proto tyrant

So you want a violent revolution but you’re one of the good ones, your intentions are noble and your heart is pure, you’re not motivated by lust for power or a compulsion to foist collectivist aesthetics on others by force, you sincerely want the greatest good for the greatest number.

Let’s say you want to end the tragedy of homelessness.

One could imagine various ways of doing this. Cheaper houses! Public houses! Dedicated case managers for mental health and addiction issues! These programs can be revenue neutral or even profitable on net once you take into account the full cost of homelessness on society, let alone on the homeless people themselves, so implementing them is simply a matter of politics.

But no, you’re convinced that pursuing any of these programs through existing political channels is a fools errand, that only violent revolution will solve the problem of homelessness for all time.

Okay, fine. But once existing institutions have been overthrown all options are on the table and everything is up for grabs, so your first priority is to suppress all opposition and prevent another violent revolution against you.

“But I will give the people freedom, they won’t rebel against that!”

Will you, though? What if they make decisions you don’t like? What if they reinstate the old system?

You’ve just destroyed the only system we had for resolving disputes, made a lot of people angry, and given every ambitious proto-tyrant an opportunity, so if past experience is any guide you will spend the next ten years either being as ruthless as possible or get replaced by someone more ruthless than you.

“But once the new system is established, it will be better!”

What if it isn’t? Do you have a graceful way to back down if it turns out you’ve broken a lot of eggs and don’t even have an omelette to show for it?

How confident are you that violent revolution will make things better? Now consider how many groups advocating revolution have different politics to you, what would you tell them? Why are they wrong?

Are you willing to wield the icepick when the time comes, if they don’t come for you first?