February 11th, 2017
Response to the the same question on Quora
This a difficult question to answer, since this would depend very much on the circumstances and possibility of political resistance.
Authoritarianism and repression is a gradual process as Nazi Germany 1933 showed. Hitler’s government was in a minority but he used an act of terrorism to rally support when Reichstag was burned.
As a result the free press was limited by degree, political meetings were banned, civil rights were suspended and the prosecution of opponents began.
Generally the moment political resistance is deemed unpatriotic and outlawed by the regime or when political opponents are being prosecuted, that is the point when removal by force of the political leadership should be considered.
It’s a common tactic for authoritarian regimes to start a diversionary war. The intent is to limit political unrest and use patriotism to support their position.
In case of occupation by a foreign power there would be no hesitation whatsoever.
In Nazi Germany the first opposition started in 1934 from within by Hans Paul Oster, who played a central role in the first military conspiracy to overthrow Hitler, which was based on Hitler’s intention to invade Czechoslovakia.
In August 1938, General Beck opposed at a meeting of army generals in Berlin a war with the Western powers over Czechoslovakia. When Hitler was informed of this, he demanded and received Beck’s resignation. His successor as Chief of Staff, Franz Halder remained in touch with him and also with Hans Paul Oster.
Hans Paul Oster was arrested one day after the failed 20 July plot to assassinate Hitler. On 4 April 1945, the diaries of Admiral Canaris were discovered, and in a rage upon reading them, Hitler ordered that all current and past conspirators be executed.
There are often people on the inside regimes that see the wrongness and respond to it.