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"That's a great advantage -- to know what you don't know," he says now. "'You have a chance of learning -- if you want to and you're not arrogant."
...
What gives a government -- even a repressive regime -- the power to rule? The answer, he realized, was people's belief in its power. Even dictatorships require the cooperation and obedience of the people they rule to stay in charge.

So, he reasoned, if you can identify the sources of a government's power -- people working in civil service, police and judges, even the army -- then you know what a dictatorship depends on for its existence.

— Gene Sharp

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/05/us/florida-lifeguard-fired/index.html?npt=NP1
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