The Mind of a Dictator
I have heard recently that Papa Doc Jr. is now making his appearance in Haiti. We should not be misled by the Jr. at the end of his name. I am sure that he loves his Papa Doc name, because like father like son. But particularly the Jr., because it is the only part of his name that he can call his own. Be warned!
When confronted as a Christian with the entire Egypt-Mubarak furor, I had this strong sense of dejavu not only, but that I was being drawn by God to these internal parallel conflagrations that have fallen upon nation after nation in my lifetime, and upon so many more before me. And each time I see that:
“A DICTATORSHIP IS LIKE A NATIONAL HEMOPHILIA
THAT BLEEDS THE NATION OF LIFE.”
And more often than not, under these dictatorships:
“THERE IS A BLEAK, YAWNING GAP BETWEEN A NATION
UNDER DICTATORSHIP AND OTHER NATIONS,
LEAVING THE CITIZENS OF THAT NATION
EXISTING IN WHAT SEEMS TO BE
A LIFE SENTENCE IN SOLITARY
And in a true dictatorship, again and again we read of stories of persecution, torture, massacre and hopelessness. It is more than sad, it is heart-rending. The Lord tells us to weep with those who weep. A real dictator is always like a grenade thrown into a foxhole. Surely as Christians the pain of those under ruthless dictators is our pain.
Ellen Goodman, who wrote for the Boston Globe, calls America a “Nation Of Leavers.” Our forefathers left Asia and Europe to emigrate to America. Next, as the frontier opened, they left the east and moved west until they came to the ocean. I wonder how many people would give anything to leave North Korea and the hell of Dictator Kim Jong Il if they only could, and come to America and gladly join the “Nation of Leavers.” Let us never forget them in our prayers!
For us who are free, it is so easy to forget the unfree and enslaved. Bible teacher Henrietta Mears understood the secret of real freedom. Once when addressing some young people, she said, “A bird is free in the air, but place a bird in the water, and he has lost his freedom. A fish is free in the water, but leave him on the sand and he perishes. He is out of his realm.” Freedom is as natural a desire and place for man as the water is for fish, and the air is for birds. Let us remember those who are like fish out of water and like birds in water not only, but are being murdered and imprisoned for trying to swim and fly in freedom.
SOME DARK PRINCIPLES
But really, what in the world are we looking at here, and what must we learn from it.? What should our people get a hold of in their thinking from a thoroughly Biblical perspective? There is so much to learn and to be warned about!
There are some very basic “Authority-Power Principles” that over the years have proven themselves to be nigh unto infallible not only, but always play themselves out in this kind of national rebellion against a dictator.
First, I have joined “Authority-Power” in a couplet, because they are married, and where one is lusted after so is the other. Second, because authority is worthless unless attached to it is the power to back it up. Otherwise “Authority” without “Power” is like a fireman trying to put out a fire with a ladder but no hose. Position without power is an impotent farce.
Here are the terribly important and unwavering principles. First:
Why? Because Secondly:
AND ABUSE IT.”
“THOSE WHO CRAVE AUTHORITY AND ABUSE IT, WILL
NOT ALLOW THEMSELVES TO BE SUBJECTED
TO ANY AUTHORITY-POWER
Not only do we have here a spot-on character sketch of a “The Dictator” in these principles, but we have here the recipe for a perfect storm that will lead to the blackest and most damning sins and abuses against humanity.
Moreover, and mark it well:
If you will, when carried to their ultimate:
SATAN – THE FATHER OF ALL DICTATORS
This is all horrifically illustrated in the case of Satan himself, the quintessential authority-power monger. We read in Isaiah 14:13,14 where Lucifer is quoted saying,
“I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the
stars of God…I will ascend above the heights of
the clouds; I will make myself like
the Most High.”
“And it has often thrown him both into the fire and into
We need not be puzzled about who is in the dark shadows behind all human right’s abuses. Writes David Keyes in an article entitled Hosni Mubarak’s Human Right Abuses, “’Mubarak did not know the meaning of humanity,’ said Bassem Samir, a democracy activist imprisoned under the dictator. ‘He did not know that they have rights. He worked for 30 years to ensure that Egyptians fear democracy. He weakened the opposition, and anyone who didn’t agree with him was out, out of everything—the media, work, and even the country. Whenever Mubarak thought someone else could be liked by the people, he removed them totally.'”
That too is always the case, as the cries of the disagreeing are quickly muffled and then totally extinguished.
