Monday, March 24, 2014

The 'Dear Leader said---'We must have a diversion, to keep the people happy!'

Years ago there were three kingdoms, many miles distance from one another. All three had tyrannical leaders, despots if you wish and they subdued their ever-suffering subjects in a variety of ways, with a combination of naked fear, suppression of any criticism and not allowing any opposition to gain ground. They did not want change; indeed they had ‘charters’ that forbade criticism of their leadership; some with the ultimate sanction----the death penalty. For slightly less transgressions against their wishes, the leaders made sure that ‘think camps’ were abundant, so that their subjects could re-examine their thoughts towards their leaders and return to society with a 'positive attitude.'
However these methods were not enough to quell the aspirations of some of their subjects to seek a better future; one’s that meant taking part in the administration of the kingdoms, for the inclusion of playing a part in the forces that governed on behalf of the leaders. If ‘trouble was brewing,’ the leaders sought other methods to distract their people.
All three kingdoms had enjoyed times in their history whereby they had been much more dominant in the world and some had even had large empires, with millions of subject citizens. A brief period of unease had led to these former subject sub-states finding their own way in the world and they began to make a mark on the border areas of these kingdoms; seeking their own alliances with other powers, both in their region and further afield.
Naturally, the leaders of the three kingdoms felt threatened by this showing of independence and as the situation in the corrupt border areas became more apparent, the former sought to reverse the dangerous trend. They collectively hit upon an age-old method by which to have their subjects within the home kingdoms and those on their borders, return to the fold. They set upon a plan whereby they manufactured tension in the border areas and then whipped up the memories of those sectors of the population who had a distorted view of what life had been like in the past.
The kings appealed to the ‘simplicity' of the past; the imagined full-employment of the people and  market-places that guaranteed that that food and other essentials could be purchased at a price all could afford. They of course conveniently forgot to mention that the prisons were full of people who did not go along with the leaders’ thoughts about loyalty to the kings and other institutions.
After weeks of rising tension in the border areas, the leaders announced that those former citizens were being threatened by nasty nationalistic gangs, who were endangering the peace of the kingdoms. Unfortunately in some of the border areas, there were civil wars as people tried to rid themselves of their mini-despotic governments and rulers. The three kingdoms sent agents into the border areas to stir up trouble and then claimed that it was in the interest of the kingdoms to send in peace-keeping forces in order to restore order and to protect the native speaking (read those speaking the language of the former rulers) sectors of the population.
After months of disorder, and using the pretext of many incidents, most of which were cynically managed by the three leaders, large contingents of heavily armed soldiers were seen entering the border regions. The chaotic governments of these areas were powerless to stop the encroachment on their territories and all of their protestations to other ‘friendly powers ‘ amounted to nothing as the latter sat back and merely protested with ‘words’ and meaningless platitudes.
Within weeks, the kingdoms had expanded their borders and the popularity of the kings soared to new heights, fed by the propaganda put out by their minions in the news-sheets plastered all over the walls and trees in the kingdoms. People forgot their grievances with their rulers as they became wrapped up in the colourful parades and fireworks displays. They forget about their friends and relatives who had disappeared or they dared not show any untoward negativity to the regime, lest they attract attention from the celebrating crowds filling the squares of the towns and cities.
In the meantime, the three leaders sat back, knowing they had survived another challenge to their rule---that is until reality returned to the thinking of their ever-suffering citizens. Life continued and the world adjusted to the newly expanded kingdoms; waiting for the next phase. It seemed that nothing had been learned by observing the past. What would it take to stop the three kings?