Saturday, July 04, 2009

Let's say you're the "supreme leader" of a large Asian country ruled by a party with a radical ideology based on a belief system that predicts that the entire world will one day submit to its precepts. Your charismatic predecessor led the overthrow of the nation's ruling monarchy and anointed you as his successor, but the regime you inherited retained some inconvenient vestiges of liberalism and some annoyingly unsubservient members of the ruling party--not to mention plenty of popular discontent. Now, with the help of the loyal thugs of your government's repressive apparatus, you've finally eliminated those remnants of liberalism and isolated and demoted your main rivals. What do you do next?

Well, if history is any guide, you launch a massive purge of your own party and all institutions with the potential to foster leaders or ideas that might challenge your absolute rule. This will certainly cement your hold on power for a while (as well as boost your personality cult), but it'll make your subjects' lives pretty miserable in the process. So if anyone out there happens to be living in a country that fits this description, now might be a good time to get out...

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