by Brandon Smith
The question often arises in liberty movement circles as to how we get to the point of full blown tyranny within a society. There are numerous factors that determine this outcome, but through all the various totalitarian systems in history there are common denominators – elements that must be there for tyrants to prevail. When we can identify these common elements in an objective manner, we make it far more difficult for despotic structures to stand.
This is a very complex issue, but I’ll break it down as best as I’m able…
The Psychology Of The Tyrant
To come to terms with how tyrants control society, we must first examine how the mind of a tyrant operates, because these people do not in most cases think the way average human beings think. It is one of the few cases in which I would encourage people to “otherize” another group. Tyrants are psychologically abnormal to such an extreme that is is difficult to classify them as human.
I believe the key to understanding the motivations of tyrants and where these people come from rests on our understanding of narcissistic sociopathy. I wrote about this extensively in my article ‘Global Elitists Are Not Human,’ so I will only give a summary here.
Narcissistic and sociopathic traits, like many psychological traits, are inborn. They are present in about 5% to 10% of any society at any given time. In the vast majority of cases, these traits remain “latent” and do not affect a person’s actions or relationships to a great extent. In a minority of cases, however, narcissism and sociopathy become the defining factors of a person’s psyche. This occurs in less that 1% of a population.
To be clear, not all narcissists are sociopaths and not all sociopaths are narcissists. There are people who are low level narcissists who excel in society and retain a conscience. There are low level sociopaths in society that serve important functions in careers that empathetic people would find difficult, such as certain jobs in the military, or in the medical field. What I am referring to here are HIGH LEVEL narcissistic sociopaths – the kind of people that become murderers, rapists, pedophiles, and yes, tyrants.
A sociopathic narcissist is motivated by personal desire only. They are incapable of empathy for others and see people as a kind of food and fuel source rather than fellow travelers in life. They consider their lack of conscience as an evolutionary advantage; a tool that helps them to survive and thrive by trampling, stealing, manipulating and killing if necessary without guilt or regret.
You would think these creatures would be easy to pick out in a crowd, but it is not always so simple. They have the ability to mimic behaviors of those around them in order to appear more human. Sometimes this does give them away because they can’t help but parrot or steal behaviors and mannerisms from people they meet to the point of obviousness. For those inexperienced with narcissistic sociopaths, though, the tactic works for a time, because what people think they see is someone just like them; a reflection. Imagine it as a survival mechanism, like a chameleon.
For some tyrants, the ability makes them endearing to the public for a time. They can be many things to many groups, and their ability to lie convincingly is exceptional. They climb the ladder of success quickly, and build systems that allow them to prosper. They do have doubts and weaknesses, though.
They are in most cases cowardly. They prefer to get what they want through subversion and trickery, and they run from direct confrontation. They prefer to use other people (useful idiots) as weapons or shields rather than risk facing off with their ideological opponents. As parasites, they focus on the weak minded or the fragile.
They desperately want admiration from the very people they victimize. Therefore, they are constantly forced to play roles in order to appear normal. They do not like this. They feel that it is below their station in life to pander, and they are convinced that they should be worshiped as they are, not worshiped for the fraudulent image they have constructed. They want to “come out of the closet,” in a sense, as a narcissistic sociopath, but if they do under a stable social climate they will be shunned or burned at the stake. They sometimes band together for protection, and are willing to work with each other as long as there is mutual benefit.
Thus, these “people” seek to create chaos, and then to reorder society to act more like they act, or think more like they think. When the masses have been convinced to abandon conscience, then the monsters can come out into the light of day without fear.
Here is how they achieve this goal, and how average people help them do it…
Almost all bad situations start with false assumptions based on bias rather than facts or evidence. The most dangerous assumption when it comes to tyranny is to say “we are in the right, therefore we are not supporting tyranny.” The question that needs to be asked, though, is are they really “right” according to the facts? If the answer is “no,” then they are probably fueling a tyrannical system.
First and foremost, many human beings want to be “right” more than they want to be correct. That is to say, they are happy to “win” arguments and conflicts regardless of whether or not the truth is on their side. This bias is the root of many catastrophes in history.
