Thursday, February 21, 2008

Quotes of the Day

"The problem of maintaining power in a dictatorship is really similar to that of maintaining a majority for redistributive purposes in a voting body. It is easily demonstrated, of course, that it is always possible to build a majority against any particular program of redistribution by offering something to the "outs" on the original program and fairly high payments to a few of the 'ins.' The situation in a dictatorship is similar. It is always possible at least in theory to collect together a group of people which is more powerful than the group supporting the status quo. This group will be composed of important officials of the regime who could benefit from its overthrow and their concomitant promotion." - Gordon Tullock, Autocracy, 1987, p. 19.

In the mythology of revolution, the people rising to throw off a tyrannical ruler is the dominant theme … Most of the mythology concerns a people driven beyond endurance by the vicious oppression of their masters rising up and establishing a noble and just republic. I regret to say that this myth is mainly myth. — Gordon Tullock, Autocracy, p. 53.

"Preventing overthrow by the common people is, in general, quite easy if the ruler is only
willing to repress vigorously and to offer large rewards for information about conspiracies against him." - Gordon Tullock, Autocracy, p.68.