Sunday, 6 March 2011

China too?!

I did not expect the North Africa uprisings to spread to China too! OK there is always a lot of unrest in China, but they have been pretty good at keeping a lid on it and the country has been doing quite well.

Dictatorships generally follow the sacrificial-king model, though not normally deliberately. The king is tolerated as long as peoples lives are generally undisturbed and times are good (-ish). However, when things get very bad people the king gets the chop. Sure enough, soon after the king gets it, things get better. In general economies go up and down all by themselves, though some dramatic positive action like a change in management can stimulate things early. Because of this, the king in the fireing line tends to try to hang on just a bit longer because fortunes will change ... any ... time ... now ...

Of course, he also needs time to transfer a chunk of the kingdom's treasury into a secret Swiss Bank account for... um... safekeeping. Dictators should just write a golden-handshake clause into their laws and agree to go quietly into exile should people decide that republicanism is really the way to go after all. Strangely they never do this. Even more strangely they tend to feel that all those people who chase them out of office with pitch-forks and torches actually love them really and want them to come back at the first sign of trouble.

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