Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Faking it again

Aristotle had some interesting advice for tyrants on how to prolong their rule. He described two basic approaches: the first was the familiar path of force, surveillance, and censorship, treating the population as hostile and seeking to prevent them from being able to revolt, but the second approach was to imitate as near as possible a just and benevolent ruler, to keep the population content enough not to revolt.

In reality most tyrannies feature a mixture of the two approaches.

In the comments to this post at Azarmehr’s blog on the upcoming elections in Iran, there is consensus that these elections, like the previous ones under the current theocratic regime, will be neither free nor fair, that they are an imitation of democracy staged to keep the population content. However, one of the commenters argues that in order to succeed, this imitation of democracy must in every election cycle provide a closer and closer approximation of the real thing, gradually escaping the control of the regime.

The only constant is change. Eventually, then, the transformation to democracy must come. That, or the regime must turn back to the first approach described by Aristotle, undisguised force.


Anonymous said...

Wow...I think those statements are right on. At least there is still hope for them in the midst of everything. Have a great day! Sorry I'm a random person you have probably never met but I came across your site looking for some art... I like what I see by the way... so different.

Alexa Faith

kellie said...

Thanks Alexa

Anonymous said...

No problem...they are gorgeous :)