Putting a dick-tater* [see below*] in charge of things has always been a very very bad idea.
But in today’s world, this bad idea is worse than ever!
There is still the problem that such a position appeals mainly to cruel and cowardly people. That results in the person who is in that position surrounding themselves, not with the best experts in the country, nor the most diverse range of opinions, but with people they can cow.
Hence, you end up with someone predisposed to greed, cruelty, and cowardliness surrounding themselves with others who are cruel, greedy, and cowardly. The entire government decision making process ends up narrow, uncreative, and stupid. It was that way in ancient times and in the Middle Ages.
In those days, however, the whole of accurate human knowledge was much more limited than it is today. Today, even an actual genius (not a self-declared one) will know only a small fraction of the knowledge relevant to a given problem. That’s a bit of an issue for democratically elected leaders as well, but at least there is some chance that elected leaders will listen to a range of experts and make a decent decision. But in a dick-tater-$hit**, that almost never happens.
Although a dick-tater is supposed to have infinite power, it’s actually just a public fiction. Of course, the people as a whole are way more powerful than the dick-tater. But the dick-tater tries to put everyone in fear of each other. They divide in order to conquer. If the people would all stop obeying stupid orders, the dick-tater-$hit would crumble. But it takes a lot of bravery to be the first one to disobey their orders. The first one will be killed.
It takes even more bravery to be the second one. Because the second one to defy the Putintate (or whatever it’s called) has already seen the effects of radiation poisoning (or whatever other cowardly action was taken to silence the first). And, perhaps it takes even more courage to be the third person to work for the people rather than just please the dictator.
I enjoy playing chess myself. But it’s not that fun to simply stare at an empty chessboard. (I have actually done that to see how I can allocate my attention to various squares in the matrix, but that’s the subject of a different essay.) It gets old though. It’s certainly more fun to play chess. If you have no pieces however, it’s basically a boring game. It only works because you have pieces to move. If the pieces move on their own and express their basic nature as separate human beings, it’s disconcerting. But it’s even more disconcerting if there are no pieces whatsoever because you’ve murdered them all.
* I use the term “dick-tater” because I think it shows a better derivation. Latin for “Say often or prescribe” is where “dictator” comes from. And although some dictators and would-be dictators are mouthy or whiney, they don’t really *say* things at all in the way most of us do. Most people, most of the time, say things so as to better communicate and to coordinate our work for the community. The purpose of a dick-tater is to control, not to share truths. So, I don’t like relating what a dick-tater does with words like “diction” or “predict.”
When we think about toxic masculinity, however, we often refer to someone who only has his own interests at heart with the answer to this question: “What do you call it when a needle when stabs into your skin?” Or, we sometimes use a person’s name — one that rhymes with “ick”. And the use of this word “dick” in that way is not at all inclusive of the many characteristics of male anatomy. When we say someone is a “dick”, we’re not saying he’s shaped like one, or that he changes size a lot, or that he’s used for urination. We refer quite specifically to someone being a dick as acting, perceiving, and actually being a certain way. It doesn’t really even have anything to do with sex, per se, although certainly a “dick” is likely to approach sex, like everything else in a selfish, dickish way. He might be prone to “grab women by the pu$$y” or rape them or pay for sex. But that has nothing to do with, e.g., the actual miniscuality of the mushroom in question. True, microsize might be part of the motivation for someone to “become a dick” (since they don’t really have much of one), but it need not go that way.
The essence of the term refers only to the psychology behind what is being done. What is behind every perception, action, and decision is being an absolute coward. This is basically why the dick-tater seeks absolute power. He or she is too chicken to face a fair contest of any kind. They might lose. That is also why they are prone to pay for sex or sexually assault or molest someone younger. In all cases, they don’t have to face whether or not they will be accepted by their desired partner. It’s too scary for them. They might be rejected. But not if they can be bullied or forced or paid off. The slime invades every aspect of the dick-tater’s life.
No-one really knows exactly what causes people to be extremely (or sightly) sociopathic. It seems correlated with a lack of unconditional love given on the part of the parents. Criminality does tend to run in families but it’s unclear how much of that is due to which sorts of factors. In some ways, maybe it’s a lot like learning any other family business. This family tends to have good cooks. That family tends to have good crooks. In each case, the people in the family learn from each. Within this family there is an innately determined ability to imagine the result of combining tastes, while in that family people seem to have the natural talent to cause great wastes.
Let’s move on to the “tater” part. When I think of a “tater” I think of “tater tot” and that too seems wildly appropriate. The “tater tot” is very appealing. And, it’s also very bad for you compared with most other foods; it’s high in fat, in calories, and in fast-absorbing carbs. And, typically, it comes with added heart-unhealthy sodium. So, in terms of what it means for a society, few things could be more appropriate metaphors. It looks attractive and yummy but what it really does it tend to kill you while it makes you feel good for a moment. But your kids and grandkids and great-grandkids won’t feel that moment that you’ll relish. All they’ll feel is endless frustration and despair of the situation you put them in. And utter hate.
Can you really blame them?
