martedì 10 gennaio 2017

INTRO+1+2+6 - The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Alastair Smith

The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Alastair Smith
You have 162 highlighted passages
You have 128 notes
Last annotated on January 10, 2017
Introduction Rules to Rule ByRead more at location 100
Note: INTRO@@@@@@@@@@@ Edit
Daily we hear of frauds, chicanery, and double-dealing by corporate executives, new lies, thefts, cruelties and even murders perpetrated by government leaders. We cannot help but wonder what flaws of culture, religion, upbringing, or historical circumstance explain the rise of these malevolent despots, greedy Wall Street bankers, and unctuous oil barons.Read more at location 102
Note: x LE BRUTTURE DEL POTERE Edit
Most of us are content to believe that.Read more at location 106
Note: AUTOCONSOLAZIO Edit
The world of politics is dictated by rules.Read more at location 108
Note: MA LA REALTÁ È DOIVERSA. REGOLE Edit
Journalists, authors, and academics have endeavored to explain politics through storytelling.Read more at location 109
Note: x L ERRORE DI RACCONTARE LA POLITICA Edit
How do tyrants hold on to power for so long?Read more at location 114
Note: E NN SI RISPONDE ALLA DOMANDA Edit
Equally, we may well wonder: Why are Wall Street executives so politically tone-deaf that they dole out billions in bonuses while plunging the global economy into recession? Why is the leadership of a corporation, on whose shoulders so much responsibility rests, decided by so few people? Why are failed CEOs retained and paid handsomely even as their company’s shareholders lose their shirts?Read more at location 117
Note: x IL SUCCESSO DEI FALLITI Edit
there is nothing unique about political behavior.Read more at location 122
believe we would behave differently if given the opportunity.Read more at location 123
We are confident that we would never act like Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi who bombed his own people to keep himself in power. We look at the huge losses suffered under Kenneth Lay’s leadership by Enron’s employees, retirees, and shareholders and think we aren’t like Kenneth Lay.Read more at location 125
Note: x IO NN SARÒ MAI UN GEDDFI Edit
The pundits of politics and the nabobs of news have left us ignorant of these rules.Read more at location 128
Note: CHI CI HA RESO IGNORANTI ASSECONDANDO IL NOSTRO ISTINTO Edit
That’s why we are still asking the same old questions.Read more at location 130
We’re still surprised by the prevalence of drought-induced food shortages in Africa, 3,500 years after the pharaohs worked out how to store grain. We’re still shocked by the devastation of earthquakes and tsunamis in places like Haiti, Iran, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka, and by the seemingly lesser intensity of such natural disasters in North America and Europe. We’re still troubled by the friendly handshakes and winks exchanged between democratic leaders and the tyrants that they somehow justify empowering.Read more at location 130
Note: x L IGNORANTE SI STUPISCE Edit
we’re going to provide a way to make senseRead more at location 134
Our aim is to explain both good and bad conductRead more at location 135
The picture we paint will not be pretty. It will not strengthen hopeRead more at location 137
politics is nothing more than a game that leaders play,Read more at location 138
all of us must first suspend faith in conventional wisdom. Let logic and evidence be the guideRead more at location 140
Bell’s Bottomless BluesRead more at location 142
Note: T Edit
bad behavior is more often than not good politics.Read more at location 146
Note: x TESI Edit
Let’s start with a tale of a small town’s team of seemingly greedy,Read more at location 147
this is a story about politics, not personality.Read more at location 149
Note: VIA GLI PSICOLOGISMI Edit
people who value power and recognize how to get itRead more at location 150
this small tale of miserable conduct recurs at every levelRead more at location 151
Robert Rizzo is a former city manager of the small town of Bell (population about 36,600). Bell, a suburb of Los Angeles, is a poor, mostly Hispanic and Latino town. Per capita income may be as low as $10,000 or as high as $25,000—estimates vary—but either way it is way below both the California and national average.Read more at location 152
Note: x STORIA DI BELL TOWN. POLITICI CHE SI ALZANO IL SALARIO DA SÈ. ELETTI COL 13% DEI VOTI Edit
Despite its many challenges, Bell consistently outperforms other California communities in keeping violent crime and property crime below average. A cursory glance at Bell’s official website suggests a thriving, happy community brimming over with summer classes, library events, water play, and fun-filled family trips.Read more at location 156
Note: c Edit
