Niccolò Machiavelli would advise dissidents against a regime that has entrenched itself in the full spectrum of state powers with a combination of caution, strategy, and cunning. Herein is a collection of counsel, drawn from his observations and writings such as "The Prince" and "Discourses on Livy," adapted to your context of battling a fascist regime today as follow:
Understand the Terrain: Know the social, economic, and political landscape as well as the regime knows it. Understand where their power comes from and who their allies are, both domestic and foreign. Remember that knowledge is power, and having a thorough understanding of your adversary’s strengths and weaknesses is crucial.
Cultivate Popular Support: A prince—or in your case, a dissident—must maintain the favor of the people. Work to awaken the common populace to the regime’s oppression. However, do this subtly, for open agitation will lead to suppression. Create a narrative that resonates with the masses and exposes the failings of the regime without putting them in harm's way.
Establish a Credible Alternative: People will not risk the security of the known for the uncertainty of the unknown. Show them a credible alternative to the current regime. This vision must be tangible and realistic, promising better governance, preservation of rights, and improvement in their daily lives.
Build Alliances: Seek allies both within the regime’s power structure (those who are secretly dissatisfied) and outside of it. Foreign powers may have an interest in seeing the regime fall. However, be cautious in your alliances; do not become a pawn in another’s game for power.
Use Caution in Communication: Subvert the regime’s surveillance by using coded language, secure means of communication, and trusted couriers. Remember that your strength is in being underestimated and unseen until it is too late for the regime to react effectively.
Employ Indirect Action: Direct confrontation with a powerful regime is folly. Use indirect methods. Sabotage, non-violent resistance, and propaganda can all be used to destabilize the regime’s control. Remember that a regime is not just leaders but also the systems that support them. Attack the pillars that hold up the regime, not just the regime itself.
Adapt to Circumstances: Be flexible and ready to adapt your strategies as situations change. The regime will be rigid in its authority; your ability to change will be an advantage. This does not mean to be fickle but to be as water, which shapes itself to the container it fills.
Cultivate Virtù and Fortuna: Virtù, the ability to shape the world around you, is essential. Be bold, decisive, and cunning in your actions. However, also be aware of Fortuna, the tide of fortune. Sometimes, it is necessary to ride the wave of opportunity when it presents itself.
Be Patient: Change may not come quickly. Be prepared for a long struggle. A regime does not fall in a day unless its foundation has already been eroded. Work diligently and patiently to undermine the regime’s power.
Maintain Moral High Ground: Lastly, while deceit and manipulation are tools in your arsenal, do not become the monster you seek to destroy. Keep the well-being of the people as your ultimate goal, or else your new rule will be as despised as the old.
These pieces of advice are not to be taken lightly, nor are they to be used to harm innocents. They are for those who seek to restore freedom to people under the yoke of tyranny. Remember, the arc of history is long, and while it bends towards justice, it requires strong hands to help with the bending.