Become a tyrant, seize your entitled power, and reign over your new society. Reading or studying this kind of material always provides me with a lot of energy. Plus, it occasionally helps me to beat procrastination. But to make it more interesting: what if we studied them and shifted them into some leadership course? There are some exciting and eye-opening virtues and ethics to be taught here.
I studied the greats I’m the greatest right nowJermaine Lamarr Cole
A friend of mine asked me to go with him to a leadership course that would take three days. A few days earlier, another friend – a guest on our podcast – recommended a Netflix documentary called: How to become a Tyrant, which became an inspiration for me for this article.
I thought that it would be a great opportunity to study the greatest so-called leaders and see what can be learned from them. We will dive deeper into autocracy and the absolute power that comes with them.
Dictatorship vs Democracy
According to Alex Tan, democracy is still the best form of government. Even though democracy has its problems. Plato – a famous philosopher born in 427 B.C. – once said that democracy results in the rule by those with the ability to win votes, but not the wisest with an ability to govern.
Both behold certain truth and carry a load. They both agree that trying to become a tyrant isn’t the best pick either. Many believe that those in control of the discussion will always rule democracy.
Democracy might not be such a bad idea after all if we compare it with dictatorship for instance. Therefore, it’s probably not a good idea to become a tyrant who reigns through terror.
The Dictator’s Handbook
Award-winning political scientist Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith’s authoritative book on political sociology turned conventional wisdom on its head. They started from a single statement:
This book looks at politics in general and is still relevant in 2021. Not only does it explain the behavior of politicians, but it also looks at the behavior of human society in its natural state. Look through the eyes of a dictator to gain the experience of past, future, and present perspectives. Therefore, improving your so-called way of thinking.
The Art of War
Sun Tzu wrote this book centuries ago, and the knowledge is still relevant today. Although most modern warfare doesn’t happen with weapons on the battlefield, it happens between businesses. In this book, Sun Tzu teaches the importance of knowing your enemy and knowing yourself. Add 100 battles on top of that, and you will never be exposed to danger or feel threatened again.
Avoid what is strong, attack what is weakSun Tzu
Take a job interview for instance. Do you want to know how you can be hired? Sun Tzu’s guidebook will by far be your best friend in this situation. You need to know everything about the job interviewer, and about the job that you’re applying to. Sun Tzu also teaches that by studying your opponent, you will know what ‘battle’ you should avoid or simply attack.
Psst.. The 6 SECRET steps of the tyrant’s playbook
There are six steps one must follow in order to become a successful dictator or to become a tyrant. Once you have ensured your place at the top, you need to stay in control. Therefore, you better be on your guard. No one did it better – or to put it differently – more ruthlessly than Saddam Hussein. If you want to dominate your citizens, is it better to be admired or feared?
Idi Amin thought he knew the correct answer to that question. Soviet tyrant Joseph Stalin revised history and used advertisements and restrictions to reshape the truth. Therefore, he banned the freedom of speech and the right to meet others.
Dictator Moammar Gaddafi understood that civil rights had to leave in the reform of society. Taking control is hard, but keeping it is harder. In North Korea, the Kim regime created a way to rule forever by declaring themselves divine.
If you want to know more about all the different steps, I highly recommend you to watch the documentary on Netflix. And I’m not being paid to say that. So, what are those steps? Let’s find out/
In order to become a tyrant, it is important that you are able to seize power and obviously keep it. Dictators do well to encircle themselves with close relations, usually family. The same goes for CEOs. Putting strangers on a board usually changes things at greater risk for a CEO.
Crush Your Rivals
If you plan to become a tyrant, you need to know how to crush your rivals.
To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.Arnold Schwarzenegger
Reign Through Terror
Become a tyrant by taking control and reigning through terror. For example, during the French Revolution, the guillotine became the primary symbol of the reign of terror. It was being used to execute thousands and thousands of people.
Control the Truth
It is important that you take control of the truth if you want to become a tyrant. Most dictators managed to pull this off being in control of the media. They usually spread good and positive messages about themselves.
Create a New Society
If you become a tyrant, you have to create a new society. Preferably one that is secluded from the outside world. One where no one would be allowed to enter or leave the country without permission.
If you have become a tyrant, you probably want to keep things this way. Korea does this with its nuclear weapons program. That way no one dares to touch you or your nation, because they would be too afraid of a nuclear strike.
7 Off the record Dictators
Pol Pot had become a tyrant, Adolf Hitler had become a tyrant, Joseph Stalin had become a tyrant, Idi Amin Dada had become a tyrant, Muammar Gaddafi had become a tyrant, Saddam Hussein had become a tyrant, Kim Jong-Il had become a tyrant.
Pol Pot: Saloth Sar
Pol Pot was born at the beginning of 1925, far before becoming a tyrant. He became a dictator in 1975. Pol Pot changed Cambodia into a one-party state called ‘Democratic Kampuchea.’ To create an agrarian socialist nation that he assumed would develop into a communist society, Pol Pot’s government vigorously relocated the urban residents to the countryside to work on collective farms.
