As we look back on the past year of the Bahraini revolution and the amount of horrors we went through with the current government in their methods of dealing with the opposing voice and the degree of readiness to silence in which are beyond the believable. One would argue that it is not as some say or happens in other countries going/went through the Arab spring phase. I simply say, methods differ but the goal is one, to silence and stop any rising voice of truth that doesn’t sit well with them.
How is it possible for the common men of these eras to not notice what is happening around them? Uncaring as their cultures being overrun by nationalization, the corrupt establishment of leadership in different parts of the country, and how could they have stood as statues unaware or uncaring as their brothers and sisters get assaulted, killed, fired, looted, kids being robbed from their innocence, parents and loved ones. How? When the standing statues felt the need to move and talk, they stood by the regime side and accused those asking for their rights and freedom of being traitors with no loyalty towards the country. When did loving you country and being loyal to the country get hand in hand with loving your dictator? If you’re against the dictator you’re against the country and you become a national threat is the common charge now days, Loyalty to a person not the country unfortunately.
The prevalence of apathy and ignorance sets the stage for the slow and highly deliberate process of success of such despotic regimes in which hinges upon a certain number of political, financial, and cultural developments. The unwillingness in the general populace to secure and defend their own freedoms, making them completely reliant on a corrupt establishment leadership. In an ideal world, we should not neglect the condition of our country, our people and be completely informed of the threats to our future where the regime handles our country as its own personal property, nationalizing and replacing the countries original people and owning the personal lands or the publics. Many other examples of corruption and doings of the regime can be listed.
Before we examine the frequently wielded tools of our tyrant, I ask of you to have an open mind and not abandon your responsibility. Responsibility of not losing respect for your own humanity towards your people, to stop being part of the mindless flock with no regards for anything except your fleeting momentary desires for entertainment and short term survival, and to be part of setting free your people from this long casted shadow of this tyrant ruler, to have a better future for your self and those after you.
Tyrants from different eras and generations can differ in few things, but they share a lot to the point that i started to believe that they have a handbook of basic rules to do that. Let us call it the 101 of Tyranny and I’ll try to list down some of the obvious points that they all share below, The obvious rules of tyranny as following:
-Keeping the people divided and afraid
This is not just a political law, but a law of nature; People who are easily frightened are easily dominated, many wrongly assume that a tyrant’s power comes purely from using force. Fact is, regimes that rely solely on extreme violence are often unsuccessful, and easily overthrown, It can be analyzed, thus eventually confronted and defeated.
Instead they do not only utilize brute force, but the illusion of a forthcoming threat of harm. They instill the anxiety to the public of a unknown fear, or a fear of the possible consequences of a known threat. They let our imaginations run wild until we see death around every corner, whether it’s actually there or not. When the masses are so blinded by fear, here comes the easy part to divide the masses into different sectors in the community, and it becomes easier to take on divided powers and easily conquered by them.
We see this clearly in the Arab world and how the dictators played this card in Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Tunisia, Libya and Bahrain.
In other words, our fear is engineered by made up enemies by those dictators to distract the masses with another race, religion, sectarianism or another ideology. Thus we forget the fear of slavery and they assure that we “need them” in order to remain safe and secure from these illusory enemies they have created.
Let us not forget the Bahraini regime scandal in 2006, “The Bandargates report” The 240=page report that refers to an alleged political conspiracy by the regime officials to foment sectarian strife and marginalize the majority Shia community in the country. The report exposed in details the secret intelligence spy cells, the regimes operated bogus NGOs like the ‘Bahraini Jurists Society’ and the ‘Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society’, the Internet forums and websites that spread sectarian hatred, the payments for election rigging and more importantly, the nationalization project that the king pulled of.
As always, this is followed by the claim that all actions and excessive force taken, the dissolving of our freedoms, are “for the greater good”. Frightened people tend to neglect their senses and run towards the comfort of the collective flocks. And here the tyrant regime got their divided, afraid masses they needed.
-To isolate the masses and control the media
In the past, regimes would often legislate and enforce severe penalties for public gatherings, because defusing the ability of the citizenry to organize or to communicate was paramount to control. In our technological era, such isolation is still used, but in far more advanced forms. The shopping and malls lifestyle of the average person alone is enough to distract us from connecting with each other in any meaningful fashion, but people still find ways to seek out organized forms of activism. and no one can deny the part that social media played in the revolutions last year and the ongoing ones.
Through co-option, modern day tyrant’s can direct and manipulate opposition movements by creating and administrating groups which oppose each other, The dictators regime can then micromanage all aspects of a nation on the verge of revolution. These “false paradigms” give us the illusion of proactive organization, and the false hope of changing the regime, while at the same time prevents us from seeking and understanding one. All energies are then muted and dispersed into meaningless battles over “left and right” or “Islamist versus Liberals”, for example. Only movements that cast aside such empty labels and concern themselves with the ultimate truth of their country, regardless of what that truth might reveal, are able to enact real solutions to the disasters wrought by tyranny such as Libya, Egypt, Bahrain youth movements.
In more advanced forms of despotism, even fake organizations are disbanded. Curfews are enforced. Normal communications are diminished or monitored. Compulsory paperwork is required. Checkpoints are instituted. Free speech is punished. Existing groups are influenced to distrust each other or to disintegrate entirely out of dread of being discovered. All of these measures are taken by tyrants primarily to prevent citizens from gathering and finding mutual support. People who work together and organize their own volition are unpredictable, and therefore, a potential risk to the system.
This part is mostly achieved by utilizing the media of which the country runs. It comes in many forms and has been used throughout as a mean to spread ideas, opinions, religions, political views, and most importantly a disinformation tool to spread the government ideology to the masses. Despite the changes in technologies, the national TV and radio broadcast still plays a major part and has more affection even if it was known to be untrustworthy and bias. Even with the big changes and means of media now days, people still view the TV and the radio as the voice of the people where they shape and mold opinions and attitudes and defines what is normal and acceptable through out time.
We’ve seen a lot of examples during the uprising in Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and Syria. where regimes show the world and those behind the TV screens how normal life is or how things are under control and going just the way they want with the exclusion of the other side. Even in the age of the “Media 2.0″ with all of the new means of spreading news and media, regimes are still trying to have control over them and some faced reality and saw how hard it is to stop the new Media 2.0 era i.e Egypt and Syria.
-Keep the people desperate to accept the unacceptable
Destitution leads not just to hunger, but also to crime (private and government). Crime leads to anger, hatred, and fear. Fear leads to desperation. Desperation leads to the acceptance of anything resembling a solution, even despotism.
This is what Syria was dragged into while Egypt and Bahrain regimes tried pulling it off when the people revolted and started demonstrating to gain the favor of the autocrats. You’ll find it in nearly every instance of cultural descent, the offending government gains favor after the onset of economic collapse. Make the necessities of root survival an uncertainty, and people without knowledge of self sustainability and without solid core principles will gladly hand over their freedom. Egypt got out of their dilemma when they ousted their tyrant, but still in a never ending fight for freedom with the system that their tyrant left behind. The regime pulled it off in Bahrain when they sacked and imprisoned the teachers and doctors in an attempt to humiliate and cut their source of income and using them as a leverage to reform.
Financial calamities are not dangerous because of the poverty they leave in their wake, they are dangerous because of the doors to malevolence that they leave open “Connected to the 1st point in dividing the masses” As a general rule, the masses must be either pampered or crushed. The tyrant would injure people only if he knows there is no threat of revenge. Using force to end them can be one solution, but this will not effectively keep order. Instead, it will upset the people, and may turn most into hostile enemies capable of causing great harm to the regime. another solution is to gain the favor of the autocrats and use them against the people. and this is were the elites “Doctors and teachers” broke the chain and stood against the regime. Where they thought that those who they believed to be pampered would give in their freedom and rights for the money and class they already got, Oblivious to the point that those people got to where they are with their own hard work and not by the regime.
