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Enemies of a dictator


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#1 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3438

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 05:34 PM

For a strategy game where you are a dictator.

 

Who are your enemies (especially internal)? I want to avoid the "population uprising and demanding beloved democracy" thing :D

Also, I don't necessarily want to portrait the dictator as the evil one, definitely not a saint or someone who would hesitate to kill some dissidents, but not necessarily opressing everyone all the time or being bad for his nation as a whole.


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#2 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 17960

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 06:13 PM

Rival politicians/leaders who want power (see: Syria)

Religious leaders from a different sect than yourself (see: Iraq and the Sunni vs Shiite)

Ethnic leaders from a different tribe or race than yourself (see: Africa)

A sub-portion of the population uprising and demanding beloved communism (i.e. Red Guard vs White Guard vs Imperialists, in pre-communistic Russia, or in pre-communistic China)

A sub-portion of the population generally displeased about corruption and economic crisis

Military leaders who want more authority and autonomy (see: Egypt)

Half of the population who want the exact opposite of what the other half want, with mutually incompatible ideas (see: USA)

 

One way of looking at it isn't, "Who hates the dictator", but rather:

(group-wise) "Who's side is the dictator on, and who's on the opposite side?"

(individual-wise) "Who's going to manipulate the opposite side, to gain power for themselves?"

 

  • Union vs Non-union
  • Big business vs Big government
  • Globalization vs Isolationism
  • Your race vs My race
  • Your beliefs vs My beliefs
  • Your town vs My town
  • Individual rights vs collective rights
  • Personal rights vs personal duty
  • Strict discipline vs lax criminal punishment
  • High taxes vs low taxes

 

You cannot please everyone. By trying to balance on one foot to not offend any of hundreds of different groups, you get nothing done and leave no legacy. By stepping out and being productive, you will trample on the ideas and desires of a large portion of your population. Trample too much, and they start getting vocal. Trample some more, and they start rioting. Trample further, and they start rebelling.

 

This balance of is difficult. It's not easy being Dictator (could be your tagline).

 

[Edit:] One clear example of this is Saddam Hussein's, Mubarak's, and Assad's governments. Under those dictators, because they weren't hardline muslims (and because they were often from smaller sects of islam), Christians could actually live in relative peace. Not favoritism, but "I'll let you live if you don't cause me trouble". The only thing wrong with that article I linked is, "In Syria they do this by spreading fears (among Christians) that Islamists want to kill them", which shows the ignorance of islam of the author. Islam actually mandates the eventual execution or forced conversion of all non-believers (and even mandates the execution or forced conversion of members of all islamic sects other than your own) - and they have in the past as well.

Saddam Hussein especially held together Iraq from exploding in Islamic attacks against Christians and muslim inter-sect violence. Removing Saddam from power opened up pandora's box.


Edited by Servant of the Lord, 07 May 2014 - 07:44 PM.

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#3 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3438

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 01:34 AM


A sub-portion of the population uprising and demanding beloved communism (i.e. Red Guard vs White Guard vs Imperialists, in pre-communistic Russia, or in pre-communistic China)
I don't know about China, but there never was any communistic revolution in Russia. The revolution was by "democratic" forces against monarchy, the democratic one won and established a government. Then there was a military coup by the communist faction who usurped the power and announced communist system. Then the propaganda rebranded these two separate military struggles into one "revolution of the masses" :D

 

My point is, population should be treated neutral/passive and only/mostly factions should be the enemy. Only if there is a big ecenomic discontent the general population would uprise. But under normal condition, the population should be treated as resource, you try to win their support (propaganda) and reduce support of the opposing factions/rebels.

 

Check the part of David_Galula (government vs insurgency + population as a resource):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counter-insurgency#David_Galula

 

Also Andean Abyss boardgame have it portrayed nicely, 4 factions (the governement (dictator), communist rebels, capitalist rebels (might help the government in fight against communists), narcotic barons):

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/91080/andean-abyss

 

 

Religion & ethnic - I think these are too grim/dark for a game. No one would want to play a dictator who kill people for stupid reasons... Inevitable sacrifaces "on the way to the brigher future" is one thing, proactive extermination of population is another. I want to aim for a lighter mood :)


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#4 Olof Hedman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2688

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 02:03 AM

In Tropico 4 (I havn't played the earlier ones), you are a dictator in a small "banana republic"

It's quite light hearted even though you can do things like order executions to stop strikes.

 

There most things you do will give you + and - on both internal and external factions.

 

Internal are groups like "communists, religious, military, environmentalists" and a few more.

Any of them can give you problems on their own, but you don't have to please everyone...

