September 01, 2005

Dictator of the Month presents dictators from leading to least, consumate to crap. They're all here, folks: the oppressors, autocrats, despots, monarchs, potentates and tyrants of the world since 1900 (because adding *all* of them since the beginning of recorded history would probably be a bit of a tough task). "Biographies and picture galleries of both historical and current leaders- from the more obscure Maumoon Gayoom of the Maldives to the most notorious like Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union." Saparmurat Atayevich Niyazov, otherwise known as Turkmenbashi, was dictator of the month January 2005. No doubt he'll swing round again because, well, he's just so fucking crazy.
  • Via The Presurfer
  • I see they have democratically elected Hugo Chavez in there, and an extremely partisan recounting of his reign and the events of 2002. I'm by no means his biggest fan, but if that's where they set the bar for 'dictator' then they're depriving the term of any meaning. Shame really, as it makes me wonder about the veracity of what I read concerning the other interesting figures who I know even less about.
  • The Turkmenbashi article seems to cover the bare bones of the situation. One difficulty with some dictators is that they try to close their country and control its media, so not much coverage is available, anf that which does emerge is neither critical nor unbiased. Agree the inclusion of Chavez seems CIA-centric, Aziezer, but must admit I'm not really familiar with the ins and outs of Chavez' terms in office.
  • It covers all dictators from minor to major! They're not all gonna be like Hitler!
  • Yep, I'm not pretending to be an expert on Venezuela by any means, but from the range of views I've read I still think it's early days for Hugo to be ranked with some of these - I guess the crux will be if he goes quietly when his term's up or if he's voted out. Set me thinking what the definition of 'dictator' means - I always took it to mean a single ruler who's word was basically law. A quick scan of the relevant Wikipedia page had me thinking that by those lights I'd leave Mao Zedong in but take Deng Xiaoping out - although he wielded enormous personal influence he didn't have a grip on power of anything like the magnitude of Mao. The phrase they used is power 'without effective restraint by a legislative assembly'. China didn't have that, but he did have to pay attention to a much wider Party constituency than Mao ever did. The general consensus of scholars I read here is that under Deng China moved from a dictatorship to an authoritarian state. Ah, progress!
  • [Kim Jong Il] reportedly has a genius IQ and is very creatively and artistically inclined, having personally written no less than 6 operas, and designed at least one major structure. Let me guess which structure.
  • I wouldn't be taking this link that seriously, people.
  • I notice that despite the presence of archive links going back to 2001, the domain was registered last year. I'm guessing some wingnut made it for the sole purpose of putting Chavez in there.
  • Take with several buckets of salt all statements about political leaders who are talented in the arts or have high IGs or who have descended from the heavens in swine-drawn chariots.
  • =IQs
  • In that case Chy, I challenge you to a quick round of historical bad guy swapping fun with Friendly Dictators Trading Cards to lighten the mood!
  • Monkeyfilter: They're not all gonna be like Hitler!
  • Speak for yourself. ACHTUNG!!!
  • Wow, Abiezer - those are great cards. Lots of good early-90's Sienkiewicz art which I love. It's a crying shame that Eclipse was bought out by Marvel, who had absolutely no idea what to do with it once they had it.
  • Maumoon Gayoom Best name I've read for months.