“My grandmother’s apartment is on top of a police station close to Tahrir Square, and when we would spend the night there we would regularly hear screams coming from the station,”said Dina Guirguis.”
Only Satan is THE DEVIL, while his demons are LITTLE DEVILS. More often than not, those little devils are dictators. You just can’t see the red suits with pointed tails, and the black hood and horns sown into the suit. But it won’t be long and you can begin to see the garb which reflects the dark qualities that the dictator possesses.
LOVE OF POWER – POWER OF LOVE
We remember this power-madness and power-lust in an ancient king of infamy by the name of Nebuchadnezzar. He is best remembered in this regard for his strutting on the roof of his royal palace, and with a heart swollen with authority-power-pride, he trumpets his glory in Daniel 4:30,
a royal residence by the MIGHT OF MY POWER
and for the glory of my majesty.”
There he is:
Dictators don’t make very good house pets, but instead, vicious guard dogs when their authority and power are being threatened.
“WHERE THERE IS THE LOVE OF POWER, THERE DE
FACTO CANNOT BE THE POWER OF LOVE.”
The Lord Jesus Christ states this mutual exclusivity with different words but in principle the same, as we hear our Lord in Matthew 29:28,
Now note carefully the stark contrast which cut no slack. Jesus did not say:
Nor did He say:
No! No! No! Listen:
Now then, the core principle being:
If you will:
And therefore we must ask ourselves in our churches, our homes, and in our over-all relationships:
“ARE WE DICTATORS, OR SERVANTS; DO WE LIVE TO
SERVE OR TO BE SERVED?”
“DO WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST, OR DO WE HAVE
THE MIND OF A DICTATOR.”
Has your marriage and family been destroyed over this very issue? We must all take a long, hard, deep look at what makes us tick! If you will:
“DO WE HAVE THE BEATING HEART OF A SERVANT, OR
IS OUR HEART THE TICKING-TIME BOMB
OF A DICTATOR?”
This extends all the way to Washington D.C. The moment a government exists to be served by the people, it is a dictatorship. As with all dictatorships, it will use and abuse the people for its own ends. It is then no longer:
“GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE AND
FOR THE PEOPLE.”
Rather, a dictatorship government is:
“GOVERNMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT, BY THE
GOVERNMENT, AND FOR
LOVE OF SELF – LOVE OF OTHERS
Closely aligned with all of this is the following:
LOVE FOR OTHERS.”
The love of power and fanatic self-love are bed partners, and where you find one you will always find the other. Likewise, the power of love and fervent love for others are also bed partners, and where you find the one you will always find the other.
OF LOVE PRODUCES BLESSED
Then immediately he tells us what kind of people this self-serving self-love and self-worship produces, as we read in the following verses about brutal people, people who are haters-of-good, treacherous people etc. And he tells us that we should avoid such people as these.
What chance, may I ask, do those have to truly live in freedom and peace under such dictators who are the self-love embodiment of all of this Hell?
David Keyes’ article continues, “‘I think the worst thing about Mubarak is that he never cared for anyone except himself,’ said Epyptian blogger and poet Dalia Ziada. ‘He never listened to his people and what they really want. He was only responsive to his Western allies, especially the United States. It doesn’t matter how much people speak about human rights in Egypt and call for it. Only when America pressures him does he give more space and listens.’”
Ziada points the finger directly at Mubarak for Egyptian state brutality. ‘Who is responsible for the murder of Khaled Said, the young innocent man in Alexandria?’ she asked. ‘Who is responsible for wasting four of the best years of Kareem Amer’s life in jail only because he criticized him? Who killed Ayman Nour morally by imprisoning him only because he dared to challenge [Mubarak] in past presidential elections? It is Mubarak and no one else.'”
“What was the personal cost of Mubarak’s dictatorship on Ziada? ‘It deprived me from pursuing my dreams for quality education, a respectable job, and good living standards. I, and so many people like me, could have lived in a much better state had we been in a democratic, liberal country.’”
“Few know the cruelty of Mubarak’s regime better than Amer, who spent the last four years in prison for criticizing the dictator and ‘insulting’ Islam on his blog. When I asked him to describe Mubarak’s record, he said: ‘Many human-rights activists and journalists were imprisoned during his reign. Some were beaten and tortured. Others were abducted or disappeared without a trace. The most important of these incidents was the disappearance of the Egyptian journalist Reda Helal in the heart of Cairo in 2003. Many believe the security services were behind the abduction because of his political views.'”
