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On Significant Others

A recent post on our forum shows that even a dictator's spouse may have legacy problems; if you thought that being married to the supreme leader meant your fabulous shoe collection would last forever, you thought wrong, Imelda Marcos.

We discuss spouses and significant others in chapter 2 of The Dictator's Handbook; generally most autocrats wisely keep their loved ones in check, realizing that someone that close to you can easily be the cause of embarrassment or loss of prestige. There are however exceptions. 

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Dick Move #21: Man the Bully Pulpit

Well, they don't call it the bully pulpit for nothing!  You're the head of state and ruler of this land.  You're at the podium, with dozens of reporters' microphones in front of you.  Or you're leading a conference in an international venue, where you've been asked to say a few words on behalf of the conference organizers.  

What do you say? Ahmmy

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Your Legacy Just Went Down the Crapper

In Chapter Thirteen of the Dictator's Handbook, we discuss at length the importance of your legacy, as it is the one thing that will outlive you (besides your dumbass son, who succeeds you and manages to make a royal mess of things). Anyone who doesn't understand the importance of legacy hasn't watched from the afterworld as reporters and rebels alike pawed through the wreckage of Moammar Khadaffi's palaces. Google Condoleezza Rice Porn if you don't believe us.
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Dictator Dislikes: Honesty

One of the things that really irks me about some of my colleagues is their lack of fight. If you want to be a dictator, take the time to do it right! Never give up, even when the walls of your bunker are crumbling around you! And even if your power is all but withered, do not under any circumstances start speaking the truth after years of disseminating agit-prop. Never let the mask drop, ever, or risk ruining your legacy as a top-notch autocrat. Which is why the recent revelations from Vladimir Putin are particularly disappointing.  Continue reading "Dictator Dislikes: Honesty"

On Wild Mobs

I think I'm speaking for most tyrants when I say, "I love a good mob."  Wild masses, incensed, frothing with rage.  They've got burning flags and hastily-scrawled signs whose paint is barely dry.  Men, mostly - unshaven, reeking of khat or opium or cheap beer or wimpy, bar-bottom cigarettes - they're chanting and screaming and threatening all sorts of menace, mayhem, and mischief.

 And best of all: they're not mad at me.

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Dick's Tips: Holidays

Late summer is a slow time for news from abroad. My agents in Washington D.C., for example, mention something about the Labor Day holiday, and then stop sending in reports. You might think this infuriates me, but while it does annoy me a bit, I understand. Everyone needs some time off now and then, and what better time to schedule a vacation than a national holiday? Laugh if you must, but even dictators must take the occasional break. 

That being said, I would remind all you dictators-in-waiting that you can turn national holidays to your advantage. Need to announce unpopular legislation? Send out the press release after 5PM the day before the holiday -- you can be sure no one will notice until they get back (and if you're good it will be too late for anyone to do anything about it). See above for all and sundry, including a) executing popular political prisoners, b) arresting charismatic leaders of protest movements, and c) anything else you can think of.  But by far the best way to exploit the human desire for leisure is to announce or institute holidays that enhance your personality cult or consolidate your bond with the people. Read on. 

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