At this stage, he had become a tyrant. He ruled with an iron fist. He was a brutal man responsible for many deaths. Millions of families have been torn apart, over a hundred thousand people were tortured, and he is responsible for the deaths of over 1.5 million people of his own.
Till his death, he was the leader of the red Khmer. Initially, nothing was known about the progression of Pol Pot’s regime, but over time it became clear what was happening in Cambodia. Vietnam invaded Cambodia in 1978 and expelled the Khmer Rouge. Pol Pot fled with thirty thousand Khmer Rouge and nearly one hundred thousand citizens to the border with Thailand and to withstand another twenty years in the jungle. Thailand supported him to use him as a buffer against the Vietnamese.
Der Führer: Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler is probably the most known dictator in centuries who had become a tyrant. His legacy still lives today, and his reign is still being taught at school these days. Hitler gained power in a democratic country. His story began at the end of world war I in 1918.
After the war ended, the economy of Germany collapsed. They had to pay for the recovery of the damage. It was a disgrace for the country, and many Germans felt humiliated. Hitler was good at public speaking, and he is known to be very manipulative, which skyrocketed his leadership.
Things took off when the great depression started overnight after American banks withdrew loans from the banks of Germany. The economy collapsed, and many Germans became furious. Hitler saw that as an opportunity and took advantage of that by scapegoating the Jewish citizens.
He promised that he could restore Germany’s greatness while being able to handle this crisis. He raised fear of a communistic uprising. Hitler claimed that he was the only one to prevent that from happening. There are some valuable lessons to learn about how he had become a tyrant.
Koba: Joseph Stalin
Stalin desired to remove and replace any policies created under the New Economic Policy. The plan, overall, was to transition the Soviet Union from a weak, poorly controlled, agricultural state, into an industrial powerhouse.
Joseph Vissarionovich – better known as Stalin – was the successor of the Marxist Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov – better known as Lenin. Both of them resented capitalism. They believed that capitalism is a volatile economic system that will suffer many ever-worsening crises. For instance, recessions and depressions will lead to even greater unemployment, lower salaries, and progressive suffering among the industrial commonality.
Big Daddy: Idi Amin Dada
The gentle giant or big daddy. Both refer to Idi Amin who was one of the worst dictators of all time. His policies have been marked by the abuse of civil and human rights, political repression, ethnic persecution, illegal killings, corruption, and economic mismanagement.
The number of deaths on his conscience is estimated between 100.000 and 500.000. In 1978. Amin’s invasion of Kagera started the Ugandan-Tanzanian war. The dictator was forced to flee to Libya and Saudi Arabia where he lived until he died of kidney failure in 2003.
Colonel: Muammar Gaddafi
Moammar Mohammed al-Qadhafi – better known as Gaddafi – gained power in a bloodless military coup in 1969. He was a young, handsome, and charismatic army officer who later became the leader of Libya. In 1977 Gaddafi changed Libya into a new socialist state called a Jamahiriya – which means ‘state of the masses.’ During his regime, he had become a tyrant.
Gaddafi grew up in a tent. He was considered idiosyncratic by some, and he liked to be the center of attention. Gaddafi dressed more and more colorfully the longer he was in power. The robes he wore seemed to be descended from traditional African clothing, perhaps emphasizing his position as an essential African leader.
Soldiers, the Amazon Guard. The Amazons had to undergo rigorous training handpicked by Gaddafi. Muammar was also profoundly influenced by socialism and Nasser’s pan-Arab ideology, whom he saw as a mentor figure. He stayed in a Bedouin tent on foreign visits instead of a hotel. Foreign guests – both Arab and Western – were also received in a luxurious tent. At least 15 Amazons always surrounded Qadhafi.
Butcher of Baghdad: Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein was the leader of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, which advocated a combination of both Arab nationalism and socialism. Ba’ath took Iraqi power in 1968 during a coup d’état. The so-called ‘July 17 Revolution’. However, Saddam did not officially come to power until 1979. In positions of power he consistently opted for Sunnis, an Iraqi minority group. Opposition – particularly Shia and Kurds – was crushed.
Arab nationalism and socialism. Ba’ath took Iraqi power in 1968 during a coup d’état. The so-called ‘July 17 Revolution’. However, Saddam did not officially come to power until 1979. In positions of power, he consistently opted for Sunnis, an Iraqi minority group. Opposition – mainly Shia and Kurds – was crushed.
The Beloved Leader: Kim Jong-Il
Word on the street is that Kim Jong-Il was born on the mountain Paektu. At the moment of his birth, a sea monster appeared and started singing followed by winter flowers that grew all over the country. According to many historic, Kim Jong-Il was born in an army camp, and they state that the aforementioned occurrences most likely did not happen.
How does one actually become a tyrant?
This article states some thought-provoking steps to becoming a dictator. As a democratically chosen leader, getting absolute power is not a simple achievement. Simply look at Hitler, or more recently, at Zimbabwe’s Mugabe, Russia’s Putin, or Turkey’s Erdogan.
The article states some helpful tips for a prolonged iron rule. And well, as you may have figured out, it is probably not a great idea to become a tyrant.
Recent history has seen an incredible moment in the war between dictators and democracy—with waves of protests sweeping Syria and Yemen, and despots falling in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya.