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Why is it that it takes only one person to control millions of people?

  1. Joan King profile image72
    Joan Kingposted 5 years ago

    Why is it that it takes only one person to control millions of people?

    Hitler was able to kill millions of  Jews almost single handedly. Dictators around the world are able to control millons of people murdering and keeping them in poverty and fear, and in so called democratic countries, the 1% tramples the 99% . Why is it that masses of people fear and succumb so easily and readily to a big bully? 


  2. profile image58
    zatavuposted 5 years ago

    Humans are a species of ape, and one of our closest relatives are chimpanzees. If we look to their social structures, we can understand why people continue to prefer dictators.

    In a chimpanzee troop, there is an alpha male whose rule is enforced by a coalition of other males. Dictators similarly rule with a small number of close associates who helped him become dictator and who continue to support him. On the other side, we humans are psychologically most comfortable in a similar hierarchical network structure, whether or not we are personally the alpha, and despite the fact that large-scale societies are best when decentralized and self-organizing. Our preference for hierarchical networks are not a problem at small scales such as families or institutions, but it is a problem when we try to make societies into hierarchical networks.

    Thus, we tend to support dictators and other leaders because we are apes, and dictators tap into our ape psychology.

  3. d.william profile image75
    d.williamposted 5 years ago

    One person can not control millions of people on their own. 
    They bribe and threaten a few that become their henchmen.  Then these henchmen coerce, kill, maim, and threaten everyone else into submission.  This is where, and when, the mass control actually begins in earnest.

    1. Shido profile image61
      Shidoposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Good example of Stalin and what became Communist Russia and China!

  4. Joan King profile image72
    Joan Kingposted 5 years ago

    One powerful person appears to have  the ability to controll millions including his henchmen or henchwomen who follow his bidding either because of fear or love of power or both. As far as the 1% they are a small group with the power when compared to the masses.

    1. Shido profile image61
      Shidoposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Appearance is not fact.  Watch Max and you will see a Hitler being massaged into the position he took.  Even he was something of a puppet.  Jimmy Jones, on the other way, started greedy and then fell into a power trap where 'even he' became a pawn!

  5. DREAM ON profile image82
    DREAM ONposted 5 years ago

    We see it in cults that promise the world and a better life.Politicians who are good speakers can buffalo the masses into believing what they want us to believe despite the facts that tell a different story.I think most base their thinking on fear and what if we don't act now.I don't understand it and never will.

    1. Shido profile image61
      Shidoposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Actually, I think you've shown that you understand it quite well!

  6. maxoxam41 profile image75
    maxoxam41posted 5 years ago

    It is a question that I often asked myself and the answer I came with was ignorance and our gregariousness. Someone with knowledge will never accept submission from anybody. The people's need to be part of a flock seems like a second skin. What is the proportion of thinkers in the people? Aren't they the ones who vote against their own interests? They, unfortunately, are also the ones who are more numerous. On the other hand, when submitted to dictatorship, one day or another rebellion rises and it's beautiful.

  7. ptosis profile image77
    ptosisposted 5 years ago


    See the 5 rules of power @ http://bigthink.com/ideas/42800

    Keep your henchman group as small as possible and have the largest pool of henchman-waiting-in-the-wings.

    1. Shido profile image61
      Shidoposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Machiavelli was a coward. And his tactics are the tactics of a coward.  What ever became of him, I wonder?

  8. Vegas Elias profile image29
    Vegas Eliasposted 5 years ago

    Joan King has given the reply. These single persons manage to collect henchmen around them who do the job for them. Hitler alone could not do anything if it were not for his supporters. Moreover it takes centuries of teachings and traditions to make a nation bold. Hitler would have been killed within a month if he had tried to do the same thing in India.
    Many a times religion and culture comes in the way of violence. People agree to suffer cruelty because they are brought up that way. Otherwise such things like the German holocaust are not possible.
    The Bhagwad Gita of India teaches a person not to submit to terror or hostility. According to the Bhagwad Gita one is supposed to hit the opponent before the opponent is able to deliver the blow.

  9. Lions Den Media profile image61
    Lions Den Mediaposted 5 years ago

    It is relatively simple - most people are followers not leaders. And as such, when people view those around them succumbing, they automatically follow suit. Fear and the ability to dismiss reality, whereupon people such as with the Jews that thought if they simply followed the rules then they would be okay, are powerful motivating factors. People generally take the path of least resistance.