Dictators are bizarrely stupid

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by birch, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. birch Valued Senior Member

    Think about it, has there ever been a smart dictator? Most are very one-dimensional and dull in their 'vision'.

    Consider Kim Jong Un. You have that much power over your land and people and all you can think of doing is bluffing other countries about that tired old song and dance of the proverbial male dick measuring contest and eating like a pig while your citizens starve. That is so passe and so overdone and so.. goddamn lame.

    When he could be using that power to think of a new utopia to create truly. He has the power to decide what elements he will allow to influence his society which is a rare and beautiful opportunity. A society that can choose to exclude the negative trashy elements of modern mainstream culture etc but incorporate helpful and needful elements his people need and could benefit from yet it remains a typical hellhole. A society you can mold from scratch. A society where you make law that a star trek series always be in production for the betterment of society, for example and exclude/ban kardashian bullshit etc or elements that would dumb down or taint your society. You can't do that with other societies. If dictators were really spectacular visionaries once they get that position, they could do a lot of good. They could make a society that could be a better example for others. they could be and so something truly 'revolutionary'.

    Those who gain power does not mean they are best for the job. It means just that, they are good at gaining power. Again, i have to blame nature. It's pretty damn stupid.
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  3. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

    Unfortunately nature is NOT an entity

    Also there is not a dumb dictator gene we could possibly manipulate and modify into a smart dictator

    And natural selection does not seem to have an handle on dumbness or dictators which could delete them from the gene pool

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  5. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    Well to become a dictator and stay in power you would need to be pretty smart.

    Although not elected they would still need to curry favour within their government structure...and sure they probably rule by fear and that would bring its own problems.

    sideshowbob likes this.
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  7. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

    Compared to what?
  8. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    To create a good and society, you need co-operation from all the people, and they have to be willing to defer individual gratification for the commonweal.
    It could be done, in theory, and has been partly done in practice, but it's labour-intensive and time-consuming, and the leader doesn't just have to be clever,
    he or she has to be subtle, persuasive, a good organizer, persistent and an excellent judge of character, then delegate authority.

    To create a dictatorship, all you need do is appeal to the basest drives of the worst people.
    A narcissist, with the support of a few thousand macho shitheads (and lots of cheap ammo), can do it on very little brain-power.
    Of course, it helps to inherit a repressive military/intelligence structure and a fearful populace.
    To wreck a society is fast and easy.
    That's why evil always wins.
  9. birch Valued Senior Member

    if that's an example of intelligence, then intelligence needs to be re-defined, doesn't it? because that's pathetic.

    I wouldn't consider lying and decieving your way to the top because that is usually the tactic would-be dictator gets to power by promising good to the public if starting from scratch (not rubbing elbows with beauracracy in place or nepotism) and then once you get there use that as a platform to just hog resources for yourself, and throw your weight around for ego and instilling terror in your people, intelligent. that is an extremely unevolved scumbag of the lowest order.

    this could go in so many tangents. the concept of 'smart.' evidently virtually worthless by itself.

    btw, that's not what i mean by 'smart' evidently by the op. your concept of smart is very basic: cunning,. and cunning is most employed by those who don't have real smarts or qualifications. think about it. cunning is only justified as self-defense or in cases of actual need, not as an actual goal because you are using deceit and aren't legitimate.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  10. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    While you're at it, you might as well re-define pathetic.

    Hint: Something you don't like isn't necessarily stupid or pathetic.
  11. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    An initial or founding autocrat might have some options for rational thought. But his paranoid future heirs (biological, political, or both) can be purely interested in self-survival. If they deviate from traditional policies and don't present a strongman image, then other in-line family or party members will depose them (probably in a fatal manner, if not exile); or disappointed military chiefs may deliver a coup.

    And the population in general must be variously intimidated by dire consequences and manipulated by propaganda. Because if ever allowed enough legroom for armed revolution or potent voting, the angry masses would brutally pay-back the "current resident of the throne" for all the accumulated (but suppressed) grudges and revenge impulses built-up against his predecessors.

    Or so the neurotic fears of ruling "heirs" go in terms of what they imagine happening: That they would be a Saddam Hussein hanging at the end of a rope or a Muammar Gaddafi ripped by bullet crossfire. In reality, the citizens of a few of these "fiefdoms" might be domesticated enough that they don't have the starch to carry on an extended effort to disembowel a part bastard / part scapegoat. But allow him to negotiate his escape by giving up control without further bloodshed and his taking infernal flight from Dodge City.
  12. birch Valued Senior Member

    But this isn't strictly the case. For instance, Kim Jong Un, can still be dictator and take care of his people better. That doesn't mean spoiling the public either. When you step in, that is the time to show you may improve the situation. You can alleviate most resentment or even past grudges that would eventually take you out by taking better care of your people and especially if they see that their children etc will have a better future.

