How to Become a Successful Dictator
Tips on How to Rule the World
How many times have you looked at a picture of a ruthless dictator and thought, I can do that too! And I can do it better! Yes running a nation can be high stress, but the power that comes from being a dictator must feel like an ant carrying a boulder - ever powerful.
In fact, most dictators are in power because they are power addicts, not because they really want to help anyone. Power, money, fame, rock and roll with a few sprinklings of public goods for the masses and some private goodies for a select few is all it takes to rule a nation.
The Winners in a Dictatorship
To be a dictator, you cannot work alone. You need a staff, a chamber of advisers and cronies. You need people that you can pay off to do your dirty work. These people can be part of the military, police force and media and will help spread support, and fear, across the nation so people know they need to be on your side. They need to be. Or else you'll have their heads. Simple.
This winning coalition cannot be too large, because they need to be paid off with niceties. In this world, money goes round, along with material things like cars, and expensive alcohol. Keep these people happy, and they'll spread all the propaganda you want. If you have enough power, even making them mad won't make them defect. However, if there are too many in the winning coalition, there is chance for defection. This means that if one bad seed turns against you they can take your coalition, possibly kill you, and take your power. So keep it simple. Keep the coalition small, and the rewards big.
Select the Selectorate, or People That are Allowed to Vote
A ruler can decide who will vote in his or her nation. If you want only literate people to vote you can do that. If you want only left handed people who can balance on their left hip while doing a yoga plank, you can do that too. Ultimately, you are the creator of the laws of the land, and being that you are a dictator, you have the power to change the laws, throw them out, and rewrite them in the comfort of your bedroom.
Population and Public Goods
Decide what you will do for the general population. Will they have health care? Will they have equal opportunities for employment, education, sewer systems, sewer service...running water? The key is to keep the general population comfortable. Too little and you run the risk of them becoming desperate. A desperate populace with nothing to lose will surely go after the leader. If you give them too much, they could organize against you and kick you out of office, even if you don't grant them voting rights.
Bits of information from the media, a limited education, the option of literacy, basic health care, and basic services will keep most people happy. Also try not to tax the hell out of them. Taxes make people mad, especially if they already have no money. If they want to make more money, they should work both harder and smarter. A government that facilitates hard work is always a good government. You want successful people that think you are not standing in their way. So let them "laissez faire" their lives and let them know you gave them the liberty to live and work.
Mutual Loyalty to the Winning Coalition to the General Population is Key
There could always be a more ruthless dictator than you. Don't kill people for sport, give people what they need to survive comfortably, allow them to ride the free market train, and reward those that help convince the general population that they are living the good life. This is the essence to being a great dictator. Now go, claim your land, and dictate away.
Bad Dictators that Needed Tips
The Logic of Political Survival is a textbook that reads like a manual on how to run a country. Filled with great information, wonderful examples, and awesome statistics. It is my personal bible, and the inspiration behind this article.
Learn what these guys did wrong, and try not to do the same. If you want loyalty, don't throw people in shark infested waters, don't kill people's families, and please, no torture. Its overrated and never works.
You're going to need this to plan your strategy. As a dictator, you don't want to write everything out and type it all up. Write it once, upload it to your computer, and get on with ruling...
...and you'll need LOTS of extra paper to write your constitution and change any pesky laws that don't work with your goals.