The Umbrella for Democracy:
The death of democracy in seventeen steps

  1. The Evil One or TEO who craves absolute power appears.
  2. TEO surrounds himself with those who are power-greedy and who are obedient to him. He establishes a party and clarifies a strategy of winning the next election. The party promises people what they want or tells tall stories which people are willing to believe. Dictatorial power is initially won by spreading lies.
  3. TEO strives to win the trust of the many, the least educated and the oldest. They are the most vulnerable to promises and lies and the easiest to manipulate, convince or buy. Intellectually weak, they are not able to make proper judgments and defend themselves against the propaganda of TEO. They accept it as the truth because they like it.
  4. TEO will always single out an enemy and pray on common frustrations (what makes people angry), complexes (which make them feel inferior), poor education (telling them what they understand and accept), poverty (what they want to have and what they dream of), tastes (what they like), prejudices (what they fear, shun, and criticise), traditions (what they cultivate and celebrate), and faith (what they take at face value for granted, and what they would blindly defend even at the cost of their lives).
  5. TEO’s propaganda and manipulation are grounded solely on three clear and commonly understood ideas, namely communism, fascism, and religion, since they are quick and easy ways to stupefy society.
  6. Knowing that the faithful are well-disciplined and accustomed to feudal obedience towards their priests, TEO embeds his propaganda in religious teachings (indoctrination). Catholicism or Islam or the three ideologies mentioned above are ‘user-friendly’ because at their very core lies fear of life and death.
  7. TEO reaches out to wherever possible, promising everyone the fulfilment of their dreams, with optimism and feigned reverence for his target voters.
  8. TEO wins the election and consolidates his power. At the outset, he keeps his key election promise at the expense of all citizens and the good financial standing of the state, offering money to a selected group of people ‘for free’ and dubbing it a solidarity tax or benefit.
  9. TEO strengthens propaganda by harnessing public media which are paid for from the state budget. Public media become the mouthpiece for the government and news programmes focus solely on propaganda, faking independent and professional journalism and offering a lopsided view of the world which the supporters of the ruling party take for reality.
  10. TEO fakes legal measures to bring in his supporters to courts and prosecutor’s offices with a view to ensuring that any doubt, grievance or claim is settled as the authorities see fit. Loss of independence of the courts of law paves the way for dictatorship.
  11. TEO continues to seek out enemies while the government media launch an all-out attack against the opposition. The government starts bribing the army and the police and uses them to quash street demonstrations of political opponents.
  12. TEO makes sure that his voters have simple entertainment and secures their basic needs. They are inculcated with a propaganda perfectly tailored to their emotions highlighting ‘our patriotism’, ‘our traditions’, ‘our values and beliefs’, and ‘our nation’.
  13. TEO strives to destroy independent media and to gag journalists. Only government media have a licence to operate and spread lies with impunity. Independent journalists or those who make any anti-government statements are punishable by imprisonment. Freedom of speech or expression becomes a thing of the past giving way to ubiquitous censorship.
  14. TEO and his entourage make a fortune on state-owned property, running shady businesses to ensure the financial security of party leaders. They take plum jobs in public administration and in state-owned companies.
  15. TEO starts imprisoning those of his voters who protest against plunging into poverty and dictatorial laws. Social discontent is brought to the fore in a de facto communist system which, for propaganda purposes, is dubbed as rightist, traditional, national or conservative. Naïve and stupefied voters of the ruling party become aware that bread meaning free distribution has dried up, and trashy circuses are no longer enjoyable. They painfully realise that the imperfect democracy they did not like or fought because their captive minds had been taken over by a full-scale dictatorship.
  16. TEO begins to curb religious influences and the populist narrative; after all, he no longer needs to win and share power with others.
  17. Authoritarianism and dictatorship are rife while the society is clearly divided into subordinates and the privileged ruling elite. The government quashes social revolts and eliminates enemies by resorting to the army and the police. Eventually, democracy breathes its last breath. Poverty holds sway, goods are rationed, and propaganda is rife. No one can think or act freely, and education is narrowed down to the most elementary level. Fear and powerlessness come to the surface and life becomes synonymous with suffering.

There is only one answer to the question of who to vote for: the party or the politician who guarantees as much freedom, liberties, and tolerance in their agenda as possible. And if you struggle hard to follow or agree on this truth, you are a promising candidate for a slave or… a dictator.

Full text of the essay