Dictating Made Easy

January 8, 2009

OR: Seize a Developing Nation in Sixty Days or Less

Past dictators have made dictating out to be an impossible and thankless task, which only the strong of mind and body are capable of. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler- they all thought they had something special. Well, I’m here to tell you different. Dictators and the art of dictating have been shrouded in mystery for centuries, but now it’s time for the shroud to be removed. Dictating isn’t difficult, no special skills needed. Anyone can be a dictator in sixty days or less- I guarantee it. So if you’ve always been thinking about that coup d’état, but you just never manage to get around to it, follow these simple instructions and it’ll be easier than dragging your fat ass off the couch to the kitchen for another cup o’ coffee.

Contrary to popular belief, dictators are in fact made. Maybe you weren’t born with a mean streak, a desire to watch grown men cry or deep-seated insecurities for which you are constantly overcompensating, don’t let this get you down, you can overcome these birth defects.

First, buy (or steal or find on the street- whatever your budget and moral compass dictate) helpless and docile animals of some variety, such as hamsters or squirrels or something. Get several. I find cats work especially well. Practice dictating them. Take away their food while they are still eating (this is why the animals should definitely be smaller than you), give them extra food when they don’t expect it, then take that away; threaten them with death and various forms of torture on an hourly basis; poke them from time to time. The important thing is to be creative. These experiences will help build your confidence as you watch them scurry about in terror and submit passively to your every whim. It is important for you to appear confident and omnipotent to the masses. Work with the animals for a few days and feel the wide range of what you are capable of.

Now, move on to people. One of the most crucial aspects of successful dictatorship is a balance of fear and adoration in the masses. Too much fear and they will revolt, which is always messy and very tiresome. Too much adoration and you’re clearly not running a totalitarian state.

When you first begin on the path towards dictatorship, a secret police force may be out of your grasp. Don’t be discouraged. Everyone has to start somewhere. I suggest gaining control over a few key people in the beginning. Close friends and family are ideal for this purpose. They already love and respect you; you just need to add a little terror to the mix. For this, use many of the same tactics you used on the docile animals. Threaten your friends with death regularly if they don’t obey you. At first, they will think you are joking, but carry though on a couple threats and they’ll see how deadly serious you are. Make them depend on you to such a degree that soon, they can no longer see any way to get on without you. Once this degree of dependence has been achieved, start them on a daily regimen of propoganda and brutality. Subtly slip in mind control techniques over breakfast. Say things like: “I know everything you’re thinking.” Or: “I noticed you forgot to bring those cookies I wanted. I’m very disappointed.” Again, be creative. Follow these remarks with a crack of the whip you should have taken to carrying around by this point.

Once these key people are mindlessly devoted to you, you can embark on the larger task of taking over a developing nation. One thing to remember about developing nations: the people are, for the most part, poor and unhappy. Promise and deliver small happinesses such as cookies to win them over. Don’t waste your time and energy on real change. To consolidate your power, you need only the promise of major change. Small trinkets will sway their affections now, and later, they will be too adoring and terrified to challenge you. Use your key people as a buffer zone and create a small centralized government.
There are two things to keep in mind when setting up a totalitarian state:

  1. People are mostly sheep. They will follow you.
  2. Those who aren’t sheep can and should be exterminated.

Use your now established secret police force to nose out these potential troublemakers. Often, it is in your best interests to avoid exterminating these non-sheep people since they are frequently the brains of the nation. Take advantage of whatever means you have at your disposal to indoctrinate these kids and return them to the flock. Frequently, however, this is impossible. In such cases, ensure that you make a public example of these people. Torture and execute them in a very public place and order the masses to attend. This kind of public punishment will help deter other potential trouble makers. Town squares are very practical and popular for this purpose, although the more aesthetically inclined dictator may choose a waterfront location or an open meadow of spring flowers. The choice is up to you. I will point out, however, that heavily-wooded areas are generally inadvisable, as the potential for revolt in an area so filled with hidey-holes is too great. Public executions give your citizens a very concrete example of just what you, the dictator, are capable of and after a few such examples, they will be very careful to follow you in thought and deed, giving you relatively few discipline problems.

Another intriguing problem for the future dictator is wardrobe. Clearly, attire is important. It sends a visible signal of you and your power to the citizens of the state. The questions is: what is appropriate? Early dictators dressed in a style which seemed to say, “I’m so powerful, I don’t need to look good.” Although this may seem like a good idea, take a look at where those dictators are now: dead or overthrown. Thus, I take the approach that the common people like beautiful people. They admire beautiful people. You don’t see too many fat and ugly superstars. Make your peons love your beauty. Be smart, stylish and well-groomed. Greasy hair should be avoided at all costs. Brush your teeth. A whip at your side lends a devil-may-care attitude and reminds people exactly who’s in charge. Avoid bright clothes, however. They make you a target. A dictator must be ever vigilant. But on the same note, stay away from too much black. A great number of people look sallow in black, which is distinctly unattractive.

At this point, you should be insecure in your power (a secure dictator is a dead dictator) ruling happily over your third world nation, inspiring terror with every step you take. Doesn’t it feel good? And really, all things considered, wasn’t it easier than you thought? Now that you’re practically a god (and in your mind, hey! maybe you are), consider establishing political ties with My Republic. Maybe we could go to war and watch our citizens slaughter each other over a nice espresso. There’s so many things to do when you’ve got millions of lives to dispose of as you will. Enjoy!

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