The word “tater-tot” also has within in the two words, “tater” and “tot” and again both of these seem appropriate. A “tater” is a slang word for “potato” — a food which is something we can almost all relate to. I can’t think of anyone I know who doesn’t really like potatoes. Some only like French Fries while other prefer a Baked Potato. I like potatoes every way made that I’ve ever had: Baked, Fried, Scalloped, Potato Salad, German Potato Salad, boiled, mashed. The only “problem” with potatoes is that they don’t really solve the hunger problem very permanently. They are high calorie and the energy is quickly absorbed. This means your pancreas secretes insulin to drive your blood sugar level back down. And, since our biochemistry mainly evolved before French Fries, our pancreas thinks we are having a huge meal and sends way more than enough insulin. And, that drops your blood sugar level again.
So fifteen minutes after eating the French Fries with salt & ketchup (Yes, of course, I love them!) You feel wonderful! Yum! But an hour and a half after eating them you may feel hungrier than you did before you started!
That seems totally appropriate as a metaphor.
At last, we come to “tot.” It’s almost too easy and obvious, isn’t it? Many of us go through a phase as a toddler where we try this “I am the dictator of the world” and everyone must cater to me.” It doesn’t happen to everyone, but to far more than actually become dicks. It takes time and experience to understand how to be kind to people in all its complexity, but the basics are pretty easy, actually. So, most kids are “nice” to others most of the time. But there are a few who are not. And, then almost everyone has a bad day now and again. Now, personally, I was much more of a dick at age 13 than I was at 7, 8, 9, 10, or 11. Hormones? I don’t know. I just know it was so. Your mileage may differ. But, I think generally speaking, we would agree that dick-titorial behavior is childish behavior. It’s childish to be so self-centered that you care more about your own ego than about the fact that you’re killing women and children who have done nothing to hurt you. Nothing.
So, where were we? Ah, yes, a dick-tater-$hit is a balancing act. Everyone around the dick-tater is afraid of that dick-tater. But at the same time, the dick-tater is scared of everyone around them! This means, among other things, that the dick-tater is always looking for external enemies in order to keep his inner ring from turning their gaze toward him and thinking how much better a job of it they could do. To avoid internal division, the dick-tater is always fomenting discord to outside enemies or to the “undesirables” within their own society.
Good luck with that one! Because there is absolutely no way anyone can tell with certainty who or what is going to be called a deadly evil in a dictatorship ten years down the line. Just because a dictatorship begins by forbidding gay marriage in year one doesn’t mean they won’t require it next decade. “No, they couldn’t. They wouldn’t.” Well, don’t be so sure. TFG, would-be tater-tot, was a liberal (gasp!) On many issues such as abortion, before getting into politics. Of course, he needs the support of his fans in order to gain absolute power, but not to keep it. Once the machinery of a dictatorship is well in place, it is very easy to target different groups at different times. If someone thinks they’re safe because the current dick-tater pretends to be a lot like them, they’re simply fooling themselves. First of all, they’re a lot less like the dick-tater than he would have you believe. Second, even if he were your identical twin, he’s out to steal from the people and if he can do that better by throwing you under the bus, he would sacrifice that twin brother. That’s what it means to be a dick-tater: No-one else really matters; you sizzle them with flashy illusion but there’s nothing lasting or substantive; you appeal to the selfish child that lives in everyone. That child was formed before you learned about logic and evidence and facts versus opinions. Why appeal to the rational mind who might (in fact, likely would) see right through your web of lies? Instead, promise them something wonderful and undefined. Whenever you need a bump in popularity, tell them you’ve achieved one of those wonderful things.
You don’t actually have to achieve anything. You simply have to direct newspapers and social media what to say about your wonderful achievement. Oh, and let’s not forget to jail or poison any journalist who reports on the truth. Eventually, people will begin to catch on despite the dick-tater’s insistence on the web of lies. Eventually, everyone knows the emperor has no clothes. But he simply makes it known that anyone who mentions it will be decapitated which is ironic in that it’s actually the state that needs to be decapitated.
[Notes: (cont.) ** The suffix “$hit” is appended dick-tater in order to form the word for the type of government. I find the suffix: “ship” leaves me adrift. Maybe running a country is like running a ship? I think the most we can say about “ship” is that it is used to make a collective out of individuals. Partners form a partnership. Towns form a township. But…? Dick-taters make a dick-tater-ship? I guess to some extent that is true. The people closes to the Dick-Tater also have to be pretty cowardly. And so on. The further away you get from the dick-tater, the braver people tend to be. They almost have to because they have far less power. The dick-tater rules because he has power. But what is that power? He doesn’t physically have control over very many.
There are agreements throughout the society that enforce the power. On any given day, everyone could wake up and simply stop enforcing them. After all, they might ask themselves, “Why should the dick-tater be the only one in the country allowed to break his promises? Anyway, I promised I would protect Mother Russia from attack, not that I would attack my neighbors who pose no threat to me.” Those are uncomfortable questions for a dick-tater to answer. So he won’t. To survive in a dick-tater-$hit you need to bribe people. Hence, the dollar sign. Because the rule of law means nothing and the truth means nothing and fair play means nothing and raw power means everything, you and me and everyone we care about will be in something and believe me that thing we will be in is not a ship.