"When all think alike, no one is thinking very much." ~ Walter Lippmann
How to Establish a Government: Lesson 3 - Dealing With Rebellions
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We have already learned how to gain and maintain power. In the latter, we learned especially how to avoid uprisings and rebellions. The instructions were fairly easy, but sometimes we fail to realize the real threats and go after the not so important part of the opposition. As we have learned, some opposition is only to our benefit: we actually try to create fictitious opposition (which usually in turn creates real conflict among our subjects) to enforce our power. Now, if you have utterly failed with reinforcing your status as ruler, you will have to deal with rebellions.
Dealing with rebellions involves two main activities: reinforcing your rule and doing away with the opposition. The problem with rebellions is that they are not created without discontent and commonly shared doubt of your righteousness as ruler. A rebellion is the natural and unavoidable effect of your not taking your duties as ruler seriously enough: Always make sure you are in charge. See lessons One and Two for further guidance.
A rebellion means you have failed to preserve popular support for your person and your rule. It means you have neglected conflicts between the people and you, or that you have managed to stay ignorant to your people's needs. Remember, there is really only one conflict and that is between your rule and the people!
Through becoming a ruler, i.e. establishing a government under your lead, you have created a society based on fictitious conflict. You have, as a ruler, called for a revolt of certain groups against other groups in the name of some higher goal. (In the examples given in lessons One and Two, that higher goal was 'equality.')
The sheep will continue in the direction that you have pointed out, and they will thus call for further sacrifices in the name of your higher value. If you do not supply the masses with more oppressors and unjust rulers, you will eventually find yourself being questioned. That is not what you want, but if you have neglected this need of the people which you have created, you will sooner or later face a rebellion. Let us hope it is not too large-scale; if it is too far-reaching, you should try to escape'if not, you still stand a chance to control and stifle it.
First you need to identify the reason for the rebellion. This is usually not very hard: the people having joined the rebellion will shout at you why they are dissatisfied with your rule, and it is usually something you have totally neglected in your quest for maintaining power. Also, you can make great use of the suck-ups gathering in your footsteps, blinded by your power. Make them investigate how to enforce your 'righteous' rule'they will never question your motives.
When you know what the driving force of the rebellion is, perhaps a seemingly 'unjustly' large tax or a few 'influentials' you have not punished enough, you can emphasize your intentions to take care of it. This will undermine the rebellion somewhat and show the rest of the population that you are a great ruler. Make sure to agree on the seemingly most important terms, but never make true promises. Make yourself an enlightened despot in the eyes of your subjects, but also see to it so that you can break any promise later on without people noticing. Be vague!
Go public with your seemingly genuine intentions and let your propaganda people (probably the same suck-ups as before) make sure you are understood as a true leader of the people. When you are sure you have regained your position as righteous ruler, do not forget the people in the rebellion questioned your power and acted on the belief that your power is unjust. Respond in Machiavellian terms'crush them with no mercy whatsoever. Kill them all or make sure they will never, ever question you again. If you have been successful in regaining popular support, you will get away with it without anyone asking questions; even if some people think your response was a little bit cruel, they will still conclude it was a 'necessary' move in the name of the cause.
Do not fear you will be forgotten when all of this is over and you finally pass away of old age. You will be the richest man in the world and the hundreds of suck-ups following your lead will continue in your name'and they will make sure to fill the history books of the future with only positive remarks of your 'achievements.' You will be immortal.