Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dictatorship...an all or nothing game

As we see the fall of Tunisia's government based on "the people's" revolution in the streets and now Egypt's Mubarrak under pressure for 3 weeks to quit...we are reminded both of the "power of the people" when they unite...and the tenacity of dictators to stay in power.

Dictatorship is an "all or nothing" game. What happens to "retired" dictators?  They sometimes are executed for their lunacies while in power. More often they are "exiled"...usually living on multi millions pilfered from the coffers of their countries. Yet, for all the money they steal, it does nothing for them compared to ...POWER. That is very evident in the ludicrous ploy of "Baby Doc" Duvalier who is now back in Haiti trying to fill the leadership vacuum AGAIN. Duvalier served as dictatorial President of Haiti for 15 years after the death of his father who had ruled for almost 14 years previous. It is quite obvious that "Baby Doc's" return is driven by his greed and potential return to power. Plus, he has already run through the millions he pilfered while in power through drug running and probably outright transfers from government accounts. I doubt his claims of "patriotism" for his country have an ounce of sincerity behind them. It is about the millions he is trying to get out of a Swiss bank account that the Haitian government has tied up against his claims. After all, he has no other experience or knowledge for producing money by hard work.

The cause and effect of tyranny and dictatorship is devastating. Consider Cuba which has been stuck in a time warp since the 50s when it comes to technology, wealth and lifestyle.  Only the government and military has any sense of wealth or prosperity.  Obviously that great "liberator" Castro has played his "all or nothing" game quite well against the most powerful country in the world. It is quite the defeat for my country that our policies towards Cuba have done nothing to limit this guy's delusion for over 50 years. It is just this form of success that inspires OTHER demagogues like Chavez, Daniel Ortega and Morales in Bolivia to carry on their deceitful and irrational leaderships over weak-minded, poor populaces.  It is obvious that it is the lack of education and poverty that spur the masses to believe in these false leaders.  People have short memories for false promises, especially when they are too busy surviving to think about what their leaders are doing. Plus we are suckers for sanctimonious calls on our "patriotism".

The biggest problem in this dictatorship dilemma is...when you take the guy out...who is there to replace him?  Who can the majority trust and vote for who will truly have THEIR best interests at heart?

A family member used to say "the best form of government would be a benevolent dictatorship".  I have grown to think this is what most of the world populace truly wants. They don't want "democracy" or true "free enterprise". They don't want to have to compete or struggle for anything. Most people are "sheep" who just want to be fed and cared for...content to graze wherever they are led. Unfortunately, this is exactly what dictators and power mongers count on to sustain them.  They make just enough promises...and steal just enough...to secure their future and re distribute enough to those who didn't produce it to keep their support and obedience.

As is the cycle of revolution, the masses eventually wake up to their illusion...many times too late or at great cost.  Every empire had had this cycle of leadership...win by benevolence, sustain by violence, and failure by irrelevance.  When the sheep go hungry, they can quickly turn into a "pack of wolves".  This is what we are seeing in many places in the world today. I would argue we are beginning to see this in the USA as well. Big government with entitlements and sustained financial cover ups have put the majority of Americans in peril. We don't know exactly how we got here...but we don't take responsibility and instead blame "our government".  While we probably should to a great degree...we also need to remember that our VOTES put those "leaders" there.

Whether a country is socialistic, democratic or a dictatorship...no system can survive without support of the "sheeple".  With the power of today's social networking and commonality...the masses are now waking up to the realities of their power against the dictators.  I believe many "dictators" are shaking in their boots in these times...while putting their military on standby.  That is always the first panic button pushed in their "all or nothing" game.  It's one thing to use the military paid for by the people to defend their borders...quite another thing to turn that military against the people for a frivolous hold on power. 

Yes...we all need to be concerned about what leadership will fill the vacuum in places like Tunisia and Egypt. Yet, part of revolution that brings positive change is giving someone else a chance. That cannot happen until the old regime is gone for good in this "all or nothing game" of power brokering.

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