This is topic Dictatorships Are Okay--But I Get to Be Hitler! in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Erik Slaine (Member # 5583) on :
Alright. Wheatpuppet echoed my own thoughts, so I thought I'd put out this interesting thread with an offensive title!

We've all thought it. The only time a dictatorship is okay is when you get to be the dictator. So, here you go....

You are the newly elected President of the United States (yes, that country inparticular), inheriting all the problems that we currently face. You get the chance to declare a state of emergency and, voila', instant dicatorship!

No one dares dispute your rulings now, you have the backing of the military and the other two branches of government will remain impotent....

So what do you do now?
Posted by msquared (Member # 4484) on :
I make it illegal for people to lynch people in mafia unless a police person has named them mafia. [Smile]

Posted by Erik Slaine (Member # 5583) on :
Fascist! [Big Grin]
Posted by Dan_raven (Member # 3383) on :
Off the subject a bit, but humorous I hope.

We hired a true Communist, fresh out of College to run our personell department a couple years ago. He became an autocratic demanding dictator who punished and fired anyone who did not meet his basic requirements, and he enjoyed it.

He would go from spouting Marx to yelling at some kid for goofing off instead of working hard.

"You are a communist?" the Kid asked.
"Yeah," I responded, "He's a Stalinist."
"I'm a Stalinist," he replied, "as long as I get to be Stalin."
Posted by Erik Slaine (Member # 5583) on :
My point exactly!
Posted by Elizabeth (Member # 5218) on :
When Bush came into office, he was asked how he would get along making decisions with others. Sorry to paraphrase, but he said:

--Well, it would be a lot easier if it were a dictatorship. As long as I was the dictator.--

It came from a "Bushism" someone sent me. Sorry I don't have the actual quote, date, or source.
Posted by Elizabeth (Member # 5218) on :
Here, but it still doesn't have the context:
Posted by George W. Bush (Member # 5668) on :
I remember saying that like it was yesterday.
Posted by Elizabeth (Member # 5218) on :
You weren't even president yet, George.
Posted by Celtic Flame (Member # 5556) on :
The very first thing I'd do as dictator is replace the anthem with "What A Wonderful World This Would Be" by Sam Cooke.


Or I might pick "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang.
Posted by jehovoid (Member # 2014) on :
I'd like to buy the world a coke.
Posted by The Principal (Member # 5721) on :
That's a great idea, jehovoid. Why don't you go down to the cafeteria and get us both one!

::gives jehovoid $2.00::
Posted by jehovoid (Member # 2014) on :
I don't have a hall pass.
Posted by The Principal (Member # 5721) on :
::whips out blank pass::

I guess you'll have to get all school access. "jehovoid", is that with one v or two? Ah, one.

::scrawls out pass::

Here you go, and get some chips too!

::hands jehovoid a five spot::
Posted by jehovoid (Member # 2014) on :

::comes back with a story about getting mugged by the shop teacher::
Posted by Black Fox (Member # 1986) on :
Well technically a dictatorship is the superior form of government. Also as your population/numberr of holdings increase a dictatorship/monarchy is much more stable if implemented in a good manner. The main problem is getting a good dictator after the first one. Plus our world at the moment shuns any non democratic government, which I believe more and more is the wrong thing to do. In reality we all believe democracy is the superior form of government because the people are independant and free, the more I see it you really aren't all that much more free in a democracy. Its just all about what laws they pass etc. Plus is our government truly represenatative of the populace when only around half the population votes ( if that). Not to mention how easily people are misled, false facts that people believe, propaganda ( campaigning) etc. Not to mention the whole concept of elected terms ( and for many positions an indefinite amount of terms) There are so many people it seems who are proffesional politicians. They are in the sense just as bad as a corrupt dictator/ supreme rules. Mainly there simply has to be some sort of decent system of making a nation rule in favor of the good things for its people, instead of the bad.
Posted by The Principal (Member # 5721) on :
Hmm. I'm going to have to have a talk with Mr. McGrueder! That's the fourth mugging this week!
Posted by Diosmel Duda (Member # 2180) on :
If I were a dictator, I think I would try to be as opressive as possible. I would tax the American people almost past their tolerance. I would start little border wars everywhere--maybe try to take over Canada. I would smile as if I relished my own wickedness, and then I would let the American people impeach me (kicking and screaming all the way, of course).

I'm only halfway kidding. I think some adversity, and the people standing up for democracy, might be good for this nation. We have it so easy right now that we find it hard to imagine anything but luxury. When the economy slumps a little, we feel as if we're being deprived of something we have a right to.

Then again, the situation won't come up. I was born in Canada, so I'll never be elected president. Besides, I've told Jon Boy and others numerous times that it would be my worst nightmare to have to run a country. One little classroom is enough for me.
Posted by Sopwith (Member # 4640) on :
Here's what I would do, bear with me this is something I've thought about quite a bit and will take a bit to outline.

I'd reinstate the Liberty Ships program from World War II and institute something of a Marshall Plan for the 10 poorest countries of the world.

The Liberty Ship Plan

The liberty ships were inexpensive freighters built to carry supplies overseas during World War II. The ships were built purely of American materials and had a 10 year life span.

