:: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 ::
There are dark forces at work in this world...and if Steven Den Beste has read the data correctly, France is up to its turned up nose in them.
One thing I've noticed about some autocratic regimes is that there comes a point where the failure of the regime becomes manifest, and the autocrats change modes. They cease trying to play the game on behalf of their nations, which is to say that they cease trying to make themselves more powerful by trying to make the nation they lead more powerful. Instead, they concentrate on trying to extend the game as long as possible so that they can continue to enjoy the fruits of privilege, while also preparing exit strategies so they can get out into rich exile once they cease being able to extend their rule.
In this mode, they command a sinking ship, but try to make sure it sinks as slowly as possible, and that their own staterooms remain dry and comfortable and well provisioned, and that there are lifeboats carefully preserved for them when the ship finally goes down so that they won't be among those that drown. They place armed guards at the stairwells who use violence to keep those below decks from coming up to escape the rising water. And they ignore the dying shrieks of those in lower decks.
In some cases this can go on for decades. In many cases it can only be ended by outside intervention.
That's what the Sauds are doing, for instance. You saw the same thing with Marcos in the Philippines, Amin in Uganda, Suharto in Indonesia, and Mobuto in Zaire, and we're seeing it now with Kim in North Korea. It's arguable that the USSR went into this mode, maybe even as early as 1965. We just saw it in Iraq. It's happening now in Zimbabwe. There comes a point where the rulers become dedicated to maintenance of their power, maintenance of their own comfort and privilege, and to making sure they have big untraceable foreign bank accounts. This leads to increasing repression and brutality against the population, often preposterously great expenditures on the lifestyles of the ruling elite (sometimes openly paid for out of the government treasury), and accelerating breakdown of the national economy in part due to graft, mismanagement, cronyism and embezzlement.
:: Mark 12:06 PM [+] ::