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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Being a dictator: the ten step plan...

Let's assume you are a head of state and want to govern as a dictator. What is the optimal way to go about it? This is a list of things you may want to do to cement your authority over your country:

1. Destroy the existing economy. This counterintuitive step has the useful effect of eliminating the financial underpinnings of potential opposition groups. A thriving economy will create pressures for change that will eventually drive you aside. Once the economy is destroyed, make sure that it stays destroyed by stifling regulation, destroying the idea of private property, and maintaining a capricious, hardline bureaucracy.

2. Make sure all wealth flows through your hands. After destroying the economy, you need to see to it that what's left of your national income flows through you to your supporters. Of course, once you've destroyed the economy, you'll need a source of income. If you're lucky, your country has oil or some other tradable commodity, but lacking that, a skilled dictator can always appeal to "the international community" for ongoing aid. Bonus points if you can run a global extortion racket by threatening to use nukes you don't admit to having to get aid, as well as printing fake currency and other criminal rackets.

3. Use wealth to reward your supporters and punish your opponents. You can give "money to the poor", and since they have little other means of support, they have to support you. There will be little incentive to support your opponents if they're poor and starving.

4. Maintain militias to keep order among the poor and make sure members of the militia get special privileges and favors. But don't be too hands-off - militia leaders need to be replaced occasionally to avoid the development of private armies that could threaten you. These militias should report directly to you and not the army, and it's best to maintain tension between the two so they squabble among themselves as opposed to coming after you.

5. As for diplomacy, maintain a strong presence at the UN. You'll get a sympathetic audience from your fellow dictators as well as the EU/France. The UN can be used to reward supporters with the chance to live large in Manhattan, as well as a way to gain access to crucial aid dollars. Avoid the governments of the Anglosphere - all they've got is money, and you can typically shame their governments and NGOs into giving you money no matter what relationship you have with their governments. The Europeans are less forgiving, but their politicians and diplomats are generally more bribable.

6. Be a "Man of the Left". Rant about capitalism and globalization, and demonize Anglo-Saxon money-grubbing. After all, the only entity with money in society should be the State, ably led by you. Be sure to discourse at the UN and other international fora on the evils of the capitalist West and how it's keeping your people down. Anti-Americanism helps here too: Hollywoodniks, left-wing academics, and other useful idiots will provide extensive cover for your ongoing "revolution". There's no upside in being a right-wing dictator, unless you happen to be somewhere the US needs bases, but a left-wing dictator can find suckers - er, caring and kindhearted people - anywhere on Earth.

Also, maintain a few Potemkin villages, featuring the pampered elite, complete with state-of-the-art health care "available to all". These can be shown to visiting Hollywoodniks, tranzis, and assorted intellectuals to demonstrate the excellent life your people lead in comparison to the decadent law-of-the-jungle that prevails in the West.

Destroying the economy and doling money out yourself will make you a poster-child for those who favor statism.

7. Don't be white. Being nonwhite means you can play up the racism and anti-colonialism angle to great effect at the above-mentioned international fora, and can appeal to colonial and white guilt to maintain cashflow. Your people are starving because of (insert blame whitey charge here), and are in need of massive aid, that you can be trusted to disburse for the good of your nation.

8. Grow a beard and look good in green.

9. Don't worry too much about dissidents. Since you're a featured Man of the Left, the cause of your dissidents won't be taken up by typically left-oriented NGOs, except in a token manner. Internal dissidents can be "freed" occasionally as needed to provide cover for countries giving you aid.

10. The usual stuff: make sure loyalist toadies are running everything, particularly where guns, tradable commodities, and foreign currency are involved. Ignore and encourage a bit of corruption; it'll keep them happy and give you an excuse to shoot them occasionally when they get too big for their britches. This also encourages some degree of "man of the people" street cred with the international media.

You forgot a crucial step, or at least didn't make it explicit (or maybe I missed it). It is that you have to identify a scapegoat, some minority group among the population of the country whom you can blame for all the problems. The Worldwide Jewish Conspiracy is always a good bet, but you have to have a fair number of Jews living in your country to blame them.

This serves to unify 90-plus percent of the country against the scapegoat and deflects honest appraisal of your own miserable performance as ruler. It also allows you to establish a secret police, accountable only to you, under the ruse of protecting the nation from the scapegoats.

It helps a lot if the scapegoat group is culturally/ethnically different (how could they not be, really?) and is already the object of fear, hate or envy among the rest of the people.
Absolutely brilliant, Foo.

Of course, all of this requires a 'leadership class' in the West capable of being endlessly snookered by gangsters posing as statesmen and charlatans masquerading as men of the people.
Seems like the Dhimmicrats and RINOs are hard at work on most of these steps--and Donald's suggestion as well...
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