Skip to content now carrying Dictator feeds!

Little-known secret: our forum uses a technology developed to carefully share and allow access to information long before something called the "World Wide Web" was a sparkle in a Swiss eye. In sum, Usenet. If you don't know what that is, young'un, just go back to Tweeting and step away from the keyboard. And let the grownups take care of the adult conversation.

For the rest of you, the entire Dictators Handbook forum is now accessible over usenet from, established by the late Alexander Bartolich (RIP). There's a guy whose understanding of the usefulness of a federated, widely-distributed, semi-unregulated forum is what the Internet was all about.

Stay tuned while Dictator's Handbook becomes the place to discuss totalitarianism, no matter where you are. NNTP for the win, ya bastages!

On Going Down with the Ship

In chapter 13 of our book, we thoroughly covered all things legacy with respect to dictators, from passing on your rule to suitable offspring to setting up monuments reflecting your glory for posterity. And much more -- including an idea that is unfortunately all too attractive to tyrants who are losing their grip on power. When that happens, tearing your world down around you as you fall, damn the collateral damage, becomes a way of spitting back at a hostile universe, one last time (for example, see the last days of Hitler as noted in Ian Kershaw's Hitler: 1936–1945: Nemesis, p. 785). Of course, this cements your legacy as a monster for the ages, but perhaps that's what many dictators aspire to in the first place. 

Are there any recent examples? Maybe; certainly Bashar Assad appears to be inching toward armageddon, as recent reports indicating the use of chemical weapons suggest. It's hard to divine his motives, beyond mere survival, but it looks as if Assad may soon enter a downward spiral that will ensure his legacy is more than simply rotten. Perhaps he thinks 'monster for the ages' has a nice ring to it.  

Final cocktails