In 2010, Bell’s then-mayor, Oscar Hernandez (later jailed on corruption charges), said the town had been on the verge of bankruptcy in 1993 when Rizzo (also ultimately charged with corruption) was hired. For fifteen consecutive years of Rizzo’s leadership, up until he stepped down in 2010, the city’s budget had been balanced. Hernandez credits Rizzo with making the town solvent and helping to keep it that way.Read more at location 161
Note: c Edit
Behind the idyllic façade, however, lies a story that embodies how politics really works. You see, Robert Rizzo, hired at $72,000 a year in 1993, and in his job for seventeen years before being forced to step down in the summer of 2010, at the end of his tenure was earning a staggering $787,000 per year.Read more at location 166
Note: c Edit
almost exactly the return promised by Bernie Madoff, the master Ponzi schemer,Read more at location 170
Note: c Edit
Robert Rizzo was indeed credited with doing a good job for Bell, but was it really that good?Read more at location 176
Note: c Edit
Jerry Brown, promised an investigation to find out if any laws had been violated. The implicit message in his action was clear enough: No one would pay a small town city manager nearly $800,000 a year.Read more at location 181
Note: c Edit
The actual story is one of clever (and reprehensible) political maneuvering implicitly sanctioned by Bell’s votersRead more at location 183
Note: c Edit
Cities comparable to Bell pay their council members an average of $4,800 a year. But four of Bell’s five council members received close to $100,000 a year through the simple mechanism of being paid not only their (minimal) base council salaries but also nearly $8,000 per month to sit on city agency boards.Read more at location 184
Note: c Edit
How can we possibly explain these disparities,Read more at location 188
Note: c Edit
The answers lie in a clever manipulation of election timing.Read more at location 190
Note: c Edit
2005 special election to convert Bell from a “general city” to a “charter city.”Read more at location 192
Note: c Edit
decisions are made in the open daylight in general cities and often in secret, behind closed doors in charter cities.Read more at location 193
Note: c Edit
The selling point of the change to charter city was to give Bell greater autonomy from decisions by distant state officials.Read more at location 199
Note: c Edit
special election, associated with no other ballot decisions, attracted fewer than 400 votersRead more at location 204
Note: c Edit
vast discretion over taxing and spending decisions to a tiny group of peopleRead more at location 207
Note: c Edit
As of this writing all of the principal players in Bell’s scandal have been jailed, but not for their lavish salaries. As reprehensible as these may have been, it seems they were perfectly legal. No, they were jailed for receiving payments for meetings that allegedly never took place.Read more at location 212
Note: c Edit
one might describe as a legal technicality.Read more at location 216
You may well wonder how a little town like Bell could balance its budget—one of Mr. Rizzo’s significant accomplishments—while paying such high salaries.Read more at location 219
Note: c Edit
Remember, the town’s leaders got to choose not only how to spend money but also how much tax to levy. And did they ever tax their constituents.Read more at location 221
Note: c Edit
In plain and simple terms, Bell’s property tax was about 50 percent higher than nearby communities. With such high taxes, the city manager and council certainly could pay big salaries and balance the budget,Read more at location 228
Note: c Edit
In the city, council members are elected, although their election was not contested for many years before 2007.Read more at location 231
Note: c Edit
election was achieved with supportive votes from only about 13 percent of the registered electorate.Read more at location 236
Note: x ELETYI COL 13% Edit
This goes a long way to explaining the city government’s taxing and spending policies.Read more at location 242
Note: x SI PUÒ TASSARE MOLTA GENTE Edit
City manager Rizzo had to maintain the council’s confidence to keep his job and they needed his support to keep theirs.Read more at location 244
Note: x INTERESSI COMUNI DEGLI STRSPAGATI Edit
promote the means to transfer great private rewards in the form of lavish compensation packages to council members.Read more at location 249
Note: x SEGRETO TRAMITE TRASFRRIMENTO Edit
Bell presents a number of lessonsRead more at location 258
First, politics is about getting and keeping political power. It is not about the general welfare of “We, the people.”Read more at location 259
Note: x PRIMA LEZOONE Edit
Second, political survival is best assured by depending on few people to attain and retain office.Read more at location 260
Note: x POCHE PRRSONE Edit
dictators, dependent on a few cronies,Read more at location 260
