"Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society." ~ John Adams
How to Establish a Government: Lesson 2 - Maintaining Power
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In Lesson One we learned how to gain power through creating illusions that in effect speak to their dreams, and to identify (well, create) fictitious groupings with common interests who are in eternal conflict. Take sides with the stronger group and make them believe they are oppressed by the other, smaller group; say that workers are oppressed by factory owners, that the poor are oppressed by the wealthy, and that consumers are oppressed by producers. In this lesson we learn how to maintain this power through further strengthening these illusions.
When you have finally gained power, it is important not to make people believe the struggle has ended. People tend to engage in social activities, study or reading if they are not put to work, so make sure they are always thinking of the conflict and how to finally get rid of their oppressors. Yes, you have gained power through the help of the poor and your competitors may already be reduced and weakened. That is not enough! As soon as there is no conflict, your power base is dissolved!
Gaining power is only the first step, there is a reason for you to seek power and work to get it: to enjoy it. You should of course make it last, otherwise what is it all for? Sure, you have not put too much effort into gaining power'you have fooled others to work for you'but you can still increase your profit through putting only a little effort into maintaining the lie. Do not worry, you will not have to work very hard. As soon as you gained power, you also got a number of suck-ups and apprentices living only to make you happy and learn from the best (you). Let them do the hard work, they will actually thank you for it.
Now, how do we maintain the lie that the groups with real power are really subdued by others? We need to enforce the lie through making up new illusions and pointing out new sources of evil. Have your troops already done away with their superiors at the factories? Make them take care of the owners or their revolutionary leaders. Anyone with the ability to lead is a potential threat to your power, so make sure they are taken care of before they gain too much support.
You may think it could cause problems to do away with the local leaders of your troops. No, you are wrong. Stop thinking your subjects are rational and self-motivated people! They stopped being proud and sovereign individuals as soon as you made them sheep. They will listen to you; you are their self-appointed shepherd. Just tell another lie! Always direct their attention to something unattainable. Equality is your perfect goal! If equality is the overall aim, of course they must do away with their local leaders'they are the 'new breed' of oppressors.
Also, make sure to identify what things people value and in what order. E.g., economy is essentially a bad thing since it causes differences between people such as between the wealthy and the poor. So use people's concern about the environment to make them lose all sense of efficiency and economy. If people can buy cheap, foreign-made sodas, make sure to point out the environmental hazards with importing what can be made domestically. It would benefit the environment to stop the imports, and with the ignorant's logic it would protect domestic workers as well!
People will always see injustices and inequalities, so use them! When new technology lowers costs and increases availability of services, make the old and uninterested the victims of this development. That will surely cause popular support for special taxes and regulation on this new technology for the sake of those not so inclined to seek and make use of opportunities and those not so productive. Always sacrifice creative, productive, intelligent, and hard-working people! The common, dim-witted population will always be jealous of their achievements, so use it.
Remember that the creative, hard-working people are the leaders of tomorrow. They are the ones who might one day compete with you for power, so get rid of the threat as soon as possible. Make friends with them and make them a means to your goals, use them in whatever way possible and sacrifice them when necessary. Since they are dangerous, you'd better sacrifice them a bit too soon rather than a little too late.