In our time, authoritarian regimes do not use police state methods to enforce the views of their leaders, nor do they use the mechanisms of violence to silence their opponents and keep them on the sidelines of political developments. In much more imaginative ways they manage to impose themselves on those who disagree, gain popularity and maintain their political power.
The methods they use are more modern, free from diving into methods of physical violence, thus not giving rise to foreign observers and media to criticize them and denounce them for arbitrariness and police brutality.
1. One such way is to use the normal legal process to convict dissidents of common criminal law offences. Thus many are arrested for non-political offenses and sentenced without giving a handle to criticism and complaints. Economic crimes are common (mismanagement of public money, embezzlement, tax evasion, etc.) but also moral offenses (rape, sexual harassment, homosexual behavior, etc.). In all these cases, the victims are morally ostracized, losing whatever popular support they may have had.
2. Another method of behavior of authoritarian leaders who avoid resorting to violence and police coercion (the so-called Spin Dictators) is to replace long-term imprisonment with frequent detentions of a few days. This method has the advantage of not giving the right to international criticism for oppressive methods and violence, while at the same time disrupting the lives of dissidents by making any career path difficult for them. Long-term imprisonment also creates witnesses, while short detentions may go unnoticed.
3. Another way of exercising authoritarian power without resorting to violence is through economic impoverishment of dissidents. With trumped-up charges, and subsequent convictions, of corruption, malfeasance, tax evasion, and financial rule-breaking, many regimes silence their opponents or drive them to the social and political fringes.
4. Other methods, of course, are the violation of rules, regulations or regulations that the regime imposes for involvement in politics or for the exercise of any political action. Thus, the critics are left out of the Parliament or their participation in organizations, writing articles, publishing books or appearing in televised debates and public forums is hindered.
5. Such indirect oppression is also exercised through false accusations against opponents of violence or morally inappropriate behavior, particularly in the area of sexual preferences. Often also unofficial private thugs or gangs undertake the “compliance” of dissidents, or often they and their families are terrorized by theft, threatening phone calls or via the Internet.
In general, the methodology of oppression in our time, introduced to the international scene by the historical leader and creator of modern Singapore Lee Kuan Yew, has evolved. So that power imposes obedience and fear without being forced to resort to open violence.