We have all wondered how can countries like North Korea or Zimbabwe continue, but they do continue. We wonder why don't people overthrow these Governments? Well there is a constant pattern that is used by these Governments that keep them in power and here I will show those patterns, or at least some of them.
The most obvious method is of course repression. To use killing, torture and imprisonment to punish those who oppose the Government and to make others keep doing what they are told by using this as a threat. Now executions and imprisonment are not only used by Dictatorships, But the difference is that the purpose of these things in a Dictatorship is to protect the Dictatorship. Justice, punishment or rehabilitation are not important, the protection of the Dictatorship is important. But a Government that relies on repression along won't survive any serious challenge.
What a Dictatorship really needs is supporters, but who would support a Dictator? Well it has to be understood that Dictatorships exist for a reason, they do not exist in a vacuum. They exist because that nation is in crisis, societal, economic, political and possibly militarily. And that crisis has made all other forms of Government, at least for a time, illegitimate. Because Governments must work, they must function and the Dictatorship is at this time the only form of Government that functions. When it ceases to function it will collapse, but until it does it is the only thing that keeps away anarchy.
So how does a Dictatorship get supporters? It's quite simple really, it chooses a small part of the population to support it, not too small or it cannot survive a crisis, but not too big or it will not be able to support it's supporters. So lets pretend that I am the Dictator of Britain, I need to pick a group who I can rely on when times are bad. I might pick a religious group, or a political group or an Ethnic group. If I pick too small a group I just won't have enough support, but I can't pick too big a group because I won't be able to look after them. I've decided that the ideal group are the Welsh. There are millions of them so I have a large pool to recruit from for all kinds of Government jobs. But they are only about 10% of the total population so I can look after them.
Now I don't completely neglect the other groups, I still need supporters from Northern Ireland and Scotland and England but not too many. It's particularly important that I have some people from these groups in my inner circle. That way I can always use them to show how much I care and to try and show that I don't favour the Welsh alone.
A Dictatorship exists because the nation is in crisis, some Dictatorships evolve over time and try to solve the crisis they have found themselves in, South Korea is an excellent example of that. Most try to at least keep things as good as they are, things might get better or worse but they try to keep them on an even keel. But others become a Kleptocracy, a form of Government were by corruption and theft is the main reason the Government exists or they become Failed State's. Governments who are either unable or unwilling to keep things on an even keel.
These type of States slowly get worse over time, because they promote people based on their loyalty to the Government not on their competence. So slowly, any competence that existed dies out. Now the Government must survive by looting it's own people. So let us suppose that I am that kind of Dictator, Britain is fast becoming a Failed State and I'm responsible, how do I remain in Government?
Well firstly I make sure that the police, both official and secret and the Armed Forces are loyal and taken care of, I need them. Secondly I take care of my chosen people, the Welsh. I make sure that those who are not my chosen people bare any burdens that arise. I want movable goods, cars, jewelry, anything that is of value that I can transfer to the Welsh. Now it's not important that these things be given out to all of the Welsh, only those who I think are loyal. Loyalty is most important. They get priority when trains are in short supply or electricity, they always get priority. It is important that there is one segment of the population who know that they owe everything they have to me. That way if something should happen to me or even threatens me there is a group of people who will always rally to support me. When that support runs out my Dictatorship is over, it's my job to make sure it doesn't run out.
I am not of course the Dictator of Britain, the only place my tyranny reigns is here on this blog. Dictatorships don't exist in a vacuum and each has it's own unique features but they also share common traits. I hope that here I have given some insight into why Dictatorships exist and how they manage to survive.
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