Like all couples my wife and I had a bit of a disagreement last night, actually it was full blown row. I won’t bore with the minutia of the disagreement suffice as to say that, like most husbands, I lost. After she threw my dinner in the bin it got me thinking about dictators and the fact that there aren’t any good ones around today, you know, totally evil like a Stalin, Adolf, Poll Pot, Saddam, Casro, Pinochet or a Margaret Thatcher, or … my missus!
Dictators get a bad rap these days. People think that being one is all about crushing your enemies, oppressing the masses and carrying out ethnically targeted genocide campaigns,. OK it is, but then again not really. There’s more to being a dictator than just gassing your own citizens, having your image hanging in every toilet and basically bankrupting the state.
It’s no secret that dictators like to portray themselves as almost superhuman. We’ve all heard about Kim Jong-Il’s unmatched golf game and Chairman Mao’s dolphin-like swimming abilities. Back in 2000, Zimbabwe’s partly state-owned Zimbabwe Banking Corporation announced that Robert Mugabe had unexpectedly won the lottery. In a press release distributed far and wide, the local propaganda department extolled the aging dictator’s brilliance at being randomly selected to win money. The record-breaking amount this wise ruler had managed to snag? $2,600. Now that’s what I call dictatorship.
Today’s supreme lunatic in chief is a toss-up between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un. The fact that Trump was actually elected leads to inevitable questions about the US education system and the dubious wisdom of allowing Americans to vote! Trump has created his own personality cult, has an ego larger than Mount Rushmore and has fired his enemies. Even Putin thinks he’s a bit much!!!!
But right now there are two Kims that daily fill our news. There’s Korean madman, Kim Jong-Un, and then there’s American mad woman Kim Kardashian, the reality star who’s married to tone deaf karaoke singer Candy West. It can be kind of tough to keep track of who’s who. Kim Kardashian’s life is a total roller coaster; Kim Jong-Un isn’t tall enough to ride on one. Kim Kardashian’s favourite movie is called Failure to Launch; Kim Jong-Un’s nuclear program is called Failure to Launch …. though he is thinking of renaming it ‘Failure to Reach!’
But here’s the thing. I‘ve had a bit of a volte-face and can proudly announce that I am no longer anti-dictator. Yes it’s true. After all, it’s pretty well known that the CIA and MI6 have been installing friendly dictators around the world for donkey’s years and it hasn’t done anybody any harm has it? So just imagine if our western nations actually turned away from the bankruptcy of democracy and instead turned towards the virtues of dictatorships? They could let 1% of the people be in possession of the entire nation’s wealth. They could help their rich friends get richer by cutting their taxes. They could bail them out whenever they gambled and lost, evade prison for white collar corruption and evade paying taxes by hiding their wealth in designated tax havens. They could ignore the needs of the poor for health care, decent housing, real jobs and education. The media could appear free, but would secretly be controlled by rich families and their off- spring. They could listen in on private telephone calls, torture foreign prisoners and conduct rigged elections. They could lie about why they go to war, and could use the media to scare the people into supporting policies that are against their interests.
Yes indeed, the benefits of dictatorship are endless. In actual fact, I cannot believe that none of our democratically inclined politicians or faceless bureaucrats have never thought of this before, can you??
16th July 2017