A satirical rulebook for revolutionary leaders (dictators).
|Those who have already achieved enlightened leadership will benefit most from this guide. Instability is expected after the success of a glorious revolution. Or even when continuing the work of your recently assassinated predecessor. This guide offers advice not in gaining power, but keeping it. Aspiring revolutionary leaders are also invited to read this in preparation for opportunities to turn earth into the only heaven worth pursuing: utopia.
Enlightened leaders have often become history’s most hated figures. Political innovators like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot shared enlightened philosophies with more trendy celebrity revolutionaries: Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, and Hugo Chavez, for example. The first group is remembered unfairly. Their legacies have been shaped by the outside world’s obsession with irrelevant collateral damage, and minor setbacks to utopia such as unavoidable scarcities of resources. Thankfully, at least Guevara, Castro, and Chavez have been rightfully cemented into the identity of revolutionaries through an array of mass-produced apparel and souvenirs, pop-culture references, and the admiration of millions whose lives revolve around political revolution. These one-dimensionally enthusiastic and infinitely energetic people can be very beneficial to your good cause when used correctly, as you will soon see.
But why is it that half of these political geniuses were given generous depictions in our textbooks of modern history and in public opinion in general, while the others were cruelly dismissed as failed experiments by the traitors who supported them until they were unpopular? In practice, the leaders listed above all worked admirably at what they had always aimed to do. What separated dreamers into winners and losers in the public’s eye? The solution to the problem of unfair public perception: creative public relations.
Of course, by public relations I mean in nations that haven’t gained the freedom from choice that your people enjoy. If you are doing your duty as a protector of the people, your government already controls all access to media. Even better, your government may even serve as your internal media source, removing the need for information that might carry the corrupting influence of free market thought. Naming your media outlet The Truth may, as shown in the USSR, improve the outside world’s perception of your perception of your people’s perception of the credibility of your outlet.
As far as public relations in terms of friends from the outside world, this is where sometimes inexperienced yet absolutely devoted revolutionaries play a part, even if all they are willing to do is praise your work. This is a strength, not a weakness in your foreign constituency. In your utopia, all that is needed to maintain your precise and delicate system is force applied where needed. Alongside the correct and appropriate opinions that will naturally form under your guidance, this compassionate yet stern use of force will help to embed into your people the necessary attributes for the effective Utopian worker: gratitude for and obedience to you.
Unfortunately for the masses influenced by free market culture, words alone are a more widely accepted way to influence mass opinion than violent revolution. It is true that an environment so supportive of the chaos of free thought is disgustingly repulsive. Remember that despite this, it is one of your most valuable, if not the most valuable platform you have for influencing outside opinion in your favor. Through the mouths of masses looking for a cause that will never become boring, you can increase outside acceptance of your unorthodox methods of leadership. More importantly, you can prepare those under the regime of the free market to transfer the horrible burdens of free choice and free thought to those responsible enough to handle them. Namely, you.
It may surprise you how many of those you consider your enemies are willing to help you. Some are willing to devote their entire lives to helping you, given the opportunity. If this surprises you, it should not. There are many who are open-minded enough to consider a political system that rightfully despises open-mindedness. Disciples of the ideal system despise it for good reason. Open-mindedness, free choice, and free thought are only temporary means to a glorious end. These means should be manipulated to create an artificial environment so perfectly planned that they are no longer needed. By “no longer needed” I mean that the system you introduce to the world will not be able to exist alongside these, at least not within your own borders. If you are ever in a position to eliminate another nation’s borders and unite the area under your uni-color red flag, do this, as it will be beneficial both to you and the cause as a whole. Remember that those in the outside world, especially those who try to help you, do not always think this far, or even care. Be sure to exploit this advantage. Do this and you can reliably conserve support for your government. Just as importantly, you can reserve for yourself a positive representation in the history books of tomorrow.
You will find that you can usually rely on outside elements of society to uphold the good image of your often misunderstood cause. Regardless, perfect maintenance and promotion of your utopia require you to exercise the right that your people have given you to make good decisions on behalf of every single one of them. These decisions do not concern the economy, because you have already carefully manufactured your economy, and no changes are needed to an already perfect machine. Any mishaps can correctly be attributed to human error in spite of the perfect system in place. The decisions you will have to make will also not concern morality, because if you have done your job you’ve already made all of the necessary moral decisions for the people under your protection. The decisions you will make are much harder than these throw-away issues. You will decide which workers require special privileges, powers, and treatment in order to selflessly serve their nation in the name of utopia. Just as often you will decide which workers require gentle warnings, extra persuasion, and permanent removal from their environment. In the name of utopia.
Chances are that the remains of old-fashioned thought remain in pockets of your population. You must protect your people from corrupting influences, and more importantly from the ability to corrupt. Similarly, the outside world also needs protection from damaging lies about the nature of your perfect system, perpetrated by “sunshine soldiers” of the revolution. Good leaders with bad reputations have shown what not to do in reaction to these harmful elements. For example, Stalin recognized that offshoots like Trotsky could not be allowed to do damage outside his own borders. But while having an ice-cutting tool put into a traitor’s brain may be beneficial to the cause, this approach by itself is hardly a reliable or popular strategy. Balance between types of strategy is needed; when possible, quietly re-educate unruly elements until they can see for themselves that you have always had their best interests in mind.
However, if someone does beyond a doubt need to be ice-picked, or if you desperately need an unauthorized vacationer pulled off of his raft and sent back to the safety of your borders, rest assured that outside elements will always be there to fairly explain, or even praise your actions. On that note, remember that you are not alone in your struggle. Many before you have tried to achieve and protect utopia, and a few are still trying alongside you. It may take a few more goes, with minor mistakes made along the way. But someday, someone will finally make utopia run as smoothly as the management of your private fortune.