A Manual to topple Dictators.

4 Mar

The Albert Einstein Institution, a non-profit organization, has been advancing the study and use of strategic non-violent action in conflicts throughout the world. The Institution claims that, they are committed to defend freedom, democracy, and the reduction of political violence through the use of nonviolent action.

One of the scholars from Albert Einstein Institution, Gene Sharp, 83 is Professor Emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Nobel Peace Prize nominee. He is known for his extensive writings on nonviolent struggle, which have influenced numerous anti-government resistance movements around the world, which includes but not limited to Jasmine revolution.

Sharp’s work is not an American product, but rather a synthesis of world humanist knowledge built on pillars such as Gandhi, Einstein and Galtung”. After anti-war thinking, demonstrations and refusal; Sharp was sentenced to two years (actually nine months in prison.) Sharp has prepared a conceptual framework of liberation (from dictators) by the name “From Dictatorship to Democracy”. Or can be renamed as “a manual to topple dictators”, a Free e-book. The original publication was made in 1993 Committee for the Restoration of Democracy in Burma in association with Khit Pyaing (The New Era Journal). And the recent, 4th edition was published in 2010. You can easily observe the modesty of the Albert Einstine instiution as they prepared the material for the public domain and may be reproduced without permission from Gene Sharp. However they advise and appreciate Citation of the source, and notification to the Albert Einstein Institution for the reproduction, translation, and reprinting of this publication.

The material was translated into at least thirty-one other languages and has been published in Serbia, Indonesia, and Thailand, among other countries. The Amharic and Tigrigna translation has been prepared by volunteer Ethiopian groups. The manual has got 93 pages which mainly filled with non-violent but guide to cautious approaches.

In his manual, Sharp referring freedom house website as of 2008, 34% of the world’s 6.68 billion population lived in countries designated as “Not Free,”

According to sharp “coup d’état against a dictatorship might appear to be relatively one of the easiest and quickest ways to remove a particularly repugnant regime …… (but fears)…for another group(gang) to take their place.”

Sharp disregard totalitarian election categorizing it as ……… “public endorsement of candidates (which are) already (been) hand picked by the dictators”.

Though sharp proposed one hundred ninety-eight kinds of possible actions; he made conclusions on the four immediate tasks:

  1. One must strengthen the oppressed population themselves in their determination, self-confidence, and resistance skills;
  2. One must strengthen the independent social groups and institutions of the oppressed people;
  3. One must create a powerful internal resistance force; and
  4. One must develop a wise grand strategic plan for liberation and skillfully implementation.

Sharp added Fourteenth Century Chinese parable

In the feudal state of Chu an old man survived by keeping

monkeys in his service. The people of Chu called him “ju

gong” (monkey master).

Each morning, the old man would assemble the monkeys

in his courtyard, and order the eldest one to lead the others

to the mountains to gather fruits from bushes and trees.

It was the rule that each monkey had to give one-tenth of

his collection to the old man. Those who failed to do so

would be ruthlessly flogged. All the monkeys suffered

bitterly, but dared not complain.

One day, a small monkey asked the other monkeys: “Did

the old man plant all the fruit trees and bushes?” The others

said: “No, they grew naturally.” The small monkey

further asked: “Can’t we take the fruits without the old

man’s permission?” The others replied: “Yes, we all can.”

The small monkey continued: “Then, why should we depend

on the old man; why must we all serve him?”

Before the small monkey was able to finish his statement,

all the monkeys suddenly became enlightened and awakened.

On the same night, watching that the old man had fallen

asleep, the monkeys tore down all the barricades of the

stockade in which they were confined, and destroyed the

stockade entirely. They also took the fruits the old man had

in storage, brought all with them to the woods, and never

returned. The old man finally died of starvation.

Yu-li-zi says, “Some men in the world rule their people by

tricks and not by righteous principles. Aren’t they just like

the monkey master? They are not aware of their muddle-headedness.

As soon as their people become enlightened, their tricks no longer work.”

May be it is then, the slogan came along “Yes We can!”

English version


Amharic version



2 Responses to “A Manual to topple Dictators.”


  1. Gene Sharp: Author of the nonviolent revolution rulebook « Talesfromthelou's Blog - March 6, 2011

    […] A Manual to topple Dictators. (jontambek.wordpress.com) […]

  2. The Monkey Master « Your One Vote - April 25, 2011

    […] A Manual to topple Dictators. (jontambek.wordpress.com) […]

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