Is the Era of the Scary Glam Dictator Over?
Perhaps it was a late arrival of American-style materialism that inspired dictators to cozy up with luxury and largess. So where have all the glam dictators gone?
Hussein, Qadaffi, Mugabe and Kim plundered their national resources while each cultivating their own brand of expensive--and freakish--tastes. In a previous era, fascinated with wealth and conspicuous consumption, Americans were spellbound. But what does the next generation of post-recession glam dictators look like?
Recently, dapper Peruvian strongman Alberto Fujimori, who ordered military death squads in the 1990s while allegedly using millions of dollars in state funds, was sentenced to 25 years in prison. The same week, North Korea’s Kim Jong Il made a rare public appearance looking gaunt and sickly. Zimbabwe’s bespoke-suited Mugabe, who single-handedly ran Zimbabwe’s economy into the ground, has seen an election defeat and mounting civil unrest. Even Libya's Qadaffi, one of the 1980s most iconic potentates has mellowed with age, acknowledging that his country should start adopting less isolationist rhetoric and anticipate a post-Qadaffi future.
With high-profile rulers on their way out, a quick scan of the global political landscape doesn’t find many heirs to the once-coveted glam dictator throne. With America now choosing to ignore such leaders, B.R. Myers, a researcher of North Korean propaganda underscored the policy shift in a recent Times op-ed, To Beat a Dictator, Ignore Him. Myers states “The message to the North Korean people is clear: their Dear Leader is not as feared and respected as they have been led to believe. This challenge has thrown the Kim regime into a crisis of which the outside world remains largely unaware.”
International poker champion Liv Boeree teaches decision-making for Big Think Edge.
Discover the holistic and all-encompassing philosophies of the ancient East.
- Taoist philosophy teaches its adherents the paradoxical action of non-action.
- Over three thousand years ago, the I Ching conceptualized binary code and influenced major asian religions
- Ram Dass and Herman Hesse synthesized western scientific and philosophic views with traditional eastern religions to inform their teachings.
An MIT study predicts when artificial intelligence will take over for humans in different occupations.
While technology develops at exponential speed, transforming how we go about our everyday tasks and extending our lives, it also offers much to worry about. In particular, many top minds think that automation will cost humans their employment, with up to 47% of all jobs gone in the next 25 years. And chances are, this number could be even higher and the massive job loss will come earlier.
One way to limit clutter is by being mindful of your spending.
- Overbuyers are people who love to buy — they stockpile things as a result. These are individuals who are prone to run out of space in trying to store their stuff and they may even lose track of what — and how much of what — they have.
- One way overbuyers can limit their waste, both money and space wise, is by storing items at the store, and then buy them when they really need them.
- Underbuyers tend to go to extraordinary lengths to not buy things. They save money and do fewer errands, however, they often make do with shabby personal items. They may also, when they finally decide to go out to buy a product, go without entirely because the item may no longer be available.
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