Results 1 to 24 of 24

Thread: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

  1. #1
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Taplow, UK
    Posts
    8,164

    Default Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    A very enjoyable read. It takes the view that all leaders main aim is to remain leaders and sees if their behaviour can be derived from this rather than thinking different societies have different ideologies they are trying to implement - and why often things in dictatorships are so 'orrible and development remains so low.

    Hardly uplifting... but at least it does provide an argument that both debt relief and international aid although often well intentioned are counter-productive.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
    If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.
    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

  2. #2
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    The EUSSR
    Posts
    30,680

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    Saw the movie The DicTator, very uplifting I bursted out in laughter so many times. I'll give it a look, link would help. As for topic, I kinda think Morgenthau was right with his six principles of political realism. It's really cynical you will love it you cheerie you

  3. #3
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Taplow, UK
    Posts
    8,164

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?



    A good synopsis.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
    If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.
    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

  4. #4
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    The EUSSR
    Posts
    30,680

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    Heh, ordered, never heard of it I at least want to own it. Everything in that video should be obvious to everyone but... well. Author amd Morgenthauseemto share a common dominator; power. The works of Machiavelli also didn't age at all
    Last edited by Fragony; 02-06-2018 at 12:38.

  5. #5
    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Currently in Egypt
    Posts
    2,656

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    I've got it and am reading through it. Very enjoyable book for us cynics!

    "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?"
    -Abraham Lincoln

  6. #6
    Apr 04-Nov 11 Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Between Louis' sheets
    Posts
    10,289

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    Im currently slogging my way through Peter Wilsons history of the 30 years war.
    “I was not designed to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest.” -Thoreau

    My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

    I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    Bought it to pass the time at dialysis.
    So far nothing too surprising in it, but a good read
    Ja-mata TosaInu

  8. #8

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    Have to say, the argument in the book sounds familiar.
    I remember analysis of Latin American countries that broke down in similar ways, along the line of primary, secondary and tertiary support.
    That aside, it does give an interesting lens through which to look at the Trump administration.
    The tax reform was key. For true believers: any tax cut is a good one; this policy certainly qualifies. Most of the money goes to the top; those in the population much like Trump...imagine that.
    The lower fruit are any policies that overturn anything Obama did.

    The message is clear; if you want to redistribute wealth, that's ok just so long as it goes to the right people. Further, deficits are not a problem in the service of the "correct" people.
    Ja-mata TosaInu

  9. #9
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    The EUSSR
    Posts
    30,680

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    It's a fun read, nothing that you shouldn't already understand, with examples of what you already understand

  10. #10
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Taplow, UK
    Posts
    8,164

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    It's a fun read, nothing that you shouldn't already understand, with examples of what you already understand
    And yet... senior economists continue to think that debt relief / NGO work is a "good thing" and not merely propping up dictators by subsidising things that they no longer need to do. When earthquakes happen nothing is mentioned about why the death toll was so high and why this might be. Aid is still given on the pretext of helping the people, opposed to supporting the dictators that are already there.

    So this appears to be something that is rarely talked about, is poorly understood and is even less frequently acted on.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
    If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.
    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

    Member thankful for this post:



  11. #11
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    The EUSSR
    Posts
    30,680

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    Talking about NGO's ohohoh Oxam-Novib... at least we now know how the money in Haïti was used, one big sex-party for Oxam-Novib with often underaged hookers. Ouch.

  12. #12
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Latibulm mali regis in muris.
    Posts
    10,772

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    Talking about NGO's ohohoh Oxam-Novib... at least we now know how the money in Haïti was used, one big sex-party for Oxam-Novib with often underaged hookers. Ouch.
    Probably not the best way to invest in the economy and encourage long term development.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

  13. #13
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    15,484

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    Talking about NGO's ohohoh Oxam-Novib... at least we now know how the money in Haïti was used, one big sex-party for Oxam-Novib with often underaged hookers. Ouch.
    Yeah, well, I'm not the one who keeps saying we should lower taxes and give money to charity instead...

    (not saying you necessarily do either, it's more a general point)


    "Topic is tired and needs a nap." - Tosa Inu

  14. #14

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    And yet... senior economists continue to think that debt relief / NGO work is a "good thing" and not merely propping up dictators by subsidising things that they no longer need to do. When earthquakes happen nothing is mentioned about why the death toll was so high and why this might be. Aid is still given on the pretext of helping the people, opposed to supporting the dictators that are already there.

    So this appears to be something that is rarely talked about, is poorly understood and is even less frequently acted on.