Third, when the small group of cronies knows that there is a large pool of people waiting on the sidelines, hoping to replace them in the queue for gorging at the public trough, then the top leadership has great discretion over how revenue is spent and how much to tax.Read more at location 261
Note: x CONCORRENZS NOBILTÀ Edit
Fourth, dependence on a small coalition liberates leaders to tax at high rates, just as was true in Bell.Read more at location 264
Note: x TASSE E MAGGIORITARIO Edit
The politicians of Bell intuitively understood the rules of politics.Read more at location 271
One important lesson we will learn is that where politics are concerned, ideology, nationality, and culture don’t matter all that much.Read more at location 275
Note: x INTERESSI SOPRA IDEOLOGIA Edit
When addressing politics, we must accustom ourselves to think and speak about the actions and interests of specific, named leaders rather than thinking and talking about fuzzy ideas like the national interest, the common good, and the general welfare.Read more at location 278
Note: x INTERESSI PARTICOLARI Edit
Politics, like all of life, is about individuals,Read more at location 281
Note: c Edit
Great Thinker ConfusionRead more at location 283
Note: t Edit
political philosophers haven’t explained it very well.Read more at location 284
The fact is, people like Niccolò Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, James Madison, and Charles-Louis de Secondat (that is, Montesquieu), not to forget Plato and Aristotle, thought about government mostly in the narrow context of their times.Read more at location 285
Note: x MAI VISTE LE LEGGI GENERALI Edit
Hobbes sought the best form of government. His search, however, was blinded by his experience of the English civil war, the rise of Cromwell, and his fear of rule by the masses. Fearing the masses, Hobbes saw monarchy as the natural path to order and good governance. Believing in the necessary benevolence of an absolute leader, the Leviathan, he also concluded that, “no king can be rich, nor glorious, nor secure, whose subjects are either poor, or contemptible, or too weak through want, or dissension, to maintain a war against their enemies.”Read more at location 287
Note: x HOBBES Edit
Machiavelli, an unemployed politician/civil servant who hoped to become a hired hand of the Medici family—that is, perhaps the Robert Rizzo of his day—wrote The Prince to demonstrate his value as an adviser.Read more at location 292
Note: x MACHIAVELLI Edit
He had, we believe, a better grasp than HobbesRead more at location 294
Note: c Edit
For Montesquieu, the Enlightenment, the new Cartesian thinking, and the emerging constitutional monarchy of Britain all combined to stimulate his insightful ideas of political checks and balances. Through these checks and balances he hoped to prevent exactly the corruption of public welfareRead more at location 313
Note: x MONTESQUIEU MITO DEL BILANCIAMENTO Edit
the option of forming a charter city was motivated, in theory, exactly by a quest for checks and balancesRead more at location 316
Note: c Edit
Jürgen Habermas, Michel Foucault, and John Rawls—thinkersRead more at location 327
Note: ALTRI FILOSOFI MIOPI Edit
The big questions of how the world ought to be are indeed important. But they are not our focus.Read more at location 328
Note: x PIÙ REALISMO MENO MORALISMO! Edit
Our account of politics is primarily about what is,Read more at location 336
What are the consequences for leaders and their regimes when a war is lost?Read more at location 343
Note: x LA DOMANDA DI PARTENZA Edit
This question hadn’t been asked because the standard ideas about war and peace were rooted in notions about states, the international system, and balances of power and polarity, and not in leader interests.Read more at location 345
Note: x COSA SVIA Edit
Even the term “international relations” presumes that the subject is about nationsRead more at location 347
States don’t have interests. People do.Read more at location 351
The prime mover of interests in any state (or corporation for that matter) is the personRead more at location 356
the self-interested calculationsRead more at location 357
And what, for a leader, is the “best” way to govern? The answer to how best to govern: however is necessary first to come to power, then to stay in power, and to control as much national (or corporate) revenue as possible all along the way.Read more at location 358
Note: x DOMANDA E RISPISTA CENTRALI Edit
The Logic of Political Survival,Read more at location 372
we put ideas of civic virtue and psychopathology asideRead more at location 377
structure of the bookRead more at location 380
students have called our list of rules to rule by the “Theory of Everything.”Read more at location 384
1 The Rules of PoliticsRead more at location 394
Note: 1@@@@@@@@@@@@@ Edit
To understand politics properly, we must modify one assumption in particular: we must stop thinking that leaders can lead unilaterally. No leader is monolithic.Read more at location 397
