How to Take Over a Country


Jack Scott

When enforcing your rule, it is always important to use modernized weaponry in your military. It is quite embarrassing to go into battle against an army of tanks with 19th century cannons.


There is only one type of person who would take time out of his or her day to find out how to take over a country, and that person is an aspiring dictator. Nobody who wants to take over a country wants to have a democracy. Who in their right mind would go through all that hard work staging a coup just to turn around and treat their subjects like they actually matter? People who want to create a democracy do not overthrow a ruler. They try to gain independence. However, as much as Hollywood and various television thrillers would like you to believe that taking over a country is easy, it is not. Overthrowing the leader of any country (even Somalia) requires patience, diligence, and a merciless attitude.

Not all dictators are alike.

There are dictators who are successful in keeping their country under an iron grip, and there are dictators who couldn’t know their way around their own lavish palace. There are dictators you fear and respect, like Josef Stalin, and those who you would rather laugh at than bow to, like Kim-Jong-Un. What separates the ruthlessly successful tyrants from the comically unintelligent fools?

  • The Personality: A good dictator has a heart of cold, bloody stone, and is not fazed by the concept of murder or torture. The ideal fascist is willing to do anything to advance his or her ideals. Everyone is expendable, even “loved” ones. Diligence, patience, efficiency, and cruelty also factor into the personality equation of a dictator.
  • The Skill: Dictators run a tightly-knit government, and therefore must be capable and willing to oversee and administer almost all facets of running a country, from collecting taxes to mobilizing armies. A dictator with wide knowledge of empire-building will have no trouble finding and removing flaws in the system.
  • The Talk: Obviously, being ruled by a heartless killer isn’t popular among the people of any country. Thus, a successful fascist is capable of manipulating anyone and everyone into doing what he or she wants. Mao Zedong and Adolf Hitler were able to gather the support of the people through deception and manipulation. The greatest autocrats manipulate the people and the government. This deceitful trait is essential for aspiring dictators.
  • The Trust: This tip can be summed up in one sentence: Trust nobody, and you will go far.

Where to begin?

At this point, you know the ins and outs of the right kind of person to take over a country (and then rule it successfully), but that doesn’t say anything about how to actually stage a coup. The first step in establishing your dictatorship is finding out what nation is to be your target. This, as it turns out, is harder than it seems.

  • The Wealth: A country’s wealth is extremely important in determining how much resistance you will face. Now, it seems obvious that taking over a country like the US or France today would be nearly impossible (but still doable). However, taking over the poorest nations can also be challenging. Many of these countries have multiple factions fighting to rule the country, which causes widespread destruction that is hard to control. At first, this seems like the perfect population to rule, but this kind of society easily lends itself well to revolts and civil unrest. Thus, the best choice for your coup is a country that is neither extremely rich nor extremely poor.
  • The Current Government: If you wish to overthrow a government, it is best to have a deep understanding of the way the soon-to-be-overthrown government works. What issues does the current population face? Is the government popular or unpopular? Is the government oppressive or benevolent? Perhaps it would be easier to overthrow a highly unpopular dictatorship, but if the dictatorship is successful at being a dictatorship, you should expect to face some fierce resistance.
  • Geopolitical Situation: Does the country in question have any allies? Are these allies powerful? How likely would a more powerful country come to defend the current government if you were to overthrow it? Is the country’s terrain easily defendable in the event of an invasion? These factors seem irrelevant at first, but they can be crucial to the success of your diabolical plans.

Set the plan in motion.

You have adopted all the traits of a successful dictator, you picked out a country to take over, and you grew a distinctive mustache. Now it is time to actually take over the country in question. There are plenty of ways to actually go about doing this, and the “best” strategy for installing your fascist regime will vary depending on the circumstances. There are some general differences, though, in the way tyrannical regimes come to power in a country.

  • Brute Force: There is much to say about the effectiveness of marching a small army into the capital city and installing yourself as the ruler of a country. It is a strategy that has worked plenty of times in the past. If you do it right, you have the element of surprise on your side. However, messing things up will mean that the country will fall into disorganized chaos and your rule will last for only a limited time. Using brute force to take over a country is risky, but it can be surprisingly effective if done correctly.
  • Political Maneuvering: Initially, you seem like a relatively average politician. However, behind the proverbial curtain are bribes, assassinations, and spies. Soon enough, you wield much of the power in a country, and installing yourself as head of state should not be too difficult. However, by manipulating the tides of corruption, you resign yourself to long hours of plotting the demise of your opponents. Each day you risk discovery and the collapse of everything you worked so dearly for. Success is not guaranteed, and the careful balancing act of espionage requires a generous dose of both luck and skill. However, once you make your final power grab, you will already have a strong footing in your chosen country’s government.
  • Take Over the Media: Some conspiracy theorists assert that America is undergoing the process of media manipulation, with a select few companies wielding massive power by toying with media networks such as the news. The idea is that by dominating the news, one can manipulate the way people think. While these theories remain controversial, the idea of toying with the minds of the people isn’t a bad idea. While North Korea remains the laughing stock of the western world, you cannot deny that the population in that country has been pacified by the government. This wasn’t through intimidation or death threats. It was simply though maintaining an iron grip over all media in the country. Dominating the media to gain power, however, appears to be a gradual process. While this strategy of taking over a country is a mainly untested one, that doesn’t undermine its potential.
  • Become a Friend of the People: You do not always have to appear like a tyrant to be one. Find a problem that plagues the people of a country, and then use the problem to unite the people. Soon, you will be one of the most influential people in the country, and any and all resistance against you will usually crumple under the weight of your reputation. This is one of the most successful strategies for taking over a country, with several notable dictators attesting to its effectiveness. This strategy, while effective, is still tricky to pull off, as convincing the vast majority of the people in a country to support you require extensive talent at communication and deception.

What now?

At this point, if you are the undisputed ruler of a sovereign state, then congratulations! You have done what so many have failed to do. Besides the day-to-day busywork of regulating finances, crushing revolts, and maintaining your opulent palace, you do not have much to do. So what do you do with all your spare time?

  • Go Conquer Something: You are a relatively evil dictator who has somewhat nefarious plans. Conquering something with your newfound power seems like the next logical step.
  • Call Your Country a Democratic Republic: It seems that all dictatorships these days call themselves “democratic republics.” Why not jump on the bandwagon? If anyone dares to question the level of freedom in your country, arrange some executions.
  • Indulge in the Fact That Your Country is a Fascist Dictatorship: There is some enjoyment to realizing the fact that freedom means nothing to you. Scoff at the tyrants denying their dictatorial ways and broadcast to the world your evil, horrible habits! You are a dictator, and you never know how long it will be until someone decides to make an attempt on your life. Enjoy your political standing!
  • Do Not be Normal: Enjoy being completely irrational when ruling your dictatorship. Punish all criminals with the death penalty! Force peasants to entertain you at the expense of their dignity! Punish people for no reason! Pose for cameras with your officer’s suit! Force the civilians to worship your name! Use your sick mind and come up with ways to pass the time like a true fascist!


Finally, you have come to the end of this guide. You have learned the ins and outs of creating (and maintaining) a corrupt, evil regime. Go forth and show the world what you can do! Remember, if anyone questions your authority as Supreme Emperor of the World, execute them!