“So, you want to be a Dictator?” by Martin Hadfield

Jan 26th, 2022 | By | Category: Nonfiction, Prose

Have you ever thought that you could do more? Do you enjoy exercising control over others? Then why not consider becoming a dictator? It may seem an unusual career choice, but it can offer great rewards to those who are successful. You can even start on the journey today by following these simple steps.

The first step is one that anybody can try. Get into the habit of telling people what to do. Start small at first. Maybe tell a cashier at a store that you would like a bag. You can then grow from there. Before you know it, you’ll be knocking on the Mayor’s office with a list of demands.

To truly succeed at dictatorship, you will need an air of superiority. Watch footage of dictators and practice their expressions in the mirror. If you act like you are better than everybody else, everybody will believe that you think you are better than everybody else.

By now you will be well on your way to dictatorship. You might notice that there are many people in the general public who achieve an air of superiority and do not seem to progress any further. There’s a bus driver on my local route who has been like this for years. He’s been acting superior and telling people what to do for as long as I can remember.

Perhaps they do not progress because the next few steps are a little harder to master and can take some practice. Your next task is to develop an irresistible charm. Once mastered, use this charm to make important friends. However, once a friend is made you will need to devise ways to destroy them later, in case they become a threat.

Now that you have that charm, it can also be very useful in developing a cult of adoration from the public. At first this may seem difficult, but if you start small your adoring followers will soon grow. Social media is a simple tool to start with.

Well done! By now you will be loved by many, including the important and the masses. Now is the time to start your own political party. Design your party carefully because you need to be seen as a humble person of the people in the public eye, yet powerful and commanding. With a little elbow grease, it won’t be long before you have achieved your goal and be elected as the leader of your nation.

So, you want to stay a Dictator?  

Congratulations. If you’re reading this far it means that you might have followed my easy steps and become a dictator. You’ve achieved success, but how do you keep things that way? How many times have you heard of a successful dictator going bust and losing everything? Don’t be a fly-by-night dictator. With a little more work, you can have a long and fruitful future.

At the earliest opportunity, you must update the democratic system that put you in power. Explain to your colleagues that important decisions are best made by you instead of a party vote. Dispense with that expensive, old-fashioned election process. After all, everyone loves you anyway so what’s the point?

Everyone loves a parade. You will need rousing marching music, plenty of soldiers with big guns, and a huge central square to march around. Perhaps you could declare a public holiday to ensure a huge crowd. Be sure to attend and wear plenty of gold braid and medals.

It’s important for a dictator to always be in the minds of the people. When there’s not a parade on, make sure there are plenty of statues of yourself around to remind the populace of your magnificence. Sitting atop a large horse in a shiny bronze lustre adds a sense of grandeur.

Once you have the people bedazzled by your charisma, you will need to turn your attention to the military, because many coups start with them. Giving them nicely tailored uniforms and high pay will keep them lazy, happy, and willing to defend your honour. The more active amongst them will enjoy spending their time setting up a secret police service to keep an eye on the population and take care of any opposition.

It is always important to keep the masses busy. Persecuting an unpopular minority group is a nifty way to focus their attention on something that doesn’t involve toppling you from power.

And finally, always remember to think safety first. Be aware and take care. Amass a personal fortune in untouchable offshore accounts. When you finally decide to call it a day (or if things don’t go to plan) you can retire to a tropical tax-free haven.


Martin Hadfield has been meandering aimlessly through the suburbs for many years wondering why he is not quite like the other children. Finally, he has realised that his often-topsy-turvy perspectives can be entertaining. He is now on a journey to share these thoughts and ideas in an adventure that makes its progress by simply placing one word in front of the other.

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