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.
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.
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.
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.