Found 11 comments on HN
"The Dictator's Handbook" by DeMesquita and Smith is a popular take on their academic work that describes a metamodel for reasoning about power and politics that bypasses how things "may" or "should" work and talks about how they "must" work.

And a general +1 for GEB. If you read that as a teenager, you are different for it.

lostcode · 2018-10-21 · Original thread
> That's so wester/occidental... Who says that democracy is such a good news ?

"The Dictator's Handbook" [1] does a good job of explaining various political systems lays down and presents an argument for why people in democracies have more freedoms and are generally more prosperous.


tzmudzin · 2018-09-17 · Original thread
The Dictator's Handbook, by de Mesquita & Smith:

marklgr · 2018-06-18 · Original thread
No need to call others' opinions ignorant when you have another one. Here's a good book dealing with foreign aids, among other things:

Read The Dictator's Handbook. Then come back and tell me if I'm rambling.

> people think CGP Grey is a scholar on so many topics just because he sounds calm and confident

His "Rules for Rulers" video is an excellent summary of The Dictator's Handbook [1], itself a summary of well-regarded selectorate theory [2]. I have yet to watch a CPG Grey video which does not honestly separate fact from opinion, and ensure the former is well sourced.

His delivery is excellent. But that, alone, is not substitute for well-written and -researched material.



jaskerr · 2017-05-27 · Original thread
Which "Dictator's Handbook"? There are two on Amazon.

[1] The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics

[2] The Dictator's Handbook: A Practical Manual for the Aspiring Tyrant

scrollaway · 2017-02-04 · Original thread
The Dictator's Handbook:

Fascinatingly relevant right now.

> They see through it. They just know they have no other option.

To add to this, administrators know if they don't hire extensively they are likely to be replaced by someone who will. There is no control mechanism. Giving students a small periodic vote in respect of their top administration would go a long way towards ameliorating such corruption.

The "Dictator's Handbook" covers such topics

vinceguidry · 2016-11-08 · Original thread
By allowing their bureaucrats free rein to terrorize local businesses and extract mob-style protection payments, among other things. Excessive regulation. Basic, garden-variety corruption. Same stuff that goes on in every other autocratic country the world over.

Right now, Hong Kong is way too valuable as an economic engine, but the political dangers are more pressing to the CCCP. So the government will clamp down on freedoms as best they can until the citizens can't take it anymore, then keep beating the horse until it's dead.

You should read the book The Dictator's Handbook if you want to understand it better.

bayonetz · 2016-05-18 · Original thread
Great book on similar topic: "The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics"

Provides compelling case that all politicians tend toward dictatorship with the difference in how fully these tendencies are realized just being in the size of the coalition they have to appease, reward, or bully. With stereotypical absolute dictators this easy to see. On the other end of the spectrum, it is more shrouded. American democracy is theoretically based on a maximum sized coalition equaling roughly the entire population. In practice, the leaders are beholden to and have to influence a much smaller coalition to wield power. Something like the current Sanders/Clinton popular vote vs inner circle super delegate issue demonstrates this pretty well. Fascinating read.

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