A plan for a hasty retreat....

Posted by Tandarin Nike Monday, April 19, 2010 12:35 AM
The problem with being a tyrannical dictator is that there is no career path and no practical way to retire.

If another dictator takes over, the first item on his agenda is turning your head into a bird feeder for his guest house. If democracy breaks out, sooner or later the mob will want to execute you for crimes against humanity.

As a tyrant, your only rational strategy is continued brutal suppression of your peeps. That's a lot of work for the tyrant, and no fun for the peeps.

What the world needs is a program that allows graceful retirement for tyrants, so they have some incentive to step aside. Justice would never be served, but it would be best for the country.

I imagine the tyrant retirement program would provide some sort of international security guarantees and permanent amnesty for the tyrant.

That might require some U.N. forces to guard his mansion or island fortress or wherever he decides to retire. And he would have unrestricted travel rights, in case he wanted to get out of the country for his own safety.

Second, the tyrant would be written into the history books as some sort of founding father type.

He would be, ironically, the father of democracy, having stepped aside to allow it to happen. The history books would be modified to show the tyrant did many good things in terms of national stability, and then stepped aside to allow democracy to flourish.

His multiple genocides would be downplayed. No tyrant wants to get bad press after retiring.

The tyrant would also be allowed to keep much of the money he stole, say up to a limit of $4 billion per tyrant. That's enough to keep him in helicopters and hookers.

You could add some extras, such as putting the tyrant on stamps and currency, or agreeing to keep him on the ones already in circulation. The point is that retirement has to look like a safe and honorable thing.

The story line for the country would be that while a dictatorship made sense while the tyrant was in power, it only worked because of the force of his amazing personality.

And since his country couldn't be expected to find another dictator of such compassion and skill, democracy is the best succession strategy.

This spin might sound preposterous, but when you consider the things your own government tells you, it's not that different.

I know it will never work. But waiting for tyrants to die takes too long, and killing them is too expensive.

Ask those who have been there.

There has to be a better way.

Any takers?

7 Response to "A plan for a hasty retreat...."

  1. rashmi singh Says:

    Thoughtful post-really made me to introspect!

  2. Tandarin Nike Says:

    Thank you Rashmi. One of the most serious questions troubling many of us is the degree to which tyranny must inevitably be an aspect of the prevailing governments even under the garb of democracy. Frankly tell me, is it possible for a state to be creative and effective without abusing the civil rights of its citizens today? This post is a simple but a bit humour ridden way out for these abusive creatures to retreat with some virtual dignity.

  3. shivani Says:

    Tandarin i often question the other way round-who or what makes tyrants...it is Charisma or what...what gets them this enormous power?"Man is born free but everywhere in chains" remember!.Some amount of restrictions...rules...discipline is neccessary but tyranny of any kind i fail to understand what gets it going...isn't it more a responsibility of people not to let anyone become too powerful because "absolute power corrupts absolutely".In fact tyranny exists in all garbs be it Govt...home and i too have spoken about mute submission of a kind of Tyranny in my blog Triya Charitra or Paurushheen...ignore the bollywood clips if you must but surely request some inputs from you...will help me.Thanks

  4. Tandarin Nike Says:

    Shivani, thanks for your comment. The word "tyrant" carries connotations of a harsh and cruel person who places his or her own interests or the interests of a small group of his/her supporters over the best interests of the general population which the tyrant governs or controls with unrestrained cruelty.
    These are extremely creative people who probably are genetically wired wrong in their mental domain. Probably their upbringing also could be questionable.
    The indescribable cruelty restricts people to intervene or organize a counter measure good enough to topple the tyrant. With unrestricted power, most tyrants were uncontrollable; they easily became violent and thus extremely mean despots. To make matters worse they were invariably surrounded by sycophants.
    As you are well aware, their cruelty would even extend all the way to his/her personal family where he/she could subject his/her own kith and kin with mortification.
    Personally speaking, these are self centered people, and that, therefore, they had to justify their unrestricted power. The sad thing is that many tyrannical leaders like Adolf Hitler or Benito Mussolini destroyed their own creativity through the excesses of their tyranny.
    In the context of the modern world, tyrants are over exposed through covert and unrestricted dispersal of information through available media etc. Probably tyrants today are looking out for ways and means to avoid prosecution or even death if subjected through a court of law. My post was in good humor to let these despots vanish quietly from the scene ushering in democracy wherein power is balanced and controlled.

  5. shivani Says:

    Thanks get ur point and let's hope on humour being that jeannie that brings in power that is balanced and controlled.
    And you gave me so many points too:
    a)cruelty
    b)fear
    C)self-centerdness
    d)media
    e)sycophants
    i guess the top 3 can hold for my enquiry on domestic despots and maybe sycophancy too...thanks again for being so patient with ur explanation.It helps :)

  6. Thought(s) of an old man Says:

    One or other form of cruelty has a sanction in every religion and every society basically develops on one or other religion. That makes tyranny unavoidable.

    There is a tyrant in every human mind; expression depends on various factors, which when conducive, a real tyrant is born.

    I am yet to see a society without greedy and self serving people at the helm, democracy or otherwise. That makes me think human life, as yet, is not even half evolved!

  7. Tandarin Nike Says:

    Bhavaji, that’s very well said. There will never be a society for sure without tyrants, greed or selfishness. Moreover, with religion regressing to dirty levels instead of progressing, humans probably will never fully evolve in our life time as you rightly pointed out.

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