Would you feel obliged to oppose a competent yet illegitimate conqueror?

Suppose that someone, through whatever Bond-villainesque means you care to postulate, set about conquering the United States. Let’s say there was a brief struggle which said villain won through overwhelming technological advantage, further supposing that there were minimal civilian casualties: there are several major engagements between armed forces, but the villain breaks the nation’s will with a demonstration of overwhelming power–destroying an uninhabited island off the coast of Alaska, maybe, with the clear implication that he’s capable of doing the same to Washington or New York or so forth.

Suppose further that the new Emperor, once installed, proves himself remarkably progressive and beneficient. The same overwhelming technology that went into conquest now goes into making life better for his subjects. AIDS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, leukiemia, and other such scourges are either cured or rendered easily manageable. The standard of living rises so that virtually no one is poor anymore; higher education, health care and prescription drugs for even the most intractable conditions are easily affordable and no longer subject to rationing. New technologies render pollution and other man-made problems a thing of the past. There’s an excellent and competent court system with due process guarantees. Moreover, the new regime is extremely competent. It can’t prevent disasters like Hurricane Katrina, but the response is swift and even-handed, minimizing the damage. Finally, we have freedom of religion and expression, for the most part; the new Emperor has little interest in controlling religion, artistic expression, who marries whom,and so forth, so long as no one of his subjects are harmed by anyone else.

BUT…there is no longer any political freedom. All political parties are abolished. A hierarchy of professional managers rules the nation, answerable only to the Emperor; and though he is diligent and successful in containing corruption, and in preventing the managers from abusing their authority, the managers are answerable to and selected by him alone. Political dissent is punishable by exile.

Would you feel obliged to oppose the Emperor?

Not at all. In fact I’d say that what you posit is a damn sight better than what we have now.

In fact, I’d have to question what about this conqueror makes him illegitimate? Sure, he’s unelected and an autocrat, but by any reasonable standard this guy would be the greatest ruler of all time.

I’m guessing what makes him illegitimate is that he wasn’t voted for by the people. But hey, I don’t care either. Where is this guy? Can I make a donation to the cause?

I would. Not particularly because of him personally, but because of the huge potential for horrible abuse of the system he set up. Sure he’s nice and all, but what do we do if the guy after him goes Ivan the Terrible? War? Oh that’s always fun for everyone involved.

Whatever else you might say, elected government doesn’t take a gun or a bloody coup to toss out.

Your assertion is contradicted by the experiences of dozens of countries throughout the world.

So you’re saying we should start a war in order to make sure there isn’t one further along the line? And it would be a war - even if you just attempted to assassinate the guy there are going to be many people who will try and stop you/get revenge, I think.

It has done before.

Eh, I’d be very paranoid of such a man.

If he was so benevolent, why didn’t he just run for office in the first place. Or just offer up this technology to begin with?

Personally Fabulous Creature, I think your Great Leader is up to something.

Maybe he just wants to purge us from diseases so he can transport us up to the mother ship for some kind of “All you can eat” buffet. With the buffet’s main dish being us!! :eek:

Put me down on the rebel list sir!

Of course I would. For the exact same reason Lucifer opposed God. :wink:

Is the Emperor immortal?

It makes a difference. If yes, then we’re trading off freedom for greater prosperity and better governance.

If no, then we’re trading off freedom for temporarily greater prosperity and better governance. Absolute power corrupts mere mortals.

Conquerors have a nasty tendency to become meglomanical nutjobs. Mao Zedong was arguably a politically astute and tactically brilliant leader when the Chinese communists took power in 1949. By the 1960s he was a fat, semi-psychotic who spent his time balling groupies and reliving the “glory days” of his youth by plunging his own country into murderous chaos.

Give the Republicans a few more decades in power and I guarantee you it will take that.