In the past, I have made a big deal about how in the post apocalypse, I WILL be a benevolent dictator in control of a large, well run compound. Some of you seem to seem to think I might be joking about this.
Oh, no, sugarbuns. I fully intend to be a dictator. I’m already spoiled, petty and quick to anger – dictatorship should be a cinch.
I can’t tell you HOW to build your compound – it requires a combination of charm, talent, leadership abilities, organisation and a basic, borderline sociopathic disrespect for the rights, opinions and feelings of other people that I just don;t think you can learn. But, I can give you some ideas about how to maintain your iron control once you have it. After all, you don’t want to screw up so bad they murder you, do you?
Rule through fear AND love:
‘It is better to be feared than loved’. I beg to differ. Maybe if you’re a man, when being frightening is seen as a plus point and something beneficial than as a sign of your obvious terribleness. No, instead, make them love you. As a mother, as a goddess, if you must. But make the fear a something that is always there. Make the fear something that your people know can be brought out when necessary, and primarily direct it at your enemies. If they love you, they will die and kill to protect you. If they fear you slightly as well, they will never stand against you.
Make compound life safe and easy:
No apocalyptic life will be ‘easy’. But if living in your compound will mean they don;t starve to death and aren;t ripped to shreds by raiders, plus the work load is less back breaking, you won’t have to keep them in chains. They’ll do it for themself. People will give up many freedoms in order to be safe. And, it’s a hard fact (you will say over the loudspeakers, with grief in your voice) that until true civilisation has been rebuilt, most freedoms will harm, not help.
Offer choice, but make it limited:
By which I mean ‘live by my rules, or try and make it outside’. Let anyone who doesn’t want to live with you leave. Do NOT try and kill them, or torture them. They have the freedom to just walk away, as long as thy understand they can never come back. Hell, give them a gun and some supplies! Be nice, and sad that they’re making that choice! Persuade them to stay! If they insist on leaving, you won’t need to worry about them once they go – they’re dead. If they were brought up in your compound, they CAN’T cope with outside.
Everyone does their fair share and gets their fair share:
Dngerously socialist for our American readers, but for small, enclosed groups (and you’ll have a wall and a gate, so enclosed you are) it works. Reduces tensions, no-one feels like they’re being taken advantage of, everyone is fit and strong and healthy. Less riots and disagreement.
HOWEVER offer incentives:
For activities that are risky and benefit the compound, offer incentives. Don’t make the incentives so great that it creates resentment, but make them great enough that people want to do them. Don’t use food, for example (a necessity, and hungry people riot) but extra holiday days or greater luxury item slots would be great.
Have an heir lined up:
Do not allow any doubt or worry creep in. Your heir should be chosen and groomed well ahead of time.
Rules! Operate our Rules for Post-apocalyptic communites!
Good luck, fellow dictator! But remember, I’ve kept the good stuff back. And if you go to war agaisnt my compound, I will end you and display your mangled bodies on my walls. Toodles!