Note: x NO MONOLITISMO Edit
stop thinking that North Korea’s Kim Jong Il can do whatever he wants.Read more at location 399
Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin or Genghis KhanRead more at location 399
Consider France’s Louis XIV (1638–1715). Known as the Sun King, Louis reigned as monarch for over seventy years, presiding over the expansion of France and the creation of the modern political state.Read more at location 403
Note: x ES LUIGI XIV Edit
He was certainly one of the preeminent rulers of his or any time. But he didn’t do it alone. The etymology of monarchy may be “rule by one,” but such rule does not, has not, and cannot exist.Read more at location 407
Note: c Edit
After the death of his father, Louis XIII (1601–1643), Louis rose to the throne when he was but four years old. During the early years actual power resided in the hands of a regent—his mother. Her inner circle helped themselves to France’s wealth, stripping the cupboard bare. By the time Louis assumed actual control over the government in 1661, at the age of twenty-three, the state over which he reigned was nearly bankrupt.Read more at location 413
Note: c REGGENZA Edit
When debt exceeds the ability to pay, the problem for a leader is not so much that good public works must be cut back, but rather that the incumbent doesn’t have the resources necessary to purchase political loyalty from key backers. Bad economic times in a democracy mean too little money to fund pork-barrel projects that buy political popularity.Read more at location 417
Note: c COMPRARE LA LEALTÀ Edit
He moved quickly to expand the opportunities (and for a few, the actual power) of new aristocrats, called the noblesse de robe. Together with his chancellor, Michel Le Tellier, he acted to create a professional, relatively meretricious army. In a radical departure from the practice observed by just about all of his neighboring monarchs, Louis opened the doors to officer ranks—even at the highest levels—to make room for many more than the traditional old-guard military aristocrats, the noblesse d’épée. In so doing, Louis was converting his army into a more accessible, politically and militarily competitive organization. Meanwhile, Louis had to do something about the old aristocracy. He was deeply aware of their earlier disloyalty as instigators and backers of the antimonarchy Fronde (a mix of revolution and civil war) at the time of his regency. To neutralize the old aristocracy’s potential threat, he attached them—literally—to his court, compelling them to be physically present in Versailles much of the time. This meant that their prospects of income from the crown depended on how well favored they were by the king.Read more at location 426
Note: c CON GLI ARISTOCRtoci Edit
Thus he erected a system of “absolute” control whose success depended on the loyalty of the military, the new aristocrats, and on tying the hands of the old aristocrats so that their welfare translated directly into his welfare.Read more at location 437
Note: c Edit
Louis’s strategy was to replace the “winning coalition” of essential supporters that he inherited with people he could more readily count on. In place of the old guard he brought up and into the inner circle members of the noblesse de robe and even, in the bureaucracy and especially in the military, some commoners.Read more at location 442
Note: c CAMBIO ALLEANZE Edit
Like all leaders, Louis forged a symbiotic relationship with his inner circle.Read more at location 448
Note: x INNER CIRCLE Edit
No one rules alone; no one has absolute authority.Read more at location 451
Three Political DimensionsRead more at location 453
Note: T Edit
For leaders, the political landscape can be broken down into three groups of people: the nominal selectorate, the real selectorate, and the winning coalition. The nominal selectorate includes every person who has at least some legal say in choosing their leader.Read more at location 454
Note: x CHI SCEGLIE IL LEADER Edit
The second stratum of politics consists of the real selectorate. This is the group that actually chooses the leader.Read more at location 462
Note: x CHI ELEGGE SOSTANZIALMENTE Edit
The most important of these groups is the third, the subset of the real selectorate that makes up a winning coalition. These are the people whose support is essential if a leader is to survive in office.Read more at location 464
Note: x COALIZIONE VINCENTE Edit
In the United States, the voters are the nominal selectorate—interchangeables . As for the real selectorate—influentials—the electors of the electoral college really choose the president (just like the party faithful picked their general secretary back in the USSR), but the electors nowadays are normatively bound to vote the way their state’s voters voted, so they don’t really have much independent clout in practice. In the United States, the nominal selectorate and real selectorate are therefore pretty closely aligned.Read more at location 474
