Tag Archives: Adolf Hitler

Tyrants and Testimony

“Somehow, people always forget that it’s much easier to install a dictator than to remove one”
― Garry Kasparov, Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped

https://www.netflix.com/title/80989772

https://www.netflix.com/title/80091880

by Rick Bretz

The expression “drunk with power” is available for all of us to use for a reason. History shows us when psychopaths gain power bad things happen.

Two serial programs in the documentary show classification are available on Netflix that demonstrate the power of intimidation and the spoken word. The two programs cover the career path of tyrants and what happens at the end of the road to perdition.

“One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.”
― George Orwell, 1984

The first series “How to Become a Tyrant”, as the title suggests, is a step by step game plan outlining how past dictators rose to power. The most important attribute on the road to tyranny may be PATIENCE. One episode points to many examples of potential tyrants planning and deferring their time to strike .

“Dictatorship, by whatever name, is founded on the doctrine that the individual amounts to nothing; that the State is the only one that counts; and that men and women and children were put on earth solely for the purpose of serving the state.”
― Harry S. Truman

The second serial program is “Tokyo Trials”, a program that calls into question how to deal with a nation’s leadership after the destruction. With insight and historical records from the Japanese Word War II war crimes trials in Tokyo from 1946 to 1948, the documentary asks the question “Who is responsible and for how much” of the killing and aggression.

Back to how the tyrant becomes one. The Tyrant documentary features several historical heads of state who .have used a blow torch of destruction over the years. These range from the obvious, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, to Muammar Gaddafi , Idi Amin, and Saddam Hussein. More than presenting names, the show covers how these bad guys rose to power and what was the strategy that got them to their zenith.

The overall roadmap to gaining power is covered in six steps that are the episodes of the series.  The check off list for becoming a tyrant is:

  1. Seize Power
  2. Crush Your Rivals
  3. Reign Through Terror
  4. Control the Truth
  5. Create a New Society
  6. Rule Forever

As the show suggests, seizing power is not as simple as it seems. The key rests in the restless messenger and the message.  The “my enemies are your enemies” strategy and the ability to be one with the people serves the future dictator well.   However, this “I’m with you because I am you” tactic can change to “Appointed by God” or “I am God” as in the case of North Korea’s Kim Dynasty.

The “How to Become a Tyrant” programs are narrated by one of the best voices out there, Peter Dinklage. Yes, the Peter Dinklage of “Game of Thrones” lore. The sardonic and derisive tone of the script language and Dinklage’s delivery obscures the true sadistic nature of the tyrants that made the list for the show. They even bring up a few you may have forgotten over the years.

This brings up the last one, Rule Forever.  Holding on to power may be more difficult than gaining it and as history shows, retribution can be a cold, hard truth–Looking at you Muammar Gaddafi and Nicolae Ceaușescu.

All of this to bring up the second docu-drama, the Tokyo Trials on Netflix.

It’s the testimonial part.  Once the fire has been doused, if the tyrant gets a chance, there some explaining to do or finger pointing, if the judges buy the defense.

 Because once the storm is over, there will be a reckoning.  And if a Tyrant is lucky to live through the initial outrage, after the re-taking of power, sometimes the victors are magnanimous and have trials to determine crime and punishment for the responsibility all of the destruction. 

The Tokyo Trials demonstrates to the viewer how the trial judges from 11 nations applied civilized law to an uncivilized idea, the engaging of war against nations and crimes associated with waging war as a political strategy. Beginning in 1946 and lasting more than 2 years, testimony from several war defendants were heard, before sentences were handed down. The judges considered crimes of aggression, conventional war crimes as well as crimes against humanity.

The program’s producers use historical footage edited with trial recreations to form an accurate scholarship of the proceedings.  The allied judges reference the Nuremberg trials often through the series for comparison with the Japanese and German war criminals.

Back to the tyrants. The interesting part to me when watching the How to be a Tyrant series is that the play book can be applied to everyday tyrants we have to deal with during our day to day activities. To a lesser degree, let’s face it, there are  tyrants waiting to strike everywhere. Remember patience is a key attribute.

Here’s the List

Office Tyrants (Stop Crushing Your Rivals)

Social Media Virtual Meeting Tyrants (Stop Trying to Control the Truth)

Family Tyrants (Stop Trying to Seize Power)

Bar and Pub Tyrants (Stop Reigning through Terror)

Highway Tyrants (Stop Trying to Rule Forever)

Community Organization Tyrants (Stop Trying to Create a New Society)

That’s just the short list.  So for all of these tyrants,let someone else be in charge for once!

Notable Links:

https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/nuremberg-and-tokyo-war-crimes-trials

https://www.facinghistory.org/holocaust-and-human-behavior/chapter-10/tokyo-trials

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/macarthur-tokyo-war-crimes-trials/

Tyrants

https://www.adducation.info/general-knowledge-history/worst-dictators-tyrants/

https://www.tyrantsanddictators.com/https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/02/cia-psychological-profiles-hitler-castro-putin-saddam/

The Bully Pulpit

by Rick Bretz

President Theodore Roosevelt during his presidency  coined the term “Bully Pulpit” to mean a “terrific or advantageous” platform to promote ideas.   The position of President of the United States might be the best place in the world to promote ideas.  Back then, in his day, the word “Bully” meant a good thing, as in “”Bully for You” or “Good For You.”  But somewhere, as in the case of many words, the meaning of the word was hijacked to the more popular definition of the word today, “A person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.”  The verb form meaning to force or harass someone using superior strength to do force him or her to do what one wants.

President of the United States Theodore Roosev...
President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing front. Deutsch: Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919), Präsident der Vereinigten Staaten von 1901 bis 1909, Friedensnobelpreisträger des Jahres 1906. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The word bully meant something good in the early 1900s but turned into a word that defines the evil angels of our nature. Interesting to note that the synonyms listed for this word include, Tyrant, Tormentor, Oppressor, Persecutor, Intimidator and Thug.  Today there is a new moniker that defines the Bully.   The technology savvy persecutor, tormentor and thug–The Cyber bully. This bully uses all of the tools available to the persecutor and this tool has the added benefit of making the tormentor anonymous if he or she so desires.   Beside being a jerk, the online tormentor violates a key policy outlined in most organizations’ information technology code of ethics documents. That is: “Do no harm.”

There are many varieties of bully.  Some are less harmful than others but the different speciesalways leave some form of destruction in their wake.  Here are my top eight types of bullies that wreak all kinds of havoc as we all try to live, thrive and survive day-to-day.

1. The Government Bully– Someone who has gained a position of power by military take over, Coup de Tat,  violence against the voting populace, political maneuvering or government appointed position.  This type of bully proves the most dangerous because they can use their position to gain wealth, kill people, keep power and bully other countries into entering into unwise diplomatic agreements as well as any number of wrongs against the people.  They include the likes of Saddam Hussein. Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Chairman Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Genghis Khan and many more.

2. The Office Bully-This person creates the toxic atmosphere at work.  The person everyone knows , whom management lets run rough shod over other co-workers either by using something they know, someone in management they know, or just using an acidic personality to create havoc in the work place or torment the one individual in the office who takes the abuse.  This where other co-workers should step in and take a stand even if the bully sits at a higher level in the organization.

3. The Teleconference and Meeting Bully-That certain someone who raises his or her voice, try to talk over people, cuts off another person talking,  ridicules someone else’s ideas.  You know that someone in the office.  A person  who wants to take over the entire meeting to look fantastic in front of “The Boss.” I dislike these people and managers should call them out and make them stop.

4. The Driving Bully– You know.  We’ve all seen  them on the highway, in the city or even on some rural road. They pass on double lines, bogart their way into a parking spot, merge their vehicle in the wrong place, change lanes from the far left to the exit ramp in less than 20 yards just to prove they can.  I got news for you people: you’re not impressing anyone.  Some advice I know will be ignored but here goes anyway, “Drive like you are supposed to-like the rest of us-obey the traffic laws. Just maybe you won’t be the next person to cause a wreck.”

5. The Internet Bully-These people are the trolls you see at the bottom of a story you have read in the comment list but they are also the same people who use the social media to harass and torment another person. Cyber bullies are the worst because they are going after a person for the whole world to see.  These people are the cause of some teen ager or young person committing suicide because the cyber bully won’t back off on the social media comments and criticism.  Someone who bullies a person through social media has no self esteem and no compassion for other human beings.

6. Corporate Bully-The corporate bully intimidates start-ups, harasses inventors, steals inventions, steals software or worse yet, calls in some government friends for favor so a certain agency can do an audit or create an avalanche of paperwork and lawyers so that a company or individual can go away.  You know who they are: some have been around for a long time.  President Teddy Roosevelt called them monopolies and decided he had enough of them.  He did what good bully fighters do, he made them stop.

7. Gang Bully-Any person using his position as part of a group, gang or union to intimidate, harass, persecute or just plain beat up.  These people get their so-called “courage” because they know their buddies will be standing behind them in case the scene gets a little tough for them to handle. I see no courage in that.  The person who takes on the group alone, now that’s courage.
8. Law Enforcement Bully-A majority of law enforcement officials are superb human being and logical in their approach to handing out citations and tickets. But now and then you get someone who you can just tell hasn’t been in a position of power or leadership and they carry an attitude of, “OK, now I’m in power position and people are going to pay.”  They are few,  but when you come across one, you never forget them.

Ok, now I’m off the bully pulpit about bullies, for now.

 

Notable Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bully_pulpit

http://www.lni.wa.gov/Safety/Research/Files/Bullying.pdf

http://www.internetsafety101.org/cyberbullyingstatistics.htm