    And that problem is as old as international aid projects.
    How much actually gets to the people as opposed to being funneled to black market profiteers, or simply consumed by the leadership.
    It is an economy unto itself in some ways.
    Ja-mata TosaInu

  15. #15
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Latibulm mali regis in muris.
    Posts
    10,772

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    Quote Originally Posted by HopAlongBunny View Post
    And that problem is as old as international aid projects.
    How much actually gets to the people as opposed to being funneled to black market profiteers, or simply consumed by the leadership.
    It is an economy unto itself in some ways.
    Indeed.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

    Member thankful for this post:



  16. #16

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    I have little experience with this subject, but I wonder what analyses have been done to show that changes to the aid regime wouldn't have led to worse outcomes and statuses today.
    Vitiate Man.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  17. #17
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Latibulm mali regis in muris.
    Posts
    10,772

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I have little experience with this subject, but I wonder what analyses have been done to show that changes to the aid regime wouldn't have led to worse outcomes and statuses today.
    That would be proving a negative, which doesn't work well with the scientific method.

    Still, an argument could be made that it would be worse still if things had been done differently or no aid provided.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

  18. #18
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Taplow, UK
    Posts
    8,164

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I have little experience with this subject, but I wonder what analyses have been done to show that changes to the aid regime wouldn't have led to worse outcomes and statuses today.
    It seems things will improve if you have replacement of the structure, rather than providing money to it. So, giving the current crop amnesty to spend their stolen money in peace (otherwise why on earth would they ever leave? Surely better to live in relative safety with $1 billion than continue accruing money and be scared each night might be your last) and then frankly either having territory annexed by nearby states that are better functioning or an outside agency who in essence rebuilds the state.

    Or just pretend to help by paying for the right to come in, paying for the hotels, giving the aid to the regime and then seeing a few terrified, smiling locals and thinking it must be better.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
    If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.
    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

  19. #19
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    The EUSSR
    Posts
    30,680

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    You should read Dead Aid, often dismissed because Moyo works for Goldman Sachs, but that's really all I hear, they never get any further than that.
    Last edited by Fragony; 02-15-2018 at 11:07.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    That would be proving a negative, which doesn't work well with the scientific method.

    Still, an argument could be made that it would be worse still if things had been done differently or no aid provided.
    Well, in social science research I've seen 'reverse projections' modeled, projections within some past time frame under the relevant parameters. I'm sure there any any number of causal limitations this kind of analysis, but it exists.

    Separate from the question of what aid should look like from now on, is the question of whether the existence of the aid overall was better than not rendering any aid, or which types of aid and in which regions/countries. Maybe there were higher returns to aid in the first generation, for instance.
    Vitiate Man.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  21. #21
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    The EUSSR
    Posts
    30,680

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    Just give aid, food and medicine, don't try any social enginering. It's not only patronising but also destructive. We should help where it's needed, nobody sane would not help people who are in need, but short-term, no planning ahead it aren't our pets. Help out, but don't disrupt.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    Still haven't finished it, good read indeed
    I was a little concerned when it got onto "democracy and war"; they added a little nuance that such arguments paper over.
    If the democratic smaller country is fulfilling the policy objectives of the larger democratic country, all well and good; should the smaller country undertake policies that don't line up with the desires of the larger => war. It nicely describes US policy in Latin America.
    "Promoting democracy" is all well and good, unless they desire something we don't like.
    Ja-mata TosaInu

  23. #23

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    Quote Originally Posted by HopAlongBunny View Post
    Still haven't finished it, good read indeed
    I was a little concerned when it got onto "democracy and war"; they added a little nuance that such arguments paper over.
    If the democratic smaller country is fulfilling the policy objectives of the larger democratic country, all well and good; should the smaller country undertake policies that don't line up with the desires of the larger => war. It nicely describes US policy in Latin America.
    "Promoting democracy" is all well and good, unless they desire something we don't like.
    The US has higher competency spreading democracy from the barrel of a GI's gun. Maybe it works better domestically than abroad, or maybe it's context-specific.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Civil_War
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Athens_(1946)
    Vitiate Man.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  24. #24

    Default Re: Has anyone read "The Dictators' Handbook?

    Currently reading this. This book does a good job when it isn't attempting to discredit fundamental approaches to international relations.

    There is an incredibly long PDF (that I'm mentally incapable of reading) by the same authors for those of you who are skeptical about this book as it may come across as streamlined horseshit. https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/file...2003_logic.pdf

    Member thankful for this post:



Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO