Tyranny, is it necessary?

Tyranny has been described by Meriam Webster as:

Etymology: Middle English tyrannie, from Middle French, from Medieval Latin tyrannia, from Latin tyrannus tyrant
1 : oppressive power ; especially : oppressive power exerted by government
2 a : a government in which absolute power is vested in a single ruler; especially : one characteristic of an ancient Greek city-state b : the office, authority, and administration of a tyrant
3 : a rigorous condition imposed by some outside agency or force

It is the sort of Boss one would coyly call, a “dictator”. It defies the concept of democracy. Somewhat liberty is compromised. Popularity is not a consideration. Vox populi is negligible. Basically, these sort of people want others to follow their ways, even it is involuntary.

Isn’t that supposed to be not good? Maybe. It has its arguments, moral and practical.

Then again the complexity of life has many times shown that what the heart says, it might not be the best for limbs. Society has too many facet that someone would eventually agree for “Tyranny”.

I, for one. At least, from a certain angle.

History has recorded some of the world’s society progressed because their leaders were Tyrants. Of course, its always about who’s opinion that is employed to interpret history and from which perspective. In this story, its about the achievements some society able to etch, on their colourful spread over their historical duvet.

Napolean Bonaparte was a tyrant. He managed to consolidate the sickly France into a European superpower, for a brief moment of time. Almost half of Europe was under him and in a way, Europe was united. Much like EU today. Bonaparte gave the simple peasants of France a lot of pride, nationalism and patriotism, especially a direction after the people’s revolution of July 1789. A tyrant took charge from a chaotic democracy. Yes, a power of the people which was short lived.

Winston Churchill was a tyrant, within a highly respected “First amongst equal” principled democracy, a system which became the fundamental blocks for 1/3 of the world’s government. He inherited the British Government from Neville Chamberlain, at a point where the Brits almost lost the war to the Germans and risk being invaded, just like much the rest of Europe. He led a resource choked Britain, under a very cruel blockade by Karl Doenitz’s notorious U Boat packs in the North Atlantic into a resilient force which managed to turn the table around and eventually co-organized in the Allied Forces expedition to liberate Europe. Of course as the Prime Minister, he had to make very hard decisions, which were very unpopular. He defied a lot of people. Churchill allowed Singapore, Britain‘s gem in the far east, to be overrun by the Japanese. He even sidestepped principles that the mighty House of Commons stood for, in awe. He took charge because Britain needed the leadership, even unwarranted.

Fidel Castro led a politburo of revolutionaries, to overthrow the Batista regime and turned the glitter and glamorous resort laissez faire Cuba into a communist-Marxist nation in the Carribeans. He nationalized all the American industries and reformed almost everything in Cuba. Western defined democracy and freedom disappeared, along with a poor human rights record (according to many red witch hunters across the Gulf). Being an ally of the Soviet Union, he was a thorn to the US. However he did wonders. Almost everyone had education opportunities, even to tertiary and despite the economic sanction, he developed an impeccable health program, including an advanced bio-medical field in an island left in the stagnation of time.

Of course, there is also Lee Kuan Yew. The expulsion from the federation of Malaysia 9 August 1965 left the city-state with only its trading hub economic position. He managed to transform the entreport economy of the tiny South East Asian nation state to a regional financial, ICT and electronics powerhouse and one of the most powerful economies in Asia. His policies imposed so many restrictions for Singaporeans, including a healthy democratic process. This further allowed him to have a free hand in designing and implementing a lot of programs, in a resourceless and yet highly dense island-city-state.

The good thing about tyrant leaders is that they managed to get things done, especially in situation if crisis. Like Churchill and Castro. Sure, they defied the concept of democracy. The people were not heard. But then again, there’s other pressing and major issues that the people should deal with, rather than endless bicker and grumble who-suppose-to-do-what-when-and-how-should-it-be-done. Too much free talk about being righteous is not actually the best thing to dwell into, especially when your house in on fire and there’s not much money in your wallet.

Two out of the examples chosen above are millitary leaders. Millitary leaders sometime makes the best tyrant, running a country which is much unsettled. Millitary leaders are trained in commanding so many units and move coherently. No questions asked, objectives must be met, mission must be fulfilled. That’s the milltary management success. This is true for Pakistan, under Gen. Zia Ul Haq and now, Gen. Pervez Musharaff. Also true for Gamel Abdul Nasser and Anwar Sadat, of Egypt. Marshall Josef Tito of Yugoslavia. Charles De Gaulle of France. Generalismo Chiang Kai Shek of Taiwan and Francisco Franco of Spain. In a way, Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell, the only personality to defy the closely treasured monarchy system successfully in England 1600s, is a tyrant too.

The luxury of democracy is something the people would want to have, some cherish, but only when every single aspect of survival is being fulfilled. Too much rhetorics actually fail to evaluate the mitigating circumstance of other people’s real issues at hand versus their much highlighted predicaments, especially by these sordidly selfish promoters of so-called universal values in the pretext of human rights, voice of the people, the theoretical academics, narrow minded clerics, et al.

When the situation is pressing and there is a crisis at hand or lurking round the corner, one would go for the tyrant, to set things right, for the many, who many times are aimless!

I would like to borrow the caption of Capt. Frank Ramsay, played by Gene Hackman in the movie, “Crimson Tide” when he sternly address the XO, Lt. Cdr. Ron Hunter, played by Denzel Washington. “We are here to preserve democracy, not to practice it!”.

Published in: on February 23, 2007 at 01:11  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. good point mr. big dog … IMO I do believe there is no single system which is absolutely good for absolutely everyone …. democracy is about the voice of majority, but what if the majority is blind, that of course will lead to disaster …

  2. HI YOU UGLY FAT DOG!! You do write excellent english and published at MT site…but why you so chicken heart to write in bahasa at Sheih to billitle me?
    You fat fat ugly dog….say I am lonely? How many girls want your type?
    Fucking low down bastards like you and shar101….come lets battle…or else you are simply nickumpoos jealous of my cl;ose relationship with SHEIH.What type of creatures are you both?
    Motherfucker shar101….come out from your hiding hole and talk!!


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