A Thought Experiment in Tyranny


Here’s another political thought experiment:

Suppose that you faced a forced choice between two forms of tyranny, and that you had to choose at least one (and at most one) form of tyrannical government from the two alternatives: 1) a tyrannical government derived from local peoples and local institutions, or what we may call a local tyranny, or 2) a tyrannical government not derived from local peoples or local institutions, or a foreign tyranny. Which would you prefer? Why?

An example of a local tyranny would be the Thirty Tyrants who ruled Athens after Athens lost the Peloponnesian War to Sparta. The Thirty Tyrants were, I believe, drawn from the Athenian citizenry, but were widely regarded as traitors for their role in ruling Athens in the wake of their defeat by Sparta. Today we could call them collaborators. A famous twentieth century example would be Vidkun Quisling, who presided over Nazi-occupied Norway. 

An example of a foreign tyranny would be Roman rule over its conquered provinces. Although Rome assumed this role very reluctantly, and preferred the constituent states of its empire to rule themselves as far as possible, it was frequently forced into exercising directly political control over conquered territories. The most famous example would probably be Pontius Pilate, who was Prefect (or governor) of the Roman Province of Judea, and who offended local sensibilities on many occasions due to his lack of knowledge of local religious customs. Nineteenth and Twentieth century European colonial regimes in Africa and Asia would be more contemporary examples of foreign tyranny. 


Implicit within this thought experiment are some surprisingly interesting and subtle philosophical questions. What or who exactly could be considered “local”? Does a native-born class of creole Spanish aristocrats ruling over a mostly indigenous population in Andean South America constitute local rule or foreign rule? If a foreign power is pulling the strings of a local puppet regime, is this local rule or foreign rule? Even today, in the twenty-first century, there is still a considerable sting in being called a “puppet.”

If the president of a given nation-state belongs to a class of wealthy, world-traveling, foreign language-speaking elites with more in common with other elites than with the people of the nation-state in question, is this local rule or foreign rule? A hundred years ago, this latter question might have been formulated in terms of royal families who rule over kingdoms ethnically and culturally distinct from the particular background of the royal family. The essential principle here remains invariant across political regimes, whether royal or democratic or otherwise. 

One way to put the question that might have a more immediate intuitive appeal would be to ask: would you rather be ruled by Herod the Great or Pontius Pilate? Both were tyrants; both were thoroughly unpleasant characters; but if you had to choose, which would you take?

Would you prefer, as the lesser of two evils, a local tyranny or a foreign tyranny?

QC:  What! The Ponyville mares, again? How dare you invade my hive?
TS:  Surrender, Chrysalis! That quisling may have joined you,
TS:  but we’ve already defeated you twice, and we can do it again!
QC:  You meddling ponies, just leave me alone!
TS:  Never! I don’t care what that machine does, we are bringing it down!
??:  I’m afraid I cannot let you do that, Twilight Sparkle.



It is said that in recent months, some Scottish Nationalists have abused Scots supporters of the ‘No’ campaign barking “traitors” and “quislings” at anyone Unionists.

This latter term is, of course, taken from the name “Vidkun Quisling” who was the Norwegian traitor who governed Norway for the occupying Nazis from April 1940.

In July-September 1940 a Nazi invasion of Britain was expected imminently.  The head of the SNP in Aberdeen was then one Douglas Young.  He went on to be the party’s leader from 1942 to 1945.  In 1940 the party’s President was Roland Muirhead.

On 1st August 1940 Young wrote the above-noted letter to Muirhead. 

The original is in Young’s correspondence in the National Library of Scotland, shelf-mark “Douglas Young MSS, National Library of Scotland, Dep. 6419”. Copy from that original. Link to resources in National Library of Scotland

The letter refers to Scotland gaining independence “of the order had by Britanny or Slovakia”.  That is the puppet regimes given ‘autonomy’ under Nazi rule.

Young writes:-

"Regrettably I shall be unable to travel to the Council meeting this saturday  …  The Germans will look around for aborigines to run Scotland, and it is to be wished that the eventual administration consist of people who have in the past shown themselves to care for the interests of Scotland  …  there is everything to be said for making contacts with the leading men in various fields who could join in running the country when the disruption of ‘Great Britain’ is consummated.  It will help if the SNP council merely begins to think a little practically of the eventuality, and who can usefully be expected to do something.”