 

External are the super powers of the world, which you also have to please to get good prices for your exports and not get hit by sanctions...

 

Just wanted to drop the name here if you hadn't looked at it already.



#5 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3438

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 02:48 AM


Just wanted to drop the name here if you hadn't looked at it already.
I did :)

Actually the system they used is a copy of factions system of ancient Dictator from ZX Spectrum (remake here: http://www.nrtoone.com/dictator/ ). The thing is, in Tropico the faction system is too meaningless (you can ignore it and just go for general happiness of the population) while in Dictator it was too important (the only thing that mattered in the whole game was how supportive to you & strong a faction was). Both implementations kind of didn't grab my heart...

 

I try making something like: You have a population and care for their well being. Also you have various factions (some/most possibly only disruptive) that stay in your way. So there are two separate things you do in the game, economy & happines of population and dealing with powerful factions & rebels & usurpers & political enemies & dissidents & coups & assassinations. Kind of not make it one sided (only political as in Dictator, only economic as in Tropico). I feel the key to this might be separation of factions and population...


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#6 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 17960

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 03:22 PM

A sub-portion of the population uprising and demanding beloved communism (i.e. Red Guard vs White Guard vs Imperialists, in pre-communistic Russia, or in pre-communistic China)

I don't know about China, but there never was any communistic revolution in Russia.

I don't have much knowledge of either Chinese and Russian history, so you're probably correct. According to a quick glance at Wikipedia, the communists (or socialists?) overthrew the nation in 1917, but then the Russian Civil War between the communists (Reds) and anti-communists (Whites) broke out immediately afterward in 1918. The Reds were against the royal family, and I don't know if the Whites were either. So Reds overthrew the Imperials and the Whites attempted to overthrow the Reds but the Reds triumphed there also.
I might have it completely butchered - my historic interests lies elsewhere.

China was in the middle of civil war between the Nationalists and the Communists when war broke out with Imperial Japan in WW2 (the Communists were winning) - then they joined together to fight against Japan (a losing battle), before starting up the fighting again post-Japan, and the Communists quickly mopped up the Nationalists (they arranged it so that the Nationalists would take the worst of Japan's aggressions). I possibly have that butchered also.
 

My point is, population should be treated neutral/passive and only/mostly factions should be the enemy. Only if there is a big ecenomic discontent the general population would uprise. But under normal condition, the population should be treated as resource, you try to win their support (propaganda) and reduce support of the opposing factions/rebels.

Absolutely. Most of the population of any nation, including the USA, is middle-ground and shift their support around depending on what they perceive to benefit themselves or what they perceive to be morally good or good for the country as a whole. This is influenced by vocal groups trying to rally supported for their groups' agendas. Alliances and alignments are very fluid.
 

Religion & ethnic - I think these are too grim/dark for a game. No one would want to play a dictator who kill people for stupid reasons... Inevitable sacrifaces "on the way to the brigher future" is one thing, proactive extermination of population is another. I want to aim for a lighter mood smile.png

You asked who your enemies are. You cannot please every religion, and not even every sect of a single religion. So unless you tread very carefully, you (as a dictator) are bound to displease some group, even if your rule is a religiously-tolerated freedom-of-religion rule (like Saddam Hussein's mostly was).
And just because the dictator (you) and your ruling party isn't racist, that doesn't mean ethnic groups won't rise up complaining about favoritism.

You could use made up ethnicities, and have them be very close together in appearance. The game doesn't have to support murdering people who have different colored skins - it could be as simple as "Group A historically descended from the people on the north side of the river, group B historically descended from the people on the south side of the river", you could then have Northerners claim that Southerners are favored by your ruling party, because your Chief Economic Advisor happens to be of Southern descent, and because the new school you built happened to have been built in a predominantly Southern-populated block of town (the game could detect these kinds of situations, and use them as semi-legitimate complains that the opposition groups use to rally crowds). The minority Earterners could complain that they are being overlooked, and accuse the local Westerner officials of incompetence and corruption.

Call them Little Endians and Big Endians if you must. wink.png

Edited by Servant of the Lord, 08 May 2014 - 05:42 PM.

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#7 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3438

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 05:29 AM

Maybe let's try to bite it from the "factions" side. What kind of factions (powerfull enough to organize rebelion/coup against the dictator) exist inside a country?

 

I look especially for Central America theme (banana republics) or some dictators on Pacific islands. So no religion or ethnic problems.

 

 


"Group A historically descended from the people on the north side of the river, group B historically descended from the people on the south side of the river"
:D Yeah, fictional rasism sounds quite all right :D

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