As some autocracies pretend to cut through the dilemmas of economic dysfunction (usually while demanding liberties be relinquished – The National Dialogue in Bahrain), however, behind the scenes they actually seek to maintain a proscribed level of indigence and deprivation. The constant peril of homelessness and starvation keeps the masses thoroughly distracted from such things as protest or dissent, while simultaneously chaining them to the idea that the only chance is to cling to the very same regime out to end them.
Tyrannies are less concerned with dominating how we live, so much as dominating how we think. If they can mold our very morality, they can exist unopposed indefinitely. Of course, the elements of conscience are inborn, and not subject to environmental duress as long as a man is self aware. However, conscience can be manipulated if a person has no sense of identity, In case of Bahrain, the nationalization was the plan played by regime, where they try replacing the majority of the locals with their own slaves/mercenaries to rule and concurrently use them to suppress the locals revolt against the regime, that’s when lies become “necessary” in protecting the safety of the state, war becomes a tool for “peace” and torture becomes an ugly but “useful” method for extracting important information. people start accepting regimes brutality as a “natural reaction” to increased crime and genocide is done discretely, even when everyone knows it is taking place. They simply don’t discuss it.
-Keep your own personal army of thugs happy and blame freedom seekers
Thugs and secret police do eventually become prominent in every failed nation, usually while the public is mesmerized by visions of depression, hyperinflation and terrorism.
When law enforcement officials are no longer servants of the people, but agents of the regime, serious crises emerge. Rules and balances are removed. The guidelines that once reigned in police disappear, and suddenly, a philosophy of superiority emerges; an arrogant exclusivity that breeds separation between law enforcement and the rest of the public. Finally, police no longer see themselves as protectors, but prison guards out to keep us subdued and in-line.
Who can forget the scenes of Egypt’s tyrant goons? With their camels and weapons attacking people; Bahrain’s thugs chanting for the Prime Minister more than the tyrant him self, breaking cars and attacking villages hand in hand with the law enforcers! a police state that hides the identities of most of its thugs and officers, behind masks, because their crimes in the name of this regime becomes numerous and sadistic that personal vengeance on the part of their victims will become a daily concern.
All disasters and violent crimes, are hoisted upon activist groups and political rivals. They are falsely associated with (foreign interests, racists, terrorists, etc). created through puppet media in an attempt to make the public believe that “everyone else” must have the same exact views, and those who express contrary positions must be “out of their minds”, or “extremists”. Events are even engineered by the corrupt system and pinned on those demanding transparency and liberty. Instead of silencing them directly; and what better example than the national TV stations mentioned earlier? corrupt systems cannot function without scapegoats. There must always be an elusive conspiracy waiting to take place and harm every citizen, otherwise, those citizens may turn their attention, and their anger, towards the real culprit behind their troubles. By scapegoating those truth seekers, such regimes are able to kill two birds with one stone, brainwash the citizens and punish those apposing.
The glue of any regime is their spies and thugs, where some are addicted to the feeling of being a part of the collective, some are simple vindictive, cold, and soulless, and actually find enjoyment from ruining others, some long for money and power. In a police state where thuggery is branded as a civil duty; an act of heroism and bravery. They’re offered accolades and awards, and showered with praise from the upper tier of their communities. They begin to see an “extremists” and “terrorists” in every one. Soon, people are afraid of each other and start to watch for what they say or do, free speech is effectively neutralized by those unknown masked thugs by time in fear of them being around you in your daily life.
I tried to minimize the historical events to what has been going in the past couple years and didn’t go further than that, but keep in mind that most if not all points were applied through out the ages, and without learning from your history, you cannot go forward and avoid the old mistakes. When people learn to fight tyrants, tyrants encounter them by learning new methods and ways to enslave the people.
At the end, I’d like to say that all tyrannical systems depend on the apathy and moral relativism of the inhabitants within their surrounding. Without the cooperation of the public, these systems cannot function.
The real question is, how many of the above steps will be taken before we finally refuse it? At what point will each man and woman decide to break free and take measures to ensure their independence? Who will have the courage to develop their own communities, their own alternative economies, their own organizations for mutual defense outside of establishment constructs, and who will break under the pressure to bow like cowards? How many will hold the line, and how many will flee in the face of these obvious tyrants?
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