A despot may seize power by persuading or bribing the hierarchy from the military force. Maintaining your power gained in this way takes a particular condition. The successful dictator must keep your majority blind to his real intentions, excluding just about his group of friends.
'Treat Them Like Mushrooms'
A population held in the dark and fed on garbage is simpler to control than one that's awake, fit and accurately informed.
To harness the population as unconscious accomplices to a authoritarian government is dependent upon reserving knowledge for the trusted collaborators of the leader. The secret dates back to a time before human records begin. Sooner or later, the audience elite moved from being gatherers of food to being hunters of meat.
Successful hunters cannot help but share knowledge gained by experience.
Even if a person wished to keep secrets from his fellow hunters, they could follow him to the best hunting grounds and copy his tracking methods or tool-making techniques. Familiarity with these skills will be passed down from father to son. The hunters excluded one group: the gatherers. Women, forbidden to make or use weapons, were rendered politically ineffectual.
Art, created for purposes we are able to only guess at, was developed by specialists who have been based on the group but reserved their skill set privately. In later times, reading and writing were skills ready to accept a minority of privileged people.
Whenever a population is saved in general ignorance, specialist groups hold power.
Bureaucrats keep secrets for the hierarchy of church or state, much as the mandarins served the emperors of ancient China or even the Inquisition served rulers with the Vatican. Scholarship, like professional skill, was restricted to men towards the top of society's ladder. Science was obviously a private search for rare, brave men with inquiring minds. To openly propose a brand new theory, according to scientific method or evidence, brought dire penalties of imprisonment, torture or death.
It couldn't last. And it didn't last.
In the 15th century, a goldsmith named Gutenberg developed the printing press. His invention made possible the dissemination with the Bible to some readership not in the monasteries. Translation of the stories into languages in accordance use sparked a need for knowledge on the list of wider population.
Today, basic education for each and every child, female or male, is accessible by law in developed nations. University level education is economic reach of many Westerners attempting to study in any field with the sciences and arts. Free public libraries as well as the world-wide Internet supply the curious with all the current information accumulated by humanity up to now.