Cry Freedom - Cry Traitor

The letter was thus a written proposal, within the SNP leadership, to start practical planning to run Scotland for the Nazis.  In short, a proposal to be Scotland’s Quislings.

Obviously, if the letter had come to the attention of the authorities at the time Young would likely have been imprisoned and could even have been hanged.  (As you may check from the utterly distorted & sanitized - doubtless SNP drafted - Wikipedia account of this traitor’s life, he in fact served more than one prison term during the war, for evading military service.)  Given the mortal peril of committing such a proposal to paper, it is interesting to speculate about what the SNP. leadership were discussing at the time, but were not prepared to put down on paper.

This was a long time ago, but Nazis never go out of the news entirely; witness recently as Mr. Salmond himself chose this general theme at the Edinburgh Book Festival.  He talked about being raised with his father’s “hatred” for Churchill.  Thus, the SNP leader’s own account of growing up amid loathing of Churchill is a relevant part of the story of today’s separatism.

For, as the National Library records clearly prove, while street thug Brigagoons brand supporters of Better Together as traitors and quislings, only one political party’s leaders actively sought that role - when it really was on offer.

When it comes to crying ‘traitor’ - it truly is the most guilty dog that barks loudest.

Watch on elhechizado.tumblr.com

I read some (non-youtbe) remarks about the above video defending the cops in order to justify re-posting this fun little poem I made. Obviously, you can tell it’s a play on another poem, but I was able to finally give it a good title. So, I present to you once again- and to the men and women in America who would as that I “put myself in their [ the police] shoes”:

The Quisling

First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I hated the communists
    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I hated the trade unionist too.
    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak out because I also hated the Jews.
    Then they came for me
    and I was like, hey, I thought we were cool.

-Carlos Segundo


hello dere

we (pidie, quisling and feverwom) are offering a collaborative commission slot to help pay for our minecraft server.

the price is 50 dollars, and we will collaborate on up to three characters of your choice! (the more choices you give us, the better) it will most likely be an fb painting or a waist couple/group, that is up to us.

no fanart requests please.

send one of us a message with links to your character references if you’re interested!

i was not forced to type this message and have not copypasted muffin’s post n_n

edit: the slot has been filled! thank you guys for your interest and signal boosts <3

Tagged by quisling!

Draw what you wear!!

- Everyday outift
- At home outfit
- Special occasion outfit

If you are tagged you must draw the three outfits listed and then tag some people 

Alright here comes the tag list (er, no pressure, except for one of you, you know who you are): schwarzbrot weisbrot crowthis mallius stripedjumpers epsilonnn vitarays stunnerstorm


Vidkun Quisling (Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonssøn Quisling, 1887-1945), Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler (Heinrich Luitpold Himmler, 1900-1945) and Joseph Terboven Reichskommissar Norway (Josef Antonius Heinrich Terboven, 1898-1945) in Winder Hall in Oslo during a set volunteers in SS regiment “Nordland.”

Why Russia has no other way but to return to totalitarianism and socialism?

Comrades, we are seeing a complete disregard of the West’s own ideals of freedom and inviolability of the business nowadays. All of those fying slogans were promptly and reliably thrown in the trash with the political necessity of economic pressure on the Russian Federation, even in the arrogant damage to business of the West. This proves that the world bourgeoisie has not acquired even a single drop of humanity since the time of the Great October of 1917.

If we surrender to the mercy of the Western colonizers, we’re going to get a much worse fate than living in a siege or a socialist revolution. Our fate will be given into the hands of non-Western emissaries but local “kinglets”, Mazepps, Quislings, who were selected from the lowest representatives of our own nation. And we will live on the situation of the poorest nations of this planet, oppressed by those “kinglets”, sucking all the juice to the last drop from us.

Fate gave us no choice, comrades. Be prepared not to cut each other’s throats for a piece of bread, learn to deny philistinism and appreciate friendship and be ready to fight to the end if necessary. Glory to the Labour, comrades! Glory to victory of the Mind over the flesh and thoughts on consumption! Our cause is just! The enemy will be defeated!! Victory will be ours!!!