Why People Follow Genocidal Populist Tyrants

I have, in few of my previous posts, written about the link between gross income inequality and the rise of populist tyrants. However few people dare to honestly answer the next logical question-

How can these populist tyrants get away with policies that are clearly genocidal? Don’t their murderous followers have no heart?

While there are a host of intersecting reasons behind the popularity and acceptance of genocide under tyrants, one reason is seldom mentioned in polite society.


All populist tyrants start with genocides against the petty tyrants of the old system. It is no coincidence that police, judges, other officials, bankers, merchants and bureaucrats of the previous regime are always the first to end up in ‘work’ camps and mass graves.

Petty tyrants are easy pickings for a few reasons-

1. There are enough of them to keep a murderous crowd happy for a long time.

2. They represent the face of the previous regime.

3. People know where they live and work.

4. They lose a lot of power after the old regime falls.

5. They are too tainted to incorporate on a large scale in the new regime.

6. Their previous ‘masters’ discard them at the first sign of doom.

Once you understand these simple, and rather obvious facts, it is easy to see why petty tyrants from the old regime end up in mass graves with such regularity. Indeed, most populist tyrants would never come to power in the first place if petty tyrants understood their limitations.

Ask yourself- If there was a free for all tomorrow, wouldn’t people who represent the public face of the current system end up dead at a disproportionately higher rate than say.. people with average jobs?


  1. jackal
    November 20, 2011 at 7:25 am

    The difference between cops and an un- or under-employed protesters is the cops still have jobs (emphasis on “still”). Unlike Syrian soldiers who are jumping ship to join protesters, bullying cops are absolutely devoid of empathy and morality, otherwise they’d beat up not on folks in the streets but on their own chief of police. But cops don’t because assholes in lifeboats are always content with those in the water, staying in the water.

  2. November 20, 2011 at 10:49 am

  3. jackal
    November 20, 2011 at 11:22 am

    They’re duped!

    Erich Fromm (from his 1940s “Escape from Freedom”):

    “There is only one possible, productive solution for the relationship of individualized man with the world: his active solidarity with all men and his spontaneous activity, love and work, which unite him again with the world, not by primary ties but as a free and independent individual…. However, if the economic, social and political conditions… do not offer a basis for the realization of individuality in the sense just mentioned, while at the same time people have lost those ties which gave them security, this lag makes freedom an unbearable burden. It then becomes identical with doubt, with a kind of life which lacks meaning and direction. Powerful tendencies arise to escape from this kind of freedom into submission or some kind of relationship to man and the world which promises relief from uncertainty, even if it deprives the individual of his freedom.”

  4. November 27, 2011 at 6:09 am

    Demagogues always find friends in the crowd. They preach discontent and the crowd responds.

    Unfortunately, this destroys civilization.

    A ‘civilization’ that does not benefit most of its people deserves to be tortured and killed along with its supporters, their children, grand-children etc.

    If you have a false elite, the solution is to change the index of selection.

    All ‘elites’ are by definition false.

    The French Revolution link posted above, while it goes to prole group blog Wikipedia which is only reliable when it’s plagiarized, is quite informative.

    Who cares about what happened next as long as those benefiting from the old system were tortured and killed.

  1. November 20, 2011 at 10:48 am

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