Mubarak Resigns — A Bad Day for Brutal Dictators

A firm hand in government

Mubarak has stepped down after a month of protests on the streets of Cairo.  As well as losing the presidency, he’s now almost certain to be expelled from the Brutal Dictators’ Guild for disgracing its bad name.

That comes as no surprise.

Whatever job we do on this earth, we should be prepared to do it properly and in my opinion, brutal dictators are no exception.  If you’re not prepared to dictate brutally, don’t take a job with no retirement plan.

I’m not a violent man, and I have no stomach for oppression or cruelty, but if I found myself in a job like that, I think I’d feel obliged to do it properly.

I’m not saying I’d instil fear and loathing in the people.

No.  Wait.  That’s exactly what I am saying.  If I had to be a brutal dictator, I’d be brutal.  It’s in the job description.  If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the torture chamber.  But I think I’d be a brutal dictator in the style of Assad of Syria: selective.  The only ones who need fear me would be people who challenge my position.  I’d encourage an active press.  I’d tolerate criticism.  I’d allow freedom of travel and of religion.

But any brutal dictator worth his salt wouldn’t be toppled by people walking around the streets, chanting and waving banners.

Mubarak was a pussy, just like Ceaucescu, the old fool who stood on his balcony waving at protesters before scuttling into a helicopter with the Missus.  Fat lot of good it did them.  What kind of brutal dictator was he?  Any decent brutal dictator would send tanks onto the streets and machine-gun the whole lot of them.  That wouldn’t be lopng putting manners on them, and you wouldn’t see so much protesting next time.

Mao would have done it.  Even the namby-pamby liberal wet Chinese leaders who came after him understood the value of a good massacre in maintaining public order.  Tienanmen Square got cleared out pretty damn quick once the lads in charge gave the order, I can tell you.

It’s hard to know what makes a great brutal dictator.  I suppose dictating is an essential part of it, and of course you have to use brutality, but I think the ultimate test comes at the end.  A truly great brutal dictator is still in charge when he dies.

That rules out Hitler.  It rules out Idi Amin too, though both of these boys certainly passed the brutality test, and the dictation. Pol Pot overplayed his hand and took on an enemy he couldn’t beat, which makes him not only a piss-poor brutal dictator, but also a fool.  The Shah of Iran was pretty brutal but didn’t do enough dictating.  Ayatollah Khomeini, on the other hand, was both brutal and dictatorial even if he wasn’t the formal head of government.  The problem with him was the women’s perfume he liked to wear.

I’m only flicking through them at random here, by way of illustration.  Erich Honecker was possibly the most pathetic of the lot, even going so far as to vote against himself in a Politburo vote of no-confidence.

The ruling family of Saudi Arabia are credible contenders, but are personally so vile, I’ll just scratch them off the list on general principle.  Even brutal dictators have their standards.  Ivan the Terrible, Vlad the Impaler and Genghis Khan were all pretty no-nonsense guys, and would all qualify to join the Guild, I reckon, but the really outstanding brutal dictator, in my mind, is Josef Stalin, who brutalised, terrorised and oppressed a vast federation of republics for over thirty years, and who died while still in power.  Now you might suggest that he was murdered, and perhaps you’d be right, but the fact remains that he was not deposed, and for sheer slaughter, he’s hard to beat.

I can tell you this: if the protesters on Tahrir Square were up against Joe Stalin instead of Hosni Mubarak, it would be a very different story today, and the Guild of Brutal Dictators would not need to be calling a Special Meeting of Expulsion.



Beards, Moustaches and Assorted Facial Hair on Brutal Dictators

Great Brutal Dictators

10 thoughts on “Mubarak Resigns — A Bad Day for Brutal Dictators

  1. Dictating really is a difficult job you know. What with all the decisions to be made like what toilet paper is acceptable for common use and such like; very difficult it is. Really, you should be more considerate of their day to day pressures!

  2. Would Michael O Learys Iron Fist Reign of Terror over Ryanair Land be included. He would definatly send in the tanks (if he had any).

  3. On a serious note BOCK, this is a very excellent piece of original writing; well done-writing talent unbounded even!!!!!!

  4. Someone needs to ask Micheal Martin and Brian Lenihan (and any canvassers) what do they think of Mubarak’s resignation.
    And if they don’t say it’s a dark day for Dictators and if as anticipated, says something along the lines of a victory for democracy, winds of change bs, bs, bs.
    Ask them why FF didn’t respect the democratic calls from twice the relative amount of protestors during the recent protests in Dublin?
    Egypt – 1,000,000 protestors from a 79,000,000 population
    Ireland – 120,000 protestors from a 4,400,000 population
    Egypt – 1.2% of the population
    Ireland – 2.7% of the population

  5. FF’s desperate cling to power over the last few months apparently inspired Kim Jong-il, the last real man’s man of brutal dictatorship.

    As Kim explained the logic of brutal tyranny: “We malignant dictators have no business making the people’s lives better; if we did, they’d only want them to be even better. Our job is to make the people’s lives worse, and then make them fear how bad they could get. These Fianna Fáil boys know what I’m talking about.”

    Mubarak could take some lessons…

  6. I agree with Unstranger – great article, Bock!

    Huron: probably because a million people is more formidable of a protest, even though they are less %-wise. And a lot of people got killed and beaten up in their protest. I was particularly impressed with the kefiya-clad Egyptian guy riding through the crowd on a camel, waving a stick (why not a sword?), trampling a couple of protestors on the way. Then, the video showed a guy being punched in the head by several protestors. Did anything like that happen by you folks?

  7. S1LU. Nothing like that happened to our folks as we dont have ( yet anyway ! ) a Secret Police Force tasked with bribing and / or threatening the 40 % of population who recieve a euro a day for their toil, Or the 50,000 street children who might throw stones for a sandwich or a cigarette.
    It was surely less about the vast numbers % wise and more about the continuance and determination of the protest, A lot remains to be seen now that the Military have taken over.
    It is extremly unlikely that the Irish populace would so blatantly turn on each other as we tend to keep our grievances for each other behind closed doors and smile at each other in the streets.
    We have a history of demonstrating and strikes but that seems to have evaporated on a collective level , However when our Police Force ( The Gardai ) were put to the test with example of Rossport and the Student Demonstration, They displayed their thuggery in a manner that any Dictator would have approved of.

  8. I say we resurrect Saddam get all the shower of fools in the Dáil ceremoniously evicted from power and install saddam as brutal Irish overlord what say ye?

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