Take advantage of, or create, a crisis/emergency.
  • Use the crisis to build a state of unrest.
  • Using that state of unrest, subvert or undermine the political process to take power.  This need not be through violence, though it often is.
  • Create at least a veneer of legality to justify the actions.
  • Criminalize the prior governing body.
  • Take control of the means of public information.
  • Criminalize the expression of dissent and opposing opinion.
  • Suspend civil liberties for the duration of the crisis.
  • Establish authoritarian rule as a necessity to manage the crisis.

These are bullet points rather than numerical sequences because they don’t necessarily have to occur in order.  However, I’m thinking back through history and I can’t think of any case outside of one outlier back through Roman times where these aren’t the elements of a coup.

The one outlier is Cromwell in the early/mid 17th century.  Of course, that part of history is a rather bizarre bit of history.  Something only the British could have. 🙂

Anyway, I would suggest looking at what group(s) are following this model.  Hint:  it’s not Donald Trump, libertarians (lower case “ell”), or classical liberals.  I’m watching actively for those later points to start showing.

This entry was posted in Culture, Current News, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *