Throughout history there have been despots and tyrants who have taken over countries or large people-groups. When the take-over was complete the person in charge had achieved almost absolute power to impose personal will over the majority of people in that country or people-group. We call them by various names like Czar, ruler, dictator, Chairman, Chancellor, Führer, King or Supreme Leader. Governments created by these types of people are referred to as totalitarian, Monarchs, autocracies or Realms. These types of leaders and governments were formed in many different ways; sometimes by quickly using force to topple those in power. The least violent way has been the gradual changing of the government by working through the government process from the inside to accomplish the goal of complete take-over.
The coup d'état. This is simply a strike against the state to displace the government with another force, usually from forces, sometimes military if they are willing and complicit, but more often, political, inside the current government. Either way, these following steps are usually similar steps that have been observed throughout history that paves the way for these takeovers. A look at those past countries and their leaders have displayed a pattern.
1. They implemented a new Ideology. Generally the first step was the establishment of an ideological premise that seemed logical and offered solutions to the problems outlined in the society or current government. This helped people get on board with new ideas to accept the fundamental change that was to come. Generally that new ideology contained some target group who had to be eliminated from society because they were blamed for the ills experienced by the society. Those groups have generally been religiously oriented groups whose allegiance is directed toward God rather than man. The most recent example of that was the Jewish culture in the 1930's under the Nazi ideology.
2. They used Policies, regulations and laws. A flurry of new regulations help set the pace for a set of new policies that would change the way people lived and did business. Policies, regulations and laws had a tendency to set the standards and bend the practices into a direction the leaders wanted the people to travel. This was especially important in the beginning as the new leadership implemented the policies and laws that would ultimately disarm the population from any weapons they may have had.
3. They issued Executive orders from the established leader. This served to circumvent any competing pushback from anyone in authority who attempted to go a different direction or stand firm on the status quo. It also helped to deflect any inquiries from other government officials with their questions about changing practices that may have been occurring.
4. They created dependent populations. This was a tremendous help in countries where the people had a part in selecting the government officials. If the new leader could keep them dependent either at or below the poverty level they would be beholden to the new leader and continue to vote for transformation. For longevity rule, it became necessary for generational poverty with government dependence with allegiance to the ideology sponsored by the government.
5. They created crisis situations. This was essential; people became much more compliant when they were in crisis. They grasped leadership, any leadership that would change or remove the crisis.
6. They controlled crisis through imposed restrictions. Of course the freer a people had been living, the more difficult it was to take those freedoms. However, crisis caused people to spend their capital and freedom was a type of capital they would give away if the crisis could have been removed from them personally and placed on the backs of others.
7. They took control of financial institutions. This was a two-edge sword. They believed all financial institutions like banks and investment firms had to be castigated in order to become the enemy of the people. If the people could have been taught they were the victims of the richest citizens of the country it was easier to bring the institutions under control. Class warfare was a favorite; pitting the poor against the rich. When the rich land owners and industry lords were seen as taking the wealth illegally or unjustly, it gave the poor the authority to move against the rich with justification for redistributing the wealth.
8. They used existing government agencies as political instruments. This was especially true if the government agencies were the law enforcement agencies, or the tax collection agencies. They were ones with specific powers that ultimately controlled the population that could have been more easily brought under control if individual assets were confiscated. Through regulations and special taxes imposed on the people, the government agencies responsible for implementing the laws and collecting the taxes became legitimate tools to control the people and their personal assets.
9. They took control of media outlets to control their message. This was essential for a less violent take-over. If the media could become a chorus in-synch with the leader's message, it was easier to discredit the dissenters' voice as the transformation proceeded. Tied to that control of media was the redefinition of proper language. A filtering process for "news" disseminated to the people-at-large was used to make sure the "right" message was delivered. That message had to be controlled through "talking points" issued from the leaders so the message was consistent and in line with the ideology.
10. They established an internal communication monitoring system. It was essential to know what people were saying and doing; it made it easier to know what they were thinking. If every form of their communication could be monitored to find the trends of dissention, it became much more flexible in deflecting all opposition.
11. They took over the education system. For sure the new leader had to re-brand the elementary, secondary and university learning environments. Curriculum had to be rewritten to conform with the new message of transformation, teachers and professors had to be on-board to preach the message and reshape the minds of those who were in their prime socialization years.
12. They made alliances with outside countries whose ideology was consistent with the new leader's. It made it much easier for assimilation, especially as the immigrating groups from other countries were migrating to the new leader's country.
13. They marginalized or eliminated Christianity from the citizens. Karl Marx called religion the "Opium of the people." Judeo-Christianity offers the antithesis to totalitarianism and teaches love, peace, tolerance, forgiveness and allegiance to God alone. Judeo-Christians look beyond the political structures of the day and place their faith in Christ alone, looking to Him and the work He did on the cross regarding their personal salvation. Their world-view moved beyond the current events while they focused their eyes and hearts toward eternity. For that reason, among others, Christians were more difficult to control and generally were eliminated as much as possible.
If we look at the history of the world we find these steps have been systematically implemented as the new leaders took over. This was especially true when the take-over was meant to happen without outright fighting in the streets. This pattern can be seen in all the great historical empires of the past: Greece, Rome, Europe. More recently, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Soviet Union, Cuba and many of the Middle Eastern and African countries. There is a lot to be gained from a study of history.