To many controlling people threats feel justified method and for extra effect they may be willing to harm or kill people just to show they can be cruel. Threats and violence can also cause increasingly aggressive resistance but some seem to think that with fast or wide enough killing they could live as a respected leader or just live longer.
False flag operations have been common in many areas. Even in USA at 1962 chief of staff Lyman Lemnitzer (commander of US army in far-east including Vietnam) approved Operation Northwoods which would have sunked ships, hijacked/blown up airplanes, exploded plastic bombs in Florida/Washington and shoot people in American streets which would be followed by widespread media attention and accusations that Castro is responsible by faking radio messages supposedly from Castro which in turn should lead to USA declaring war on Cuba. In same year he did lose his old job but he was made into Supreme Allied Commander of NATO having power over US army in Europe and he had that job for 6 years. In 1975 he was made responsible to check if CIA had broken any laws. President Kennedy who refused this plan got shot next year but Lyam lived another 27 years. With standards and scandals it is understandable when people suspect US government involvement whenever terror tactics are used before starting new wars.
Warlords have often used their small armed group to grow until they run the territory. In poorer countries they are still common power holders although in richer areas like western Europe such warlords become rare by start of 20th century although Hitler and other fascist states were run by somewhat similarly to warlords.
Through history warlords have used death penalty to force people into
killing each other in the name of nice ideals and less publicly to make
warlord rich and influential.
Most countries seem to pass similar phases of
stability. Least developed areas may have consistent civil wars (like central Africa nowadays) where
warlords risk their lives to at best win short victories while staying
in hiding. After some industrial development society may become a
dictatorship where 1 warlord uses army to control entire country but
often with armed resistance similar to civil war. Later on when people
become richer and starving becomes less likely then human rights improve and country may become peaceful democracy
but almost entirely by natives winning those rights one by one not by foreign
invasion to install these rights. If outsiders use armies they may
create severe hostility towards anything resembling their ideas.
military intervention some may say that some nation doesn't care about
these values or rights if foreign armies have to import those values.
Most stable freedoms are won when locals themselves win the rights.
Different countries have fought for bit different rights. Like much of
politics personal rights change slowly but they also usually go away slowly with lots of resistance. Every area has to
win every single right it wants to have (even villages and small towns in rich stable countries could be run by violent gangs where locals may have lost hope about change).
Murderous dictators may create chain of command where anyone disloyal
enough may get killed along with close relatives. Many so called brain washing stories could be
explained by knowing that locals may be killed for disloyalty although
some dangerously naive people may presume that citizens in dictatorship believe official propaganda without question and it would be just better to kill all those supposed fanatics.
In warlord ruled areas violence has predictable
course. Rules made by warlords probably exclude them from legal punishments for anything they ever did to people even if they mess with people from same nationality. Warlord without legal (not by warlords own rules) and
nonviolent income probably feels they'll die if they can't pay for their
security then they start robbing people to stay alive and in civil war zones where warlords compete are usually very poor.
They sometimes kidnap
people to join their army by threats of torture and death to get some
recruits but they could defect and take their weapons to possibly have
revenge on old warlord.
Systems using violence may start using it as best known choice for also other problems. During early soviet times any sign of disloyalty including being late for work could result in imprisonment or death.
In case of poverty dictator could just kill those who point it out or doesn't praise country enough.
If government or leader lacks money they could use their army to rob locals until they have enough money. Less supporting people may be first victims.
If dictator wants to hear that his system is perfect then they can kill those who disagree so they could tell media elsewhere that their country is a great place.
As warlords use army often they probably talk about nationalism to keep
soldiers feeling like they fight for defending their country but when they get
ordered to kill people from their own country for resisting autocrat
then this illusion won't last long. Rulers may use lies about all critics being brainwashed or paid workers for foreign imperialist etc. like people in all countries within soviet union were told when protests or riots became public.
Double-standards for elite
can anger people if they have to praise one person while dehumanizing
all others knowing that if common citizens behaved like autocrat then
they'd get in trouble.
In brutal dictatorship it can become necessary to play
dumb to avoid suspicion and if everybody has to play dumb then they know criticizing
others or pointing out weaknesses is harmful to others as they may be just playing naive.
