Jan 6, 2009

How to Recognise an Authoritarian - PART IV

And in the final Chapter:

17. TRUST NO ONE


No authoritarian can depend on anyone, lest some of their accrued power slip away from them. They must then insist on absolute obedience as the prerequisite for continued favor. By eliminating individual initiative, the authoritarian creates a well-honed political machine.

But authoritarian "trust" is based purely on continued right-think (obedience to the autocrat). Dissenters must always be swiftly purged.

18. NEVER COMPROMISE

Authoritarians have colossal egos, and rely on their enormous self-confidence for sustenance. Thus, they see compromise as weakness. The authoritarian idea of "compromise" is you accepting their proposition, rather than them accepting yours. It's a one-way street.

19. ANYONE WHO ISN'T WITH YOU IS AGAINST YOU

Obedience is what authoritarians expect from others. They are absolutely intolerant of dissenting views, and will view anyone who disagrees with them unfavorably. There are only two classes of people to the authoritarian -- followers and enemies. If you aren't the former, you must be the latter.

Much of this stems from their utilitarian ethos. If they can't use or manipulate you, then you are their enemy. Authoritarians believe there is their way of doing things, and the wrong way of doing things.

20. NEITHER FORGIVE NOR FORGET

The successful authoritarian avoids cooperation and reciprocity whenever possible, because these are the traits of a weakling. If you must appear to cooperate, feign it, but don't take it to heart.

Your purpose is to favorably leverage yourself against everyone else, so you must not let any slights go unpunished, lest you be put in a position of weakness relative to your rivals.


21. GET MAD AND GET EVEN

If someone has the nerve to cross you, get fired up. Positively explode with rage. This works wonders with regard to quelling dissent in your group, as it creates the necessary fear which is the grease that keeps an authoritarian machine running smoothly. Fear works wonders in soliciting obedience, so the more you're questioned or challenged, the more tantrums you should throw!

These tantrums are a result of the rest of the world failing to see that the would-be leader is infallible, which produces enormous frustration in the autocrat-in-training. They know they're perfect, but when you don't see it, they get so mad!

22. AVOID HUMOR

Humor of any form is anti-authoritarian, because it pokes fun at the sacred and untouchable, and provides a satisfying release of emotion in the seditious form of laughter. Autocrats are a humorless breed. They take themselves very seriously, and if you laugh at them, they will hate you for it.

The only permissible jokes for the would-be authoritarian are those that are at others' expense -- jokes which demean, denigrate, or humiliate others. They like those kinds of jokes; anything else is not to be tolerated. Make no mistake: humor and merriment is seditious -- it erodes authority.

23. THAT WHICH CAN'T BE USED IS USELESS

Autocrats are utilitarians; they judge good and bad in terms of that which they can use and that which they cannot use. This explains why they shift alliances so often -- why today's trusted comrade is tomorrow's political exile! When you are no longer useful to the authoritarian, you are bad.

Ergo, anything which they cannot use, manipulate, twist, or distort, is useless, and must be done away with entirely. They won't phrase it that way, course, but will seek to appeal to "reason." Witness the Qarase court ruling (Fiji Times PDF) as a very good example of this. And Aiyass's continued harping about how the regime is so "misunderstood".

That's why authoritarians gut democracy whenever it rears its "ugly head" -- popular self-rule is absolutely useless to an aspiring despot, so it's to be rendered ineffectual at the earliest possibility, lest things get out of hand!
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So ragone, there you have it ..... Reading between the lines like Driti does everyday, I think Baini seems to be wanting to hang onto his throne for quite a while yet hmmmm ? .... I am yet to be convinced otherwise.

2 comments:

FijiGirl said...

Vinaka DeBu! Excellent piece, really excellent. You've nailed the mentality of not only Vore but every other tin pot authoritarian dictator in history.
One other thing about dictators and democracy - were you aware that no two democracies in the history of the world have ever gone to war with each other? Not only is Vore gambling with the future of our beloved nation, he is also putting us in real danger of going onto a war footing with our neighbours. The ******.

Tim said...

The good thing about authoritarians is that when banded together, they eventually get offside with one another. That old "if you aren't with me then you must be against me" thing kicks in, along with their lying and general dishonesty. When it does, it can be a lovely spectacle - especially when the main protagonists in an authoritarian regime aren't that bright to begin with. The bad thing is that they usually put a whole heap of other innocents through complete misery.
Sometimes I wonder whether a bullet wouldn't be the expedient thing (not being Catholic, I could probably handle the guilt), but in order to carry through, I'd probably need as high opinion of myself as Frank or Bubba has. But then, on second thoughts, I don't have any problem dealing to fleas