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Coup d'Etat 2000
Excerpts from Coup d'Etat: A Practical Handbook by Edward Luttwak (Harvard Univ. Press, 1968):

"A coup d'etat involves some elements of all these different methods by which power can be seized [i.e., putsch, revolution, civil war, war for liberation] but, unlike most of them the coup is not necessarily assisted by either the intervention of the masses, or, to any significant degree, by military-type force.

"If a coup does not make use of the masses, or of warfare, what instrument of power will enable it to seize control of the state? The short answer is that the power will come from the state itself...

"A coup consists of the infiltration of a small but critical segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder. ...

"If we were revolutionaries, wanting to destroy the power of some of the political forces, and the long and often bloody process of revolutionary attrition can achieve this. Our purpose is, however, quite different: we want to seize power within the present system, and we shall only stay in power if we embody some new status quo supported by those very forces which a revolution may seek to destroy."  (more...)

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