Dictators who have emerged all over the world in modern times use such similar tactics to stay in power that one can be forgiven for thinking they have a secret ‘dictator’s book’ with instructions on how to establish and consolidate despotic rule. Either such a book exists – the Prince by Machiavelli maybe – or the autocratic behaviour of dictators constitutes a case of isomorphic mimicry of the earliest people in the ‘trade.’
Source: How dictators stay in power – The Zimbabwean 09.09.2016 by Zivai Mhetu
Their most common tactic is that of conjuring up ‘enemies of the people’ or fictitious threats in a bid to rally their people against an imaginary foe while distracting them from the real enemy – the dictator himself. For Hitler it was the Jews, for Idi Amin, the Asians; for other African dictators, the west.