“Amer said the worst of Mubarak’s crimes have been committed in the past few days. ‘The security forces have used great violence against demonstrators,’ he said. ‘They opened fire on them, killing scores.'”
In the current revolution in Egypt by the populous, under Mubarak’s regime, 365 people were killed and 5000 were injured. They were martyred in their fight from freedom and human rights. Shamefully we take our liberties as something that is coming to us. Not only that, but many Americans, including American Christians, count their blessings on their fingertips, but count their burdens on their pocket calculators.
We live in a time when you don’t cry over sins, yours or others. Rather men sell their sins to publishers, or you go to Oprah and brag about them for money. We live in spirtually and morally hardened world, and dictators are truly some of the hardest of them all. Mubarak tried to escape with his multi-billions of dollars, and not one of them had a tear stain on it. He no doubt cashed in his sins without a whimper.
CONTROL OF SELF OR CONTROL OF OTHERS
And in addition to that, I like the brief definition of a dictator in Webster’s New Explorer Dictionary,
Bwam! That gets it!
In other words, a dictator is one who seeks to control others, while never applying any of the same controlling dictums to himself. If you will:
That is because of another exclusivity in the dark principles of dictatorship, and that is:
Why is that? Very simple really, so simple that we miss it! Hear it:
And then given the sinful nature that all men have, it is no wonder that the documentary of the dictator’s life must more often than not be rated XXX, because he was murderer, an adulterer, a rapist, a drunkard, and an overall no-good scumbag.
As with Saddam Hussein,
Or as it was with Herod, under the instigation of Herodias and Salome, we read in Matthew 14:10,
And what was that all about? Basically this:
We must examine ourselves and ask this question:
Obsessive control of others is incompatible with control of self. Self-control is not and cannot be part of the dictator’s psychological DNA. They are antithetical. True lovers and servants of others must indeed have huge self-control and self-denial, or otherwise they could not put others first, but only themselves.
BURDEN BEARER OR BURDEN INCREASER
King (Dictator) Pharaoh of Egypt brutalized and punished the Israelites by doubling their work, and thereby doubling their burdens (Exodus 6:10-11). You see, that is the way of dictators:
So what are we like in our families, do we increase burdens or do we lighten burdens? Do we free or enslave?
David Keyes goes on, “Young Egyptians like Dina Guirguis, now a scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, are especially fed up with the regime. ‘For nearly 30 years, Mubarak has governed the country with an emergency law suspending basic constitutional protections, including the right against indefinite detention without charge,’ she said. ‘Torture at the hands of Egypt’s brutal security apparatus became routinized, as did repression of all forms of political dissent. The regime has been complicit in the explosive growth of sectarian violence culminating in massacres of Egypt’s religious minorities, most notably the Copts.'”
Frankly, this is only a thumbnail psychological profile of the mind and soul of a dictator like Hosni Mubarak and his ilk. Is it a profile of our own psychological DNA?
Given the dictator’s despotic bent, how does he get into power in the first place? The answer is that he rises to power by skillfully misrepresenting himself with great charisma. He always has a seductive gift of oratory which is so appealing. He spews out sweet morsels to the multitudes, such as “Yes We Can,” and “The Best Interest of the Country.” No substance, only noise and hot air.
Mubarak, as recently as this past week, over national TV, referred to the citizens of Egypt as “My Children,” portraying himself as a loving and doting father, which is how he seductively came to power in the first place. Papa Mubarak! And like gullible little children, the duped public rushes into his arms crying, “Da da Daddy, Da da Daddy.” Then after the dictator so often muscles his way into power, what they end up with is a ruthless, barbaric parent.
And as is always the case:
How often has history played out that scenario? Too many times to count! How many Hitler types have deceitfully risen to power, only to end up dying by a poison pill or by a neck rope? In short:
Little did the West know that He was really wolf Hosni Mubarak Dada in sheep camouflage. Many people thought that Idi Amin Dada was a Kool Aid And Cookies Daddy too.
Now Hosni Mubarak is gone, it was only a matter of time. Like a prizefighter he had had enough and threw in the towel. God always makes hash of Hitlers, and mush out of Mubaraks. They all conclude their lives in disgrace, exile, or execution. Saddam Hussein – from a king’s palace to a hangman’s noose. They think that they are the boss of everyone, and they end up being the boss of no one.
Thus in closing we read from Daniel 2:20-21,
“And it is He Who changes the times and the epochs; Heremoves kings and establishes kings; He giveswisdom to wise men, and knowledge
to men of understanding.”
“Like a deaf cobra that stops its ear; so that it does not hear