Note: x ES USA Edit
The winning coalition—essentials—in the United States is the smallest bunch of voters, properly distributed among the states, whose support for a candidate translates into a presidential win in the electoral college.Read more at location 479
Note: c Edit
Looking elsewhere we see that there can be a vast range in the size of the nominal selectorate, the real selectorate, and the winning coalition. Some places, like North Korea, have a mass nominal selectorate in which everyone gets to vote—it’s a joke, of course—a tiny real selectorate who actually pick their leader, and a winning coalition that surely is no more than maybe a couple of hundred people (if that) and without whom even North Korea’s first leader, Kim Il Sung, could have been reduced to ashes.Read more at location 489
Note: x ES NORD COREA Edit
Think about the company you work for. Who is your leader? Who are the essentials whose support he or she must have? What individuals, though not essential to your CEO’s power, are nonetheless influential in the governance of the company?Read more at location 501
Note: x PENSA A DOVE LAVORI Edit
Virtues of 3 - D PoliticsRead more at location 511
Note: T Edit
Governments do not differ in kind. They differ along the dimensions of their selectorates and winning coalitions.Read more at location 516
Note: x DIFFERENZA TRA GOVERNI Edit
No question, it is tough to break the habit of talking about democracies and dictatorships as if either of these terms is sufficient to convey the differences across regimes, even though no two “democracies” are alike and neither are any two “dictatorships.”Read more at location 519
Note: x ABOTUDINE INVETERATA Edit
The truth is, no two governments or organizations are exactly alike.Read more at location 529
Note: x DIFFERENZE OVUNQUE Edit
There is incredible variety among political systems,Read more at location 535
Change the Size of Dimensions and Change the WorldRead more at location 543
Note: t Edit
Changing the relative size of interchangeables, influentials, and essentials can make a real difference in basic political outcomes.Read more at location 544
Note: x TESI Edit
As an example, we can look to the seemingly prosaic election of members of San Francisco’s board of supervisors. San Francisco used to elect its board of supervisors in citywide elections. That meant that the selectorate consisted of the city’s voters, and the essentials were the minimum number needed to elect a member to the board. In 1977 the method changed, and at-large, citywide elections were replaced by district voting.Read more at location 545
Note: x ES FRISCO SUPERVISOR Edit
Under the new rules, they were elected by and represented their district;Read more at location 550
Note: c Edit
The policy and candidate preferences of San Francisco residents as a whole were little different between 1975 and 1977—nevertheless in 1975 a candidate named Harvey Milk failed in his bid to be elected to the board, but went on to be elected in 1977 (and tragically assassinated not long after). As Time magazine reported later, Harvey Milk was “the first openly gay man elected to any substantial political office in the history of the planet.”2 What changed in Harvey Milk’s favor between 1975 and 1977 was simple enough. In 1975, he needed broad-based support among San Francisco’s influentials to get elected. He got 52,996 votes. This meant he finished seventh in the election of supervisors, with the top five being elected. Milk did not have enough support, and so he lost. In 1977 he only needed support within the neighborhood from which he ran, the Castro, a dominantly gay area. He was, as he well knew, popular within his district. He received 5,925 votes, giving him a plurality of support with 29.42 percent of the vote in district 5, which placed him first in the 5th Supervisory District contest and so he was elected.Read more at location 551
Note: c MILK Edit
Rules Ruling RulersRead more at location 566
Note: T Edit
what kinds of policies leaders spend money on.Read more at location 572
Note: x PRIMA DOMANDA Edit
In a democracy, or any other system where a leader’s critical coalition is excessively large, it becomes too costly to buy loyalty through private rewards. The money has to be spread too thinly.Read more at location 575
Note: x RAFFINATEZZA DEMOCRAZIE Edit
dictators, monarchs, military junta leaders, and most CEOs all rely on a smaller set of essentials. As intimated by Machiavelli, it is more efficient for them to govern by spending a chunk of revenue to buy the loyalty of their coalition through private benefits, even though these benefits come at the expense of the larger taxpaying public or millions of small shareholders. Thus small coalitions encourage stable, corrupt, private-goods-oriented regimes.Read more at location 578
Note: x MICRO CORRUZIONE E PICCOLE COALIZIONI. MACROCORRUZIONE DEMOCRAZIA Edit
