ISSUE 42

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A Communist Dictator Instruction Manual.
 Before you do anything, come up with a name that inspires awe, which upon hearing, people will think, This man is aspiring to new heights of utopian bliss. Exemplary names include Kim Tim Rim Dim or Ooff Toof Moof Da Loof. The goal is to imitate a desperate scrabble player making up words and to torture the family of anyone who questions their authenticity.
 Never admit how hilarious this name appears. Simply revel in the fact that whenever you announce your intentions to destroy the free world, news reporters will say your name with a straight face. It’s a joke on the West, like communism.
 In fact, most of your time should involve the western media and scaring them with phrases like “big boom boom,” “itchy trigger finger,” “overcompensation,” and “been watching a lot of Game Of Thrones recently. Lol.” This is a difficult game, seeing as they will inevitably become frightened by less important things than you. At this point, have a parade with your weapons dedicated to yourself—not a fun one but more of the straight-lines, beat-up-the-funny-looking-guy parade.
 And while you congratulate yourself for being you, you can show your browbeaten citizens why they’ve given up sugar, salt, flour, self-confidence, and trips to Disney World. Nothing is more fun than strict regimentation, censorship, and mutual ensured destruction. No, not even ice cream and Goofy.
 After choosing a name and having a parade, study history and come up with educated conclusions, by which we mean choose the parts you like and feed the rest to the dog under the table, aka religious fanatics in a country far away from you.
 In your cursory analyses, skip the part where the USSR collapses. The Soviet Union is alive and well, doling out its bountiful potato crops to docile, hard-working comrades. These brave, honest citizens wake up every morning and think, Thank God Dreamy-Eyed Head Leader I can provide for the needs of my fellow proletariat. I am pleased to live in a post-capitalist utopia where the fundamental relation between individuals and their work changes how they interact with the natural world.    
 Pick out some quotes you like from antiquity—pro-communist, anti-capitalist, a couple of Oprah Winfrey ones to even it out. Remember: “Religion is the opiate of the people.” It leaves them drooling and incapacitated on a street corner or singing off-key with terrible music. Atheism, on the other hand, takes away their drugs and tells them nothing matters. Your job is to hand those miserable people a shovel and demand they dig for their country. That’s called leadership.
 See, having exalted figures with impressive quotes is essential. These heroes may include yourself, men who hired their seven-year-old niece to cut their hair, yourself in a costume, old men who take prescription pills by the handful, a drifter giving out pamphlets about LSD, bearded theorists who lived in relative comfort in a Western country, or yourself in a different costume.
 As you read more about these figures, you will realize they separated their beliefs from their actions. This is a key quality for a true leader. For example, equality means everyone is treated the same (belief), but you get to have pie (action). All property is publicly owned, but yours is bigger and you cut off the hands of anyone who borrows the lawnmower. Ideas are necessary to a functioning economy but putting your fingers in your ears and yelling works just as well.
 But really, actions, beliefs, beards, shovels, ponderous manifestos … nothing is more important to the communist leader than nukes, nukes, nukes! They’re like a hammer in the hands of a paranoid child or pouring gasoline on Steve’s house, holding a match, and demanding that he recognize you’re wearing a very nice hat. Weapons of mass destruction make other people pay attention. With them, you too can be a global streaker in international politics.
 Some may say developing nuclear weapons, the equivalent of shoving a nuclear grenade down your country’s pants, is counterproductive. And yeah, maybe it doesn’t make sense. Nothing does when you’re leaping forward into a paradise filled with comradely love, incompetence, and concrete, lots and lots of concrete. But as a communist leader, don’t worry about the slowness of the journey or even if you go backwards. Keep plowing to the future. You’ll get there someday… with your country or without it. 

                
Hey you. Want to hear about dentists, a delicate mix of a Stasi interrogator and Mr. Rogers?
Do it. Do it. Do it. Three times means you have to.
   
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