by Larken Rose
A few months ago, I reviewed Larken’s first novel, The Iron Web. I was extremely impressed with that book and so was prompted to purchase another of his books. This time, I read How to be a Successful Tyrant. Obviously, from the title, it’s a tongue-in-cheek look at tyranny. That’s the surface of the book, anyway.
Deeper into it, you begin to see the subtle ways that tyrants set up bureaucracies, use rhetoric and lies, and otherwise manipulate the populace by creating a system that both appears free and oppresses all at once. Because of the myriad of things in place to continue the deception, most of the people being oppressed don’t see it happening.
The one fundamental lynch pin to their entire success, however, is probably not what you think. It’s not propaganda, it’s not coercion or force, and it’s not multi-national money laundering and extortion. Those are just facets of the whole.
Nope, the one lynch pin that holds all of the tyrant’s power together is the inability of nearly every person he’s tyrannizing to realize that “government” itself is a sham. It’s a con game in which otherwise free people give up their freedom in order to feel safe. In reality, the biggest threat to their safety is usually the government they create (or endorse).
This simple, fundamental belief that “there has to be someone in charge” is what allows tyranny to happen. Unless you’re willing to look beyond that and see the free world that could be possible, you will always be a slave to someone. It’s never a question of whether you’re a slave, it’s a question of how obvious your chains are. By allowing you to “vote” and to “voice an opinion,” they give you the illusion of freedom while the chains of their bureaucracies, laws, regulations, and so forth bind you to the deck.
You can complain, write letters to the editor, try to get someone less tyrannical elected, etc. all you want. Just don’t stop rowing and “doing your share.”
This is a great book and well worth the purchase price and read. It’s extremely well-thought-out, sometimes funny, and always enlightening. I highly recommend it.