One of the things that 2011 brought was the number of dictators who were brought down, particularly in the Arab Spring. Some left quickly, some left after a great deal of international pressure, and some only after their people rose up and fought. It’s been something that has sent chills down the spines of many other dictators around the world.
Just in case my long-term plans to be an absolute dictator actually come into being, I thought I’d jot down my thoughts on what I’d do.
I will not be greedy. A billion dollars taken out of the country is more than enough for anyone’s needs. While I’m at it, I’ll make sure it’s spread around in various accounts, along with keeping an easily transported stash of negotiable bonds, diamonds, and cash handy at all times.
I will not export my “revolution” to other countries. Not only do they take exception to it, they’ll try to do the same thing to me. I’ll keep to my country, they can keep to theirs. That means no military adventurism.
I will not refer to, or think of, the people as my children. If, in a moment of weakness, I do think of them that way, I will think of them as cranky teenagers, and act accordingly.
I will make sure that people are fed, and that there’s work for them. This ensures they will be less likely to try to overthrow me.
I will not have secret prisons or torture my political opponents. I will simply have them arrested and executed quickly and publicly.
I will wear casual clothing, or a suit and tie if it’s a formal occasion. Under no circumstances will I wear a military uniform or some form of “traditional” garb. Not only does it fail to impress anyone, it’s damn uncomfortable. What’s the point of being a dictator if you can’t wear comfortable clothing?
Under no circumstances will I let my children, no matter how much I may love them, run any organization in the country. That particularly means the one who is “a little strange.”
If I have relatives who want a job in my regime, it will be something that takes them out of the country. There’s a lot of countries in this world, and I’ll need ambassadors for places like North Korea or Somalia.
I will not have large statues, paintings, or posters of myself placed everywhere around the country. Not only is the money better used to build my retirement fund, I don’t want people reminded of what I look like in case I have to leave early.
I will not make long, rambling speeches on a daily basis that I force everyone to listen to. One short speech a month is the limit, and only if I really have something to tell them.
I will keep a large, well-documented file of my underlings corruption and abuses of power. I will not keep any records of mine.
I will allow opposition parties to form only when I have sufficient incriminating evidence on their leaders, and let them know that I have it.
I will set a retirement or abdication date early on, even if I don’t announce it. I have no intention of dying in office, and I want to be able to enjoy a nice easy life of luxury without all the hassles of dealing with running a country in my old age. While I’m at it, I’ll make sure that the person who succeeds me is an idiot who will be a complete failure. That way my rule will be remembered fondly.