Faster, Please!

Another Dying Dictator

So maybe Castro is dying, and then again maybe he’s not. Maybe the stories about his fading health are true, but then again perhaps they are “bait” being cast into the population to see who bites, and starts celebrating…or acting to support freedom.

The same could be said about similar stories in similar tyrannies, from Syria and Iran to North Korea. That is because the tyrants’ victims believe there is no hope today, but there might be tomorrow, if only the bastard were dead.

I understand this illogic, but it is misguided nonetheless. Unlike some of the despots of antiquity, modern tyrants no longer base their rule exclusively on their own personal charisma; they create a tyrannical system, which is designed to survive them. This is particularly true of the heads of highly ideological regimes, whether they are Islamists or Communists or Nazis.

Thus I would be surprised to see the collapse of the regime in Cuba after Castro’s death, just as I do not think that the death of Khamenei would precipitate the end of the Islamic Republic in Iran. Hafez al Assad died and his son smoothly took over; Kim il Sung died and was succeeded by Kim Jong Il. Stalin died…you get the idea.

Those regimes were created over time, with a lot of work. The goddess of history isn’t going to wave her magic wand and make them go away; we will have to work to bring them down.