In Exchange for Keeping Ruthless Dictators in Power Loyal Military Officials live Very Good Lives

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 3rd, 2012

Week in Review

The world has had some horrible dictators.  And still does.  Who have committed horrible acts of cruelty against their own people.  Even though dictators are only one person.  And couldn’t do these things alone.  So they get a little help (see Was a North Korean General Really Executed by Mortar Fire? by MICHAEL MADDEN posted 10/31/2012 on Foreign Policy).

Kim Jong Il had learned the importance of keeping his friends close and his generals closer. Until he assumed the role of supreme leader in 1997 (after a three-year morning period for his beloved father), almost all of his reported public appearances were field inspections of military units. This broadcast the military’s prominence as Kim Jong Il’s most valued political constituency. Under his “military first” policy, the military received priority in the allocation of increasingly scarce food and energy resources, as well as the rights to a number of lucrative foreign-currency generating economic activities. Having given his generals the butter churn, Kim Jong Il handed out the guns. Research and development into nuclear weapons continued, and the development and production of ballistic missiles thrived.

The number of military officials treated to the largesse of Kim Jong Il’s party economy steadily increased. They were permitted fine homes and vacation at exclusive retreats. On state holidays he gifted expensive automobiles, household appliances, and various luxury goods. As with Kim’s close aides in the party, military officials were allowed wide administrative latitude in how they managed the daily affairs of their respective agencies and units. This eventually incited fierce bureaucratic turf warfare among senior security officials. It suited Kim Jong Il’s interests as leader to have his generals squabbling among themselves instead of challenging him.

The key to being a dictator is taking care of the military.  You make sure they have the best food.  And the best stuff.  You make sure their lives are good lives.  In a country where most people quake with fear.  Fearing their government.  And famine.  This is life in North Korea.  Where it goes dark after the sun sets.  And looks like something out of medieval times.  While just across the border in South Korea life is good for all Koreans.  And there is no famine.  Where it is so good for some that Park Jae Sang (PSY) mocks their conspicuous displays of wealth in his Gangnam Style.  A world unknown to the people north of the border.  Unless you’re in the inner circle of power.  Or the military.

Of course you don’t have to live in a dictatorship connected to the inner circles of power to enjoy the very good life.  As governments grow in rich countries they have mountains of tax money to play with.  And those in the inner circles of power have a lot of privilege.  Who get generous portions of that vast tax revenue.  And live a far better life than most others could even imagine.  Even in the United States.  Where some of the richest communities with the highest real estate values are where?  Adjacent to our nation’s capital.  The suburbs of Washington DC.

In the US the ruling elite do not rely on the military to maintain their positions of power and privilege.  They rely on a loyal media.  The universities.  And public education.  Who help the people understand that they should vote for them.  And their very good lives.  Making it a lot easier for them to enjoy the very good life than someone like Kim Jong Un.  Who has to bribe the crap out of the military to prevent them from killing him.  And to put the fear of God into the people to prevent them from killing him.

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