I would restart this, using the same plans as before, jump starting shipyards up and down the East and West Coasts, as well as the gulf coast region. These areas have seen incredible hardship in the ship building industry, particularly losing out to Japanese and South Korean manufacture. I would require that American steel be used in the process, and that engines would work with either low-grade diesel fuel or coal-burning power plants. This, in turn, would help prop up coal mining in the Appalachians, as well as return revenues to the Pennsylvania steel mills that have suffered from cheap imports of steel in recent years.

I'd man the ships with junior members of the Merchant Marine, offering more learning opportunities to those there and restoring that organization to the importance it once had in worldwide commerce.

So what do you put in the ships? The necessities: food, water (treatment), medical aid.

I'd go to the various crop price support agencies in the nation and offer them the chance to donate their surplus crop stocks (they buy any crops that do not bring the support price at auction) in return for breaks to their member farmers on federal crop insurance.

I would also seek out farmers who are currently being paid to NOT grow crops and allow them to keep their subsidies by growing crops that while not intrusive to American markets could serve as food staples for those abroad. Millet, sorghum, rye, etc...

Reopen packing and camping plants nationwide to process these foodstuffs and use the floundering American railway system to transport the items to the major ports in Charleston, SC, Galveston, TX and San Diego, CA for distribution.

This will create freight, food processing and dockworker jobs.

Next, I would offer an incentive program to small towns across the US that are currently needing to upgrade their water and sewage treatment facilities. Trade in your old systems (there is almost NO market for used equipment like this) and the government will offer CDBGs (community development block grants) at half the going interest rates to purchase new water and sewer treatment systems. The old ones would be disassembled and sent on to the ships with the idea of setting them up in urban areas of the third world to provide safe drinking water and sewage disposal and treatment.

I would go to the plastics recycling community which is seeing more resources than they can transmute and resell. I'd put them in the business of making syringe plungers and cylinders, pairing them with folks in the steel recycling industry for needles. Right now, AIDS transmission in much of the third world comes from medical services that are forced to reuse even disposal needles.

I'd also mandate that pharmaceutical companies donate product equivalent to 5% of their annual advertising budget for essential medical supplies. These would also be packed onto the ships, along with the clean, safe hypodermics.

The ships are loaded and now it comes to delivery and distribution. The ships would be sent to ports in the world's 10 poorest nations. There, US Army personnel (which are the world's best at logistics) would establish safe and secure distribution sites with the blessings of local government. A cordon around the sites of one mile would be established as a weapons-free zone, with orders to shoot - to- kill any non-uniformed individuals carrying firearms, the areas would also be foot traffic only. So often, aid distribution centers become targets or bandits set up nearby to rob those receiving the aid (Somalia anyone?).

US medical personnel would also offer treatment and distribute medical supplies and knowledge to other hospitals and clinics in country.

Hopefully this will build incredible good will in these desperately poor countries, but it will also provide invaluable on-the ground knowledge for our armed forces should conflicts later arise or we are involved with peacekeeping efforts there. The Americans, in these areas, would not just be seen as the good guys, but actually would be the good guys.

I'd also free up our military aid a bit to start weapons buy-backs in the urban areas of the nations being helped. Stations would be set up in each city where individuals could turn in weapons for $50 or the local currency equivalent. The weapons, in turn, would be loaded back onto the Liberty Ships and taken for disposal by destruction in the US. It takes guns out of the hands of potential combatants and puts hard currency in their pockets which will turn around and be reinvested in their communities through the purchase of every day goods. Economic growth from a gun barrel, so to say.

That's it in a quick form. Tell me what you think? I believe it benefits ourselves and the world, promotes peace over violence, prepares us for conflict and defuses potential geo-political trouble spots. And it can be done much cheaper than anything we are doing today and puts a number of our pre-existing resources to work.
Posted by Erik Slaine (Member # 5583) on :
Wow, that was well thought out! Much better than my isolationist ideas.

Sopwith, "Your ideas intrigue me, and I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter!"

You can be dictator anytime, in my book!
Posted by Sopwith (Member # 4640) on :
There's a bunch more to it, including how to pay for it, which countries to benefit and how to fine tune it, plus a reworking and strengthening of the Peace Corps/Americorps ideas.

The hard part is getting it across. I've had it kicking around as my next sci-fi novel attempt, but I'm still having problems with my first one.

But enough about me, there's a world out there to save and I believe that Americans are good and true. We've been among the most Good in the world before and I believe it is within our power to do so again. We've been blessed with so much and we have the people of all nations within our family. Somewhere within is the recipe for a better world for everyone.
Posted by Sopwith (Member # 4640) on :

Just wanted some more attention on the Liberty Ship deal.
Posted by ana kata (Member # 5666) on :
Paul, dictatorship is a terrible form of government. I can't think of a single dictatorship in history that wasn't terribly oppressive and didn't abuse its power over the people.

Disappearings and murders of political opponents, propogation of "official truth" to the exclusion of all else, draconian control of art, literature, science, and every other field of human endeavor, all these are typical of dictatorships.

Democracy may have a lot of problems, but it's still the best system we have. In the end freedom is a whole lot more important than not making any mistakes.

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