Do people create dictators?

A country is defined by its geographical boundaries and the people who live within those boundaries. The people are defined and represented by the kind of government they choose or elect at the ballot box. In a liberal democracy, a government is elected by people with a libertarian mindset, whereas an authoritarian government is preferred and elected by people with an authoritarian disposition. In either case, people shape their own country and, therefore, must be held responsible for how their future unfolds.

People who elect an authoritarian government must not blame third parties when they completely lose their democracy and, in doing so, lose control over their lives, and the freedom to speak and protest, and how their rulers treat them or mistreat them, and how the world treats them outside their country. We have many examples about how people in many countries supported authoritarian regimes only to regret later.

An individual who loses freedom to express, or the right to protest, loses everything.

Human psychology is extremely complex. One fails to understand how many of us enjoying and benefiting immensely from all known privileges of liberal democracy consciously support authoritarian regimes in their own country or also in other countries where they don’t live. They work actively to undermine democracy wherever it exists. It is like cutting off a branch of a tree while perching on it.

Is it just ethnic hate or religious bigotry or sadism that makes people living in liberal democracies chose a path of authoritarianism? In any case, it is a puzzling contradiction, paradoxical.

On the one hand, our global population is growing, and the global issues created by us, and our consumption of natural resources are also growing correspondingly. On the other hand, authoritarianism is also growing alarmingly and diverting our much-needed attention, invaluable time and precious human resources away from our existential issues like Climate Change, loss of biodiversity, potable water issues and, of course, real and potential misuse of the AI.  We were never 8 billion plus humans on Earth. We grew about fourfold in the last one hundred years and nearly eightfold in the last three hundred years. We are still growing, and our footprint (and consumption) is also growing. In the next 30 years, we will be about 9.5 billion people. At the present, it seems under the toxic influence of capitalism, none of our global leaders seems to have the intention or the sincerity, or any experience or expertise, or any vision about how to deal with our growing (human) issues and the detrimental effects of our insatiable consumption (of natural resources) on our natural environment.

We are increasingly facing mental and physical health issues. Our sustainability is under threat. The livability of our habitats is dwindling. Our employment, housing and drinking water requirements are not keeping up with our growth. Sadly, our leaders remain busy with activities related to mainly their grip on the political power, as such, these issues are not within their focus. Who will help us?

Liberal democracy demands leaders be elected at the ballot box based solely on their capability, credibility and track records, and not charm, oratory or ideology. People who use ideology, oratory and emotions as their yardstick to elect their leaders, and follow them like zombies, potentially create Nazi / fascist dictators like Hitler and Mussolini. Not only do these socio-political zombies push their nation into abyss, but they also undermine the wellbeing and future of their own progenies.

Why didn’t Adolf Hitler’s advisors ever tell him that he was a fool, an idiot, unworthy of leading a normal human family with children, not to speak of leading a street soccer team? He was a sociopath, depressive and suicidal, but, as destiny would have it, he was egged on by his sycophant followers and turned into a maniac, a megalomaniac, a demonic destroyer of humanity.

Sycophants play a vital role in the fall of an individual or a nation, in particular, when they shamelessly appease individuals of immense political power and turn a blind eye to their obvious questionable acts. Our best friends are those who correct us in a timely manner and prevent us from saying or doing wrong things. A powerful individual surrounded by sycophants is destined for disappointment and doom.

Did Adolf Hitler create Nazi Germany, or the Nazi Germany create Hitler, or both created each other? It does not matter who came first, chicken or the egg, as they all created and nurtured each other, the Nazi seed was out there for the taking. Therefore, is it reasonable to blame and focus only on Adolf Hitler for what happened to Germany and the rest of the world? What about the millions of intelligent German people (and outside Germany) who adored him, inspired him, nourished him, supported him, unconditionally gave their lives to him, saw themselves in him, spoke through him and, intriguingly, behaved like zombies under his mesmerizing spell? 

Hitler was neither God nor the most good-looking or handsome or charming person who walked on Earth. Other than an animated gift of gab, he had nothing. Why did people need him and create him? Can, therefore, Nazism of the people, wherever they exist at the present, or have existed in the past, on the planet be just overlooked or pardoned?

If this scary transformation happened to humans in an intelligent Germany in a not-so-distant past, it could happen with (gullible) humans anytime, anywhere, as not much has changed in the last 90 years! We humans have not become any wiser, or more intelligent or more peaceful or less racist or less bigots with time. Watch out, humans, beware! Your true friends are only those who stop you from doing wrong things or speaking a toxic, divisive language.

You are not perfect; no human is or ever was or ever will be. We are all a work in progress. Proverbially, to err is human. If you have no one within your circle or team to rightfully stand up to you and oppose you, you have no friends. You are not only your own worst enemy, but you are also surrounded by only your enemies. Your doom is certain. Unfortunate!

© Bill K Koul [2 October 2023, Perth, Western Australia]

Copyright © Bill K Koul

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