Tyranny

I was thinking about the news one recent day, and I started to wonder why so many dictatorships spend so much time, money, and energy suppressing their populations. I thought something like “if I had any urge to be a tyrant, I’d prefer to be the absolute ruler of a rich nation than a poor one, as there would be many more resources and fun things for me to own and do than otherwise.”

As I continued mulling on this concept, I realized that if the citizens subjects were convinced that they were actually free, then they wouldn’t even be a threat to my rule, not realizing that they were being oppressed. In fact, only really stupid dictators wouldn’t see this; the ones who saw the world from a zero-sum perspective.

It struck me immediately that if I could think of this, then many smarter and more ambitious people had to have already not only thought of this, but implemented it, and I should be able to look around the world and see evidence of this in existing countries.

Suddenly, and sadly, the history of U.S. foreign and domestic policy since the end of the second world war made a lot more sense.

Believe me, I know how paranoid this sounds, I don’t claim it’s objectively true, and I don’t plan to haul this theory out at get-togethers for the rest of my life. I just wanted to type it out to get it out of the cabinet of curiosities that is my subconscious mind.

Author: Jorah Lavin

I grew up in New England, moved to the Carolinas in '98 to start working at what was then a large regional bank and is now a really big nationwide bank. I work doing intranet content management and intranet site management for said bank. After work, I watch movies & eat. I started knitting years ago in order to take a break from my school work. I haven't stopped yet. I'm also learning to spin. I blog about knitting on A Tinker's Damn: http://jorahlavin.wordpress.com/

  • Cat Hannah

    Sadly, at this point, they are starting to get greedy about the bread. Circuses we have aplenty.

  • Christine

    The US operates on a Real Politik basis. (And then gets upset, and accuses everyone else of cheating, for not playing along and pretending that that’s how the world works.)

    • JorahLavin

      They play dirty while pretending to be moral icons. It’s like Darth Vader dressed up as Captain America…