How to Take Over the World
Tired of working for a living and having your usual nine to five job fail to pay your bills? Unable to climb your mound of personal debt? Spending too much time bowing down to "the man?" Fear not, faithful readers... by following this simple tutorial, you too can climb to alpha dog of the planet.
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Step 1: Be Born Into Wealth and Power
Rising to power from the working or lower classes is a tough order, if not downright impossible. To truly rise to power, it's almost essential that you must first be born into wealth. Lisa Kroll writes in Forbes magazine regarding the 10 most wealthy dictators, "Entrepreneurs they’re not. These fortunes are largely derived from inheritances or positions of power. And the lines often blur between what is owned by the country and what is owned by the individual." If by chance you're not born into wealth... well... keep those fingers crossed for a wealthy benefactor, Pip.
Step 2: Work the System
Once the slurry of your fortune has finally set, you must next turn your attention to working the system to get ahead. Your wealth and pedigree will net you the finest education money can buy, but your primary, secondary, and higher education will not simply end in the classroom. "Just as private schools are a pervasive feature in the lives of upper-class children, so, too, are private social clubs a major point of orientation in the lives of upper-class adults," writes G. WIlliam Domhoff of Third World Traveller. "Ultimately, social standing in their world reduces to one issue: where does an individual or family rank on the scale of private club memberships and informal cliques." Useful tip: don't forget to change out of that sweaty Polo gear before lunch with Buffy and Reginald at the yacht club!
Step 3: Rub Elbows With Slimy People
See that rich philanthropist in the corner, sipping on a Martini and fraternizing with charity leaders? That's not the guy you want to talk to. A who's who of the country's most rich and powerful often reads like a supervillain's rogues gallery. In 2006, K-Street lobbyist Jack Abramoff was found guilty of federal charges of conspiracy, tax evasion and mail fraud. Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, was later convicted in 2007 on lying and obstruction of justice charges after leaking the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Illinois governor Rod Blagoeovich was indicted in 2009 on corruption charges after attempting to sell a U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder. What do these men have in common? They're all extremely powerful - and extremely rich. In the book "Moral Man and Immoral Society," Reinhold Niebuhr notes that "Persons who appear to be moral as individuals nonetheless... join with others of their group and act with exceeding self-concern, with oppressive ruthlessness, and with devestating destruction." In other words, ditch the moral compass and go kick some puppies with your like-minded pals.
Step 4: Seize the Moment
Hitler and Stalin were both able to seize on post World War I poverty to rise to power in their respective countries. Franklin Roosevelt parlayed a Great Depression and another World War into a whopping four-term Presidency. Heck, even gramattically challenged George W. Bush was able to win reelection based largely on the spectre of Iraq and 9/11. The lesson? Whenever there's a crisis at hand, it is of utmost importance that you recognize it and take full advantage. "Fear of course, is the main reactive emotion upon which these politicians build their foundation of force and theft," writes Connor Boyack, a political and tech blogger. "The simple fact that these agendas can only be successfully implemented during times of mayhem and confusion speaks volumes as to the nobility and integrity of their sponsors." You've already got the nobility and integrity down... or lack thereof... it's time to prey on the fears of the public.
Step 5: Crush Your Enemies
The Italian Philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli famously stated, "It is much more secure to be feared than to be loved," and what better way to be feared than through complete annihilation of your foes? In cases of warfare and physical combat, it is recommended to use the Powell Doctrine: the use of disproportionate and overwhelming force to ensure military victory. However, do not fall into the trap of believing that mere muscle alone will ensure victory... ruining an enemy's finances, image, and spirit can be equally devestating. "You must make sure you inflict enough damage to placate them forever" writes Mr. Mafioso for AskMen.com. "What happens to our good friend who is now penniless, wifeless and stripped of a good reputation? Not much, you've essentially stripped the man of everything, including any mental strength he thought he had left." Ouch.
Step 6: Kick Up Those Combat Boots
Congratulations, you've done it! Now that you've successfully risen to power, what's your next step? While being a kind and benevolent ruler may have it's perks (for sissies), everyone knows that stomping out the little buy and flexing your dictatorial muscles is actually much more fun. In the words of Oscar Wilde, "The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means." Enjoy.