This is not to say that they don’t have a conscience. Most people in fact do have a conscience that tells them their assumptions are wrong, but they can still commit acts of stupidity and atrocity. This is where tyrannical manipulators tend to help them along.
Tyrants find great joy in creating all kinds of logical fallacies, mental gymnastics and morally relative sales pitches in order to convince a group of people that their wrong assumptions are right. The truth becomes foggy and evidence becomes unnecessary. In this state of mind, when individuals melt together into a mob, assumptions become cult dictates and “winning” becomes paramount. False assumptions and biases can be used to turn normal upstanding people into monsters, all because they refused to accept that their ideological position was flawed; all because they were afraid to feel embarrassed or admit they had been conned.
The taking of sides in political discourse is natural and normal. Even when people are entirely honest about the facts on hand and agree on basic principles of human decency and freedom, they will STILL disagree on what solutions should be used to deal with the problems in front of them. This creates a spectrum within society that is ever-present; it cannot be helped or avoided. Tyrants understand the basis of this spectrum and try to use it to their advantage to manipulate people away from thoughtful discourse and towards mindless conflict.
Tyrants exploit the masses more easily when people assume that corrupt political and social leaders are working for “their side” against the “other side.” Often these leaders can be bought or threatened into subservience. Tyrants then use them to drive the spectrum to the furthest opposites, until both sides adopt an attitude of zealotry.
This happens not only in politics, but in geopolitics, as entire nations are driven to war with each other by puppet presidents and governments over engineered conflicts that only ever benefit the cabal of tyrants behind the curtain.
Zealotry And False Narratives
I view zealotry as a kind of psychological disease that is actually communicable – it spreads like a virus through a culture until everyone is infected. Zealotry happens when a person embraces an ideology to the point that it overrides their personality and their soul, and they are no longer able to think clearly as an individual. This includes considering the possibility that they are on the wrong side of history and morality.
Zealotry on a mass scale depends on a number of dominoes set in succession. The threat of civil breakdown and economic suffering helps. Ideological opponents must be painted as an imminent and vile threat to the very fabric of society. In some cases they are a real and created threat (controlled opposition); in other cases they are a paper tiger meant to drive another group to support tyrannical measures.
Tyrants build false narratives. This is what they do best. They encourage people to unknowingly become villains, or they accuse innocent groups of villainy in order to sow division. They need all sides to see everyone else either as an ally or an enemy. There is no in-between. If a person does not conform to the views of the zealot, then he must be immediately treated as a threat. This causes an endless echo chamber which destroys all dissent or disagreement, no matter how rational.
Zealots operate primarily on fear, making them easy prey for tyrants. And as some nerd somewhere once said, “Fear is the mind killer; fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.”
Apathy And False Hope
More than anything else, tyrants desire an apathetic population. Apathy breeds complacency and inaction, and it also encourages delusional thinking. Apathetic people tend towards the philosophy of pacifism as a means to vindicate their own behavior, but this is merely a mask designed to hide their fear. They might fear suffering, they might fear loss, they might fear failure, but they certainly have fear, and it stops them from standing in the way of developments that they know are evil in nature and that require an aggressive response.
Apathy can also be bred into a society through the use of false hopes. Tyrants conjure scenarios in which the public is made to believe positive “change” is about to take place, usually through politics. But, there will be no change for the better beyond the cosmetic. Things only get worse. In this process of conditioning, tyrants raise up the hopes of the masses, and then dash them to the ground over and over, until the public gives up.
The problem is not that things cannot change for the better, but that the public keeps playing by the rules of a game fabricated by the very people that are causing their misery. Stepping outside the constraints of that game requires us to take matters into our own hands rather than waiting around for others to make changes for us. It requires risk. If the farce of tyranny is to ever end, all awake and aware people will have to take many risks.
I have heard it argued that tyranny is a natural and inevitable product of human society. That tyrants cannot be avoided, that they will always exist and any attempt to remove them will result in them only being replaced with other tyrants. This is the pinnacle of the pathetic mindset. It is the dark void of nihilism.
One could also argue that there is no point to washing ourselves because we are just going to get dirty again tomorrow. But these people would eventually die of disease. If tyranny is a human constant, then rebellion must also be a human constant, otherwise, humanity dies or is turned into something unrecognizable.