[extropy-chat] Defenestration

Keith Henson hkhenson at rogers.com
Fri Mar 16 21:59:29 UTC 2007

At 06:42 PM 3/15/2007 +0000, Billk wrote:

>On 3/15/07, Keith Henson wrote:
> > Dictators who didn't consider the opinion and well being of their subjects
> > at all were usually deposed unless they died from other causes first.
> >
>My instant reaction was 'Nonsense!'.  ;)

Google: 13,800 for defenestration dictator.
Google: 438,000 for deposed dictator

I my lifetime South American countries went through dictators like changing 

>Tell that to Mugabe's people.



It's not that simple a story.  A high fraction of the problems of Zimbabwe 
are structural.  High population growth fed by mechanized agriculture 
followed by a reversion to low tech farming is a recipe for starvation.

You know the saying "white men can't jump"?  The corollary is "____ men 
can't farm" when farming is of the tightly managed and highly mechanized 
western culture variety.  In fact, in much of that part of the world, 
farming is strictly women's work.

>Most cruel leaders are not deposed by internal rebellion because
>opponents are ruthlessly executed. If they don't die of old age, it is
>attack from the outside that defeats them.
>Then I thought, maybe Keith has heard about different cruel dictators to me.

A hero to this day to a substantial number of older Russians.


Worshiped by the Germans at one time.



>Saddam Hussein?


>Jean-Bertrand Aristide?


I don't know why you cite him.  "Dictator" does not seem to fit.  Could you 


>Alexander didn't march across Europe because his local population
>wanted more food.


He didn't march that direction at all, though he might have had he lived 
long enough.

Up to the days of railroad transportation, food was mostly a local 
problem.  You could only improve the food supply per person by having fewer 
"persons."   Thus wars that "threw away" a chunk of the population improved 
the food supply per person for those left.

Keith Henson

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