TaxingRead more at location 583
Note: T Edit
those who rule based on a large coalition cannot efficiently sustain themselves in power by focusing on private benefits. Their bloc of essential supporters is too large for that. Since they must sustain themselves by emphasizing public goods more than private rewards, they must also keep tax rates low, relatively speaking.Read more at location 587
Note: x DEMOCRAZIE E TASSE BASSE Edit
But when the coalition of essential backers is small and private goods are an efficient way to stay in power, then the well-being of the broader population falls by the wayside,Read more at location 603
Note: x PICCOLE COLLEZIONI ALTE TASSE Edit
In this setting leaders want to tax heavily, redistributing wealth by taking as much as they can from the poor interchangeables and the disenfranchised,Read more at location 604
Note: c Edit
For example, a married couple in the United States pays no income tax on the first $17,000 they earn. At that same income, a Chinese couple’s marginal tax rate is 45 percent.Read more at location 606
Note: x ES USA E CHINA Edit
Obviously, self-interest plays a large role in these equations. We must wonder, therefore, why incumbents don’t take all the revenue they’ve raisedRead more at location 612
Note: x PERCHÈ NN ARRICCHIRSI Edit
Shuffling the Essential DeckRead more at location 619
Note: T Edit
Incumbents have a tough job. They need to offer their supporters more than any rival can. While this can be difficult, the logic of politics tells us that incumbents have a huge advantage over rivals, especially when office holders rely on relatively few peopleRead more at location 622
Note: x I VANTAGGI DELL INCUMBENT Edit
This explains why, from the October 1917 Revolution through to Gorbachev’s reforms in the late 1980s, only one Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, was successfully deposed in a coup. All the other Soviet leaders died of old age or infirmity. Khrushchev failed to deliver what he promised to his cronies.Read more at location 625
Note: x ES URSSS Edit
Lest there be doubt that those who share the risks of coming to power often are then thrown aside—or worse—let us reflect on the all-too-typical case of the backers of Fidel Castro’s revolution in Cuba. Of the twenty-one ministers appointed by Castro in January 1959, immediately after the success of his revolution, twelve had resigned or had been ousted by the end of the year. Four more were removed in 1960 as Castro further consolidated his hold on power. These people, once among Fidel’s closest, most intimate backers, ultimately faced the two big exes of politics. For the luckier among them, divorce from Castro came in the form of exile. For others, it meant execution. This includes even Castro’s most famous fellow revolutionary, Che Guevara.Read more at location 640
Note: x LA SILURAZIONE DEI FEDELISSIMI NELLA PRESA Edit
In a very real sense Che followed in the shadows of Frank Pais, Camilo Cienfuegos, Huber Matos, and Humberto Sori Marin [all close backers of Castro during the revolution]. Like them, he was viewed by Castro as a ‘competitor’ for powerRead more at location 650
Note: x IL CHE Edit
Political transitions are filled with examples of supporters who help a leader to power only to be replaced.Read more at location 656
If a small bloc of backers is needed and it can be drawn from a large pool of potential supporters (as in the small coalition needed in places like Zimbabwe, North Korea, or Afghanistan), then the incumbent doesn’t need to spend a huge proportion of the regime’s revenue to buy the coalition’s loyalty.Read more at location 659
Note: x COMPETIZIONE SUPPORTER Edit
Rule 1: Keep your winning coalition as small as possible. A small coalition allows a leader to rely on very few people to stay in power. Fewer essentials equals more control and contributes to more discretion over expenditures.Read more at location 678
Note: x CONCLUSIONI REGOLA UNO: MENO SIAMO MEGLIO È Edit
Rule 2: Keep your nominal selectorate as large as possible. Maintain a large selectorate of interchangeables and you can easily replace any troublemakers in your coalition, influentials and essentials alike. After all, a large selectorate permits a big supply of substituteRead more at location 681
Note: x ALLARGARE LA BASE FORMALE Edit
Rule 3: Control the flow of revenue. It’s always better for a ruler to determine who eats than it is to have a larger pie from which the people can feed themselves. The most effective cash flow for leaders is one that makes lots of people poor and redistributes money to keep select people—their supporters—wealthy.Read more at location 686
Note: x CONTROLLARE I FLUSSI Edit
Rule 4: Pay your key supporters just enough to keep them loyal. Remember, your backers would rather be you than be dependent on you. Your big advantage over them is that you know where the money is and they don’t.Read more at location 690