    I am saying it isn't very intelligent because it's unbalanced and will surely eventually lead to the demise of a society. To rule with fear and scarcity is a poor strategy because your life is in greater danger, besides, it's not just about you when you are leading a country. yes, that is stupid.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  13. birch Valued Senior Member

    then that's beyond pathetic, it's insane. to be as the top leader of a country and people and to use it at as a ruse/platform to just live on the hog must be a pretty damn stupid person. You have all that opportunity and you can't even see that or utilize it for betterment because of such a primitive and immature narrow-minded focus on the self. a joke.
  14. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    You are probably correct.
    Few could handle the power without going off the rails.
    But as you define latter its a cunning really.
  15. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Like his older half-brother, Kim Jong-un would have been exiled early on and eventually dead if he had shown signs of straying from his father and grandfather's legacy. The state's customized ideology of Juche places great emphasis on the country's independence and self-reliance, with national funds accordingly spent on self-defense before lesser items and concerns (like improving the welfare of average North Koreans).

    After the great disappointment of Kim Jong-nam[*], the youngest son of supreme leader Kim Jong-il was groomed to be a "a chip off the old block, a spitting image of his father in terms of face, body shape, and personality ... never admitting defeat"; and the transitional propaganda introduced Kim Jong-un with that quality of spirit to the people. To back out or deviate from that portrayal right out of the starting gate, in a reverse-policy direction, would have been suicide.

    The quick progress in missile development, a bold showing of strength in standing up to the West and USA, the numerous political purges like executing his own uncle and eradicating all of the latter's near-family members... All were coordinated to demonstrate that Kim Jong-un was not only the equal of his exalted father, but would surpass him in accomplishments as the new torch-bearing upholder of the priorities in Juche ideology.

    - - - - - - -

    [*] Another middle son was passed over as successor because, according to one source, Jong-chul was "no good because he is like a little girl".
  16. wellwisher Banned Banned

    The old fashion form of government, composed of royalty, were essentially dictators. Since the top leadership stayed in the family, and their offspring started with all the advantages. The result was every now and then, a benevolent dictator would appear.

    The new fashion dictators, try to create the same type of government. The main difference is they don't have the symbolic right of passage, which helps to integrate and appease their subjects. Instead they need to establish this, using extra fear mongering, to prime the pump, until they can establish the throne for their future offspring; N Korea.
  17. The God Valued Senior Member

    They just cannot handle (efficiently) prolonged internal threat to their authority.

    Subjects have also become very demanding, thanks to awareness and technological advancement.

    And then there is either uncle Sam or grand uncle Putin to fuel unrest or create false propaganda unrest, depending on their interests.

    So, you know, lack of merit to handle the situation in such complex scenario with active subjects and couple of uncles around, make them look stupid or bad.
  18. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    You should learn what the words "stupid", "pathetic" and "insane" mean.
    You should also learn that "betterment" is only your own subjective opinion.
  19. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    The two politicians which I would name smart have been named "dictators". The criterion I use here is not that some sort of "smartness" one needs anyway to reach a position of power, independent of the system. It is the quite subjective criterion that it is interesting to hear/read some of their speeches/texts, some of them being interesting enough to rehear/reread them.

    First, the Pope Benedict XVI of the Catholic Church, who has written a lot of highly intellectual texts. Quite interesting speeches: The Regensburg speech, and the speech in the Deutsche Bundestag. Second, Putin. Interesting speeches: Again, in the Deutsche Bundestag, and then the speech in Munich.

    Comparable intellectual capacities in the past: The US founding fathers. What else? Churchill has written some books about history, but I have to admit that I have not read them, so cannot tell if they are worth something. Lenin, Trotzki, Bucharin, Stalin, Mao? Not really impressive, low quality even in comparison with Marx. I have read Ota Sik, one of the leading politicians of the CSSR 1968, not worth to reread too.
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    To protect oneself from underestimating the intelligence of someone who has seized power by their own efforts, take a long look at what happened to their enemies who made that mistake.
  21. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Becoming a dictator is about being a thug. It's got nothing to do with intelligence. Some are probably very smart and some are not. Most intelligent people would probably not aspire to become a dictator. When it's the family business they may however.

    The current N. Korea dictator doesn't appear to be very smart. The dictator of Syria is a doctor so there is at least some (presumable) intelligence there (but maybe not as I'm sure his entrance was not based on academic achievements).

    Some people may be intelligent enough but just misguided ideologically (Castro). Being a dictator is also corrupting in and of itself. Staying in power can take all of their energy (and staying alive). Jordan is ruled by a fairly benevolent dictator.

    Being a fairly non-corrupt leader is more the exception rather than the rule anyway. It's only in Western Europe, limited parts of N. America and a few countries in Asia where there is even much concern given to those not in power.
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The intelligence of someone who has seized power at the State level by their own efforts is underestimated by the unwary only.

    Becoming a dictator is about being the winning thug - the one who beat all the other thugs. If the role wasn't inherited, that victory was probably not luck.
  23. birch Valued Senior Member

    How do you know its his immediate beauracratic supporters and not mostly his father?

    What makes you think he has to tow the line like his father? Many were afraid of him and brainwashed. Do you mean that there are powers behind the throne that want world war three or to antagonize other nations? I doubt everyone does and it would be mostly chief himself.

    Im not buying this one-way, narrow, fatalistic dilemma that paints kim jong un as a victim of his government with no other solution or gradual modification of his country.

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