1684074632 Manual to avoid revs

Manual to avoid revs

Manual to avoid revs

Many kings and presidents would have benefited from having a catalog of what to do and avoid in the years and months leading up to major revolutions. While listening to Mike Duncan’s excellent podcast Revolutionspodcast.com, I tried to put together a quick guide to avoiding revolutions that I hope today’s incumbents will find useful.

1. No one in their right mind dismisses a competent leader from government. Nicholas Romanov left no doubt that he was unbearably incompetent both in 1905 in the first Russian revolution and in 1917. At first it had not occurred to anyone, Louis XVI ax. England. It was only after countless displays of stubbornness and incompetence that these characters managed to sufficiently convince the people who originally defended the monarch that part of the solution to the riots was getting rid of them. If that meant cutting off their heads, what would he do?

2. It is not considered essential. In 1910, Porfirio Díaz was forced to leave, leaving Bernardo Reyes as his successor, a staunch conservative able to renew his face and ease the burden of a 31-year de facto dictatorship. But not. Like Louis XVI, Carlos I or Nicholas Romanov, he believed that he was called by God to lead his country, that only he could do it and that others had to deal with it. This angered his subordinates and sharpened the enemies’ intelligence. Remember that cemeteries are full of indispensable people.

3. Avoid war. The three most common mistakes when starting a war are: it will be short, it will be easy, and we will win it. Defeats eat away at leadership and reveal weaknesses at the top. They show mistakes in judgment and strategy, a poor assessment of the enemy and an overestimation of the national army. Try to avoid a war and if you don’t succeed, prepare diligently for it, confident that it will be long and difficult and you can lose it.

4. Be fully operational in crises that affect everyone. Crop failures, price inflation, adverse weather events, and pandemics that bring high mortality rates are episodes that become unbearable within months. In this case, you want to be on the right side of public anger. When people are hungry, distribute food. If she’s sick, distribute medicine. If there was a natural disaster, organize the reconstruction. Your heart should be where people’s problems lie; otherwise your head is in danger.

5. There is always at least one pastor who is good for something, listen to him. According to Tsar Nicholas’ father, Sergei Witte was the only person in the Romanov government who understood what was happening in Russia. But Nicholas saw in him the bright son of a railroad worker and didn’t like him. He stayed with the rest of the incompetent cabinet, neglected Witte, let him go and faced his debacle.


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6. The only sin the gods will not forgive is pride. Whenever you have to choose between humility and pride, choose the former. Christ is an example of humility, even though he said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” No one goes to the Father except through the Son.” Pride is a mistake that everyone sees and that angers friends and foes alike. Aside from that, it causes him to judge the character poorly and take excessive risks.

7. Excessive taxes annoy. Wars, epidemics and populists cost the state coffers a lot and ultimately lead to more taxes, more debt and more inflation. Taxes and debt are hated by those who have. Inflation is hated by everyone. What begins with gratefully accepted gifts from the state ends in anger at bottlenecks and crises.

8. Choose your partner wisely. In your darkest hour, the last advice you hear may come from your spouse, and it had better be good. Neither Alexandra of Nicholas nor Marie Antoinette of Louis XVI. were sensible wives or good advisers. They emphasized the bad monarchical instincts of the king and tsar. Everyone enjoys palace gossip.

9. Read lots of history. Mistakes are repeated throughout history. Governments traverse the same lines and curves. Good rowers learn a lot from knowing how those who survived steer and the mistakes made by those who fell off a cliff.

10. There is no insignificant region. Many revolutions subside in the capital but persist in remote regions of the country. Even to Siberia, where the rioters were sent to stop bothering them. From there they returned with renewed vigor and full of allies.

11. Offensive inequality will foster decline. In an unequal society, disadvantaged people have three choices: be loyal, protest, or leave. If they don’t come out and aren’t heard, their loyalty may end and they may turn against the leader. This may take decades, but in the end the escape will be towards the borders or towards the presidential palace.

12. Ideas matter. We must always pay close attention to the battle of ideas and fight it with better ideas. Ideas are persuasive and bad as they are, if repeated often enough and given the right propaganda, they can become beliefs and even truths in anyone’s mind.

13. Don’t fight religion. The French Revolution sealed their fate when the most radical demanded that priests take a civil oath and identify themselves with the state rather than the church. Peace only returned when Napoleon calmed the situation. The Cristero War in Mexico had a similar origin.

14. The favor of the people is unstable. The humiliating final flight of Robespierre to escape his enemies, with his jaw broken when he missed the shot intended to commit suicide and his leg broken when he jumped out of a window, must be remembered by anyone who believes that you represent the will of the people, abuse power and ruthlessly condemn others. The attack against Bolívar came after he managed to convince many people that he wanted to become an autocrat. In a few months, the city will go from cheering to onion-throwing.

15. Land doesn’t end up being better distributed. One of the original motives for revolutions is usually land ownership, which in some cases changes hands. But, as the French Revolution shows, land rarely ends up in the hands of the peasants in the long run.

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