Discover more from Ad Absurdum
If it quacks like tyranny
An age-old recipe
I’m hot and cold on Tony Benn’s ideas. He was a socialist. I’m icy on that. But he fought to stop the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. I’m warm and fuzzy on that.
One famous clip of him is on fire again some eight years after his death. He’s sitting in his old-school Brit-kitch lounge. Around him are dozens of decorative mugs, labeled to commemorate some or other political event. There is a plate adorned with an image of Karl Marx and and one praising mineworkers. His voice is gravelly after years smoking a pipe. He neatly explains control.
“I think there are two ways in which people are controlled,” he says. “First of all, frighten people. And secondly, demoralise them”.
Those aren’t secret ingredients. People with tyrannical tendencies know them well. I’d suggest that they are definitional. If you use these tools, you are a tyrant.
It follows that the majority of governments around the globe are tyrannical.
FEAR. “There’s a deadly virus that can strike at any time or place, kill anyone in the most horrific way imaginable.”
DEMORALISE. “We have shut you in your homes before. And we’ll do it again on a whim.”
Forget what a head of government looks like. [Boris: A charming, bumbling old Etonian. Jacinda: Gentle but decisive and brave everywoman.]
Actions matter. These people are tyrants.