In this way violence and
fear create system where helping each other publicly can become much
less probable. In early free societies it may cause depressed
introverted behavior where people have not learned to help each other out of habit or
are scared of police state that ended years or decades ago. National stereotypes may make some think that maybe people in their country are always going to be this way and not interfere but these stereotypes change with the work of notable persons.
people in dictatorship have to pretend outrage over the enemies of central ideology. Majority
probably become numb to these shows and know to not interfere because they know they themselves have also been forced to pretend outrage or risk getting arrested/killed for disloyalty/espionage.
societies such behavior is disturbing and depressing but in free country
people can talk a end to disturbing political shows that serve small groups.
Of course threats may work but
living creatures get used to almost anything and if they are unhappy
enough they may not care about dying while attacking oppressor.
who see injustice happening long enough may be willing to risk their
lives to stop this suffering so they could see world without some of the
suffering or at least have the inner peace that goes away when they see innocent people suffer. This desire to see safe surrounding may be one motivation to resistance fighters.
Also most violent rulers are often from some ethnic minority or foreigners. For example Stalin was Georgian and in a system where many politicians tried to kill it`s way to top legally also allowed foreigners to reach that position. Before Stalin a jewish Trostky and partly jewish Lenin created some similar destructive rules like mass executions and deportations and jews had previously often been killed in russian pogroms. At first mass arrests and murders were committed by Cheka which had polish Felix Dzerzhinsky who probably also knew about Russian wars against Poland and who got to commit many murders on russians. After russian Nikita Khrushchev and later native rules got to power Soviet Union quickly became much less violent. As one still persistent problem media in outside areas like in western europe and USA keep repeating that Russia was best off if it was violently ruled by outsiders like they wanted to harass russians longer through making them reintroduce destructive dictatorship. US movies and documentary channels are not known to be ruled mostly by russians but many of their documentaries keep repeating that Stalin's rulership was good while calling peace after getting stabler democracy as some sort of loss they should not feel peace over as it is supposedly collapsed in some way like starving during Stalins rule was less of a economic and societal collapse. This endless discontent spreading from outside countries may make some locals feel that they could be happier if they let some dictator/strongman rule them. Although having russians suffer longer may be tempting to those who suffered because of russians this system also started to torture and terrorize all its neighboring countries from Finland to China to Korea. Military expansions to these countries mostly ended after Stalin died (Korean war ended few months after Stalins death). Also still persisting communist systems may preserve longer if documentaries made outside countries keep making shows about how great things were during autocrats personality cult as local powerful politicians may fear that reforms may cause losing respect from world and cause some vague collapse that outside media keeps parroting about.
Soviet system had ambitions to take over entire planet it allowed many nationalities to participate in this murderous political system. In 9th march 1956 many Georgian students got killed because they opposed new anti-Stalin politics and they praised Stalin partly for ruling Russia plus there were also predictable requests to get independence. Possible that Stalin remembered war crimes by Russia against Georgians and that these motivated him to be crueler against Russians.
As example of plan backfiring after soviets left Afghanistan these weapons continued to be used by afghan warlords and small groups trying to kill other locals to spread their own power and later on NATO forces.
Militaristic people may talk about eye for eye but usually it goes way more demanding. Some US military personnel still say that 9/11 attacks justified those killings (they could mention that Taliban was unpopular much earlier) but they make some leaps of logic that kids could notice. About 3000 people died in 9/11 attacks but so far war in Afghanistan has killed about 12000-14000 civilians that goes much further from eye to eye. If every casualty justifies 4-5 times more murders to opposing sides then it would be fair that Afghans could kill 60 000 people in US and talk at same time that they are bringing justice, peace and stability to North-America while denying that the inevitable protests these arrogant murders cause are sign of reduced stability.
Example of violent system ending was the end of soviet union. Over 100 million people got out of russian rule without starting civil wars. People didn't need to use deadly weapons and government had also become friendlier. Stalin and others who caused most death in first 50 years of soviet system had died by 1980s and in early 1980s soviet rules chose 3 very old and ill men as leaders. This choice of old men may have added courage to those who wanted freedom. These 3 seemed to like giving themselves many medals and awards that probably made them look narcissistic in addition to being old, slow and weak. After they 3 died a much younger Mikhail Gorbachev got this position. His grandfather had been tortured and imprisoned long time which might have given him desire to end many terrible things this old system had (those who gave him that position could have thought about it when they chose someone who had unpleasant memories about what soviet system does). Soon he made press more free, allowed criticism and also legalized smaller private businesses. Soon afterwards many countries could become democratic without bombings or wars. People peacefully asked for freedom and politicians could agree because many could keep their jobs and people usually didn't demand death to rules letting them live on after changing system.