The Tactics Of Tyrants

     They’re remarkably consistent – and the failure of common folk to notice the patterns is incredibly tragic.

     Good morning, Gentle Readers. No, I haven’t been posting much lately. I’m 90% finished with Novel #17 (soon to be ignored at an ebook vendor near you!) and have been flogging myself to stay focused on that particular albatross around my neck…and say, isn’t it weird that in golf, whereas an “eagle” is to go two under par on a hole – quite an achievement – going three under par – a truly incredible feat – is called an “albatross?” But I digress. Anyway, most of what I write about here involves patterns and connections that occur to me but that others might not see. This morning I’ve been musing about one that’s relevant to our current national nightmare.

     The tyrant is less interested in the well-being of his subjects than he is in maintaining his power. That’s practically the defining characteristic of the species. But the typical tyrant doesn’t rule “in a vacuum.” The existence of tyrant-level power gives rise to competition: i.e., the emergence of other tyrant-wannabes who seek to displace the Maximum Leader and take his throne for their own. Such persons are usually no better than the reigning tyrant, and are often worse (cf. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov and Iosef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili). The point is that a tyrant who wants to remain alive and in power (departure from office is usually feet-first, in a pine box) must be aware of those persons’ existence, whether actual or potential.

     However, it’s unwise for the reigning tyrant to admit openly to the existence of such competitors. The public might start making comparisons. This is considered hazardous to the whole tyrant occupation…which, incidentally, is always over-subscribed, so unemployed folks in the audience shouldn’t get any ideas. (Try the window for “philosopher-kings.”) So while the Big Dude must be aware of those who would like to replace him, he’s unlikely to mention them in any of his public orations.

     However – and this too is an essential feature of the quasi-successful tyrant – there must be an enemy to blame for whatever ails his subjects. That figure must be someone other than himself, of course. It must also be someone the subjects cannot fight on their own hook: i.e., someone whose threat to the nation can only be thwarted by the tyrant, his genius, and the resources, both human and material, he appropriates from his people.

     This results in a state of perpetual militarization. War is the tyrant’s favorite pastime. Even if there are no threats at the borders and his forces need never fire a shot, maintaining that “There’s a war on” provides a rationale for anything and everything else he might do, including – of course! – the suppression of all opposition to him and criticism of his policies. Subjects are encouraged to monitor one another and to report deviations from conformance to the decrees of Der Fuhrer. One never knows who might be an enemy agent…yea verily, even within one’s family.

     (A compelling dissonance arises here. In the usual case, the tyrant’s border guards are more concerned with keeping subjects in than with keeping outsiders out. Were there real external threats to be countered, you’d think all those guns would be pointed the other way…but no. It’s for the greater good, don’t y’know. Anyway, the needs of the State come first.)

     Now, throughout all the previous drivel runs an unspoken assumption, to wit: that the “enemy,” fictitious though it may be, has the form and aspect of Man. That is, it’s driven by human wills, human ambitions, and human intentions. Adversary regimes, their armies, infiltrators, and other “enemies of the realm” have traditionally been of that sort.

     But it need not be so, and the year-plus just behind us proves it. The Wuhan Virus has proved eminently suitable for the thoroughgoing regimentation of the American people. “Clearly,” we were told, only a nationwide suspension of Americans’ God-given rights, plus an imposition of warding rituals meticulously designed and decreed by the all-knowing health bureaucrats in Festung Washington, would serve to thwart this Twenty-First Century Plague! What’s that? You disbelieve in the lethality of the Kung Flu? You demand to operate your business, to socialize as you always have, and to walk about freely? Enemy of The People! Fine him into bankruptcy! Lock him up before he can infect you or me!

     Comparisons between the attitude of the freedom-minded Donald Trump and that of the power-obsessed Usurper Regime are left as an exercise for my Gentle Readers.

     (Sorry folks. I don’t have any icecreams, I’ve just got this albatross. But do have a nice day.)