Note: x PAGARE GLI ALLEATI Edit
Rule 5: Don’t take money out of your supporter’s pockets to make the people’s lives better.Read more at location 695
Note: x NON COLPIRE GLI ALLEATI Edit
Do the Rules Work in Democracies?Read more at location 702
Note: T Edit
As we’ll see throughout the chapters to follow, a democratic leader does indeed have a tougher time maintaining her position while looting her country and siphoning off funds.Read more at location 704
Note: x DEMOCRAZIA: REGOLE INDEBOLITE Edit
Why, for example, does Congress gerrymander districts? Precisely because of Rule 1: Keep the coalition as small as possible. Why do some political parties favor immigration? Rule 2: Expand the set of interchangeables. Why are there so many battles over the tax code? Rule 3: Take control of the sources of revenue. Why do Democrats spend so much of that tax money on welfare and social programs? Or why on earth do we have earmarks? Rule 4: Reward your essentials at all costs.Read more at location 709
Note: x EPPURE LE REGOLE VALGONO Edit
Just like autocrats and tyrants, leaders of democratic nations follow these rules because they, like every other leader, want to get power and keep it.Read more at location 715
Note: x COME GLI ALTRI Edit
politicians are all the same.Read more at location 727
2 Coming to PowerRead more at location 727
Note: 2@@@@@@@@@@@@ Edit
placeholderRead more at location 729
6 If Corruption Empowers, Then Absolute Corruption Empowers AbsolutelyRead more at location 2451
Note: 6 @@@@@@@@@@@non finito Edit
The problem is that doing what is best for the people can be awfully bad for staying in power.Read more at location 2457
Note: FARE IL BENE E STARE AL POTERE Edit
The logic of political survivalRead more at location 2458
Note: ASSUNTO Edit
building and maintaining a coalition loyal enoughRead more at location 2461
Note: PRIMO OBIETTIVO Edit
reward their coalition of essential backers before they reward the peopleRead more at location 2461
rewards can come in the form of public goods,Read more at location 2463
Note: COALIZIONI AMPIE Edit
allocation of resources in the form of private benefitsRead more at location 2464
Note: COALIZIONI PICCOLE Edit
goods to a few cost less in total than public goods for the many,Read more at location 2465
Note: MENO COSTI Edit
we next explore the use of private rewards as the means to survive in power.Read more at location 2470
we will see that Lord Acton’s adage, “Power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely,” holdsRead more at location 2472
Note: ACTON Edit
The causal ties run both ways: power leads to corruption and corruption leads to power.Read more at location 2474
Note: NESSO Edit
Power and CorruptionRead more at location 2478
Note: T Edit
anyone reluctant to be a brute will not last long if everyone knows he is unprepared to engageRead more at location 2482
Note: IL TENERO Edit
if they don’t pay their backers to do terrible things, they can be pretty confident that those cronies will be bought off,Read more at location 2484
Note: O PAGHI TU O PAGO IO Edit
Genghis Khan (1162–1227) understood this principle. If he came across a town that did not immediately surrender to him, he killed everyone that lived there, and then made sure the next town knew he had done so.Read more at location 2485
Note: x GENGIS Edit
They worked out that things would be better for them by giving up, turning their wealth over to him, and accepting that the Mongols would then pass through,Read more at location 2487
Note: c Edit
True, he doesn’t have the greatest reputation in the West (although he is revered in his homeland of Mongolia), but he most assuredly was a successful leader.Read more at location 2489
Note: c Edit
It is fair to say that England’s Henry V has a better reputation than Genghis Khan.1 His Saint Crispin’s day speech in Shakespeare’s play, Henry V, is received even by the modern reader with passion and admiration. We sometimes forget that Henry was capable of brutality.Read more at location 2491
Note: x ENRICO V Edit
Shakespeare had him announce, in a properly brutal leader’s terms, what he would do if the town’s governor did not surrender: If I begin the battery once again, I will not leave the half-achieved Harfleur Till in her ashes she lie buried. The gates of mercy shall be all shut up, And the flesh’d soldier, rough and hard of heart, In liberty of bloody hand shall range With conscience wide as hell, mowing like grass Your fresh-fair virgins and your flowering infants.... What say you? will you yield, and this avoid, Or, guilty in defence, be thus destroy’d? 2 Fortunately for Harfleur, on hearing Henry’s words, the governor surrendered.Read more at location 2494
Note: c Edit
The most powerful leaders in history, people like Genghis Khan, Henry V, or Russia’s Catherine the Great, tend to be autocrats beholden to only a small coalition.Read more at location 2501
Note: I LEADER Edit