HowTo:Become a dictator

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Bill Gates, on his way to be a dictator, after following our HowTo guide. See him holding the flag of the Empire as the people cheer? That'll be you soon!

Do you like the idea of gigantic hordes of people rhythmically shouting out your name? Would you like to oversee a military parade from the balcony of your luxurious palace? Are your looks so gorgeous that everybody should be able to admire them in lurid posters all over the town? Would you like to plan a uniform for yourself? Would things be better if you were in charge? Are you just what this country needs? Would you like to hold the destiny of a nation in your mortal hands?Do you want these questions to stop?If your answer is yes (and it should be), this is the article for you!

If you still hesitate, there are thoroughly rational arguments for becoming a dictator. It might even be essential for your own safety. Dictatorship is the only effective[1] way of running a government. Dictatorship is also great fun, provided you get to be the dictator. This is why you should read this article. If you are not fast enough some nosy son-of-a-bitch may organize a coup in your country before you even get the chance. Why let him have all the fun? You must act fast if you want to rule your own country with an iron fist. Remember, a democratic government might succumb to authoritarian rule at any moment. Hurry! Read this article before it's too late. You don't want to see gigantic propaganda posters on the walls of public buildings featuring anybody else but you. Don't let idiots rule a country when you could do it a lot better!

  1. Def.: Coolest


If planning is too much work for you, skip to the "Invent Your Own Country Section".

Think ahead, go to Dictator school. There is one located somewhere in Nevada. You may also want go to Mexico to build your army. Be black, and beautiful. You will probably need a balanced combination of both. Get yourself a proper education. There are no overeducated dictators. Nowadays, an officer rank is highly recommended for aspiring dictators. And remember: once you are in power, you can promote yourself endlessly to higher ranks. Muammar Qaddafi was a Colonel, Idi Amin was a Deputy Commander of the army, and Pervez Musharraf is a General. Latin America has until recently been so crowded with officers-turned-dictators that some were washed to the sea. However, even those with a humble education can make it. This is most often the case in countries practicing hereditary rule, but there are other examples as well. Adolf Hitler left school with no qualifications and painted shitty postcard scenes. Hardly the career for a future dictator. Stalin never managed to become a priest and left the seminary out of sheer jealousy for God.

Setting up a party[edit]

"I alone can Fix It like Jimmy Savile.

It is much easier to gain absolute power through being a member of a party. The more people involved the more political and sheer physical power a party has. Hitler began their careers in partisan politics. You could join an existing party and gradually make your way to the top in its inner hierarchy. Alternatively, you could found your own party. Then you get to choose who can join it, and you get to be the chairperson. However, new parties may face difficulties finding members.

There is, however, always the frightening prospect that you may have to share your power with the party after the coup. This need not be the case. Stalin managed to replace the Communist party as the supreme authority. See also the 'purge' section of this article.

You also need a good name, it has to sound Evil, but not to the point where when someone hears the name they instasuicide, so that means names like The Genocidal Republican Imperialist Massacere-Loving Party of Evilistan is not necessary.


It is important to know the right people to succeed. Make friends with the military, socialize with the business elite. Knowing some foreign diplomats may also turn out to be beneficial, especially if you are planning a coup. It is really good to know a naive, rich, powerful business mogul. People like that are stupid enough to believe your lies and give you endless financial backing. By the way, money is very important, because with a lot of it is how most dictators succeed. In the good old days, no dictator came to power in Latin America -- and mind you, there were a lot of dictators there then -- without the support or at least consent of the United States and the CIA. Do not forget to keep in contact with the wider populace; the wider your support, the easier it will be to seize power and maintain it.


Equipment is phenomenally important to the survival of a dictator. Without a lot of really good equipment, you'll be forced to take power by using endless hordes of brainwashed peasants who overcome enemies by sheer numbers. And getting that is really difficult. So a lot of money is essential. You can get money in several ways; one of the ways is earning it yourself. Become a wealthy commander of a financial or industrial empire. That will not only get you massive amounts of money, but also powerful friends, respect, and a lot of followers. Your employees could become your army. You could just make friends with a powerful mogul and steal his wealth. This is easier, but also involves more luck. Anyway, once you have the money try to get the best equipment possible. Get the latest in defence technology, and get things like big tanks, cruise missiles, submarines equipped with powerful weapons, and chemical weapons. Hell, if you're really smart you could invent your own weapons of destruction. The point is get good weapons.

The coup[edit]

A (military) coup is the traditional and the most popular way of seizing power in a country. It has certain unbeatable advantages:

  • you are in control of an extensive armed force
  • you get to perform in a cool uniform
  • you have thousands of bodyguards

The downside of a traditional military coup is that there may be officers in the military as power-hungry as you. They might plan putting you aside at some point. The essential number one rule for a dictator is this:


A handy way of beginning a coup is occupying government buildings, such as the parliament, and state-operated TV and radio channels. The main point is to paralyze the government and the medias it uses for spreading propaganda.


Never call your coup a coup. Call it a revolution instead. Revolution suggests that the people have spontaneously renounced the old regime. This is a clever strategy and was used by the Bolsheviks in Russia. Hence, the Russian Revolution.

Inventing Your Own Country[edit]

If there is no country that is geographically convenient, invent your own.

  1. Buy (or Rent, since you'll be declaring independence it is a much cheaper option) an island.
  2. Form a fake television production company.
  3. Convince at least 100 people that you are doing a Survivoresque reality show on this island (note: Remember this is your opportunity to create a superior race in your image so choose wisely. Consider, wealth {so you can tax them}, beauty {you'll be dictator, you'll need a harem} Intelligence (You don't want a daft Master Race) and obedience {free thinkers rebel}).
  4. Eliminate all forms of escape from the island. Don't worry about boats, if Lost has taught us anything it's that people trapped on an island won't get off even if given 3 seasons.
  5. Install yourself as Emperor (or whatever name you prefer) of your new civilization.
  6. Name your civilization after yourself.

After the coup[edit]

You might well think the thing is done after you have successfully seized power in your state. But no. You are only halfway through, though you already have experienced the more difficult half. You don't want to see counter-revolutions, which very likely cost your life. Civil wars are not a good alternative either, (just ask Muammar Gaddafi). How to avoid these difficulties, then?

Consolidating your power[edit]


First consolidate your power in your respective country, only then turn to foreign politics.

At once as the coup becomes recognized, you must announce the beginning of military rule. It is imperative to state that military rule is merely a short interval and that the situation will be "normalized soon". Never give a specific date. You might find it important (and fun) to lengthen the duration of martial law. The first two months are the most important for your future career as a dictator. You should unhesitantly take care of the following things:

  1. Purge governmental institutions of your (potential) opponents.
  2. Purge the party/army of your (potential) opponents.
  3. Draft a new constitution. This can be great fun.
  4. Set up a patriotic (and powerful) secret police force.
  5. Teach monkeys to joust
  6. Profit!
  7. To Get Fat And Rich On The Spoils
  8. Create your own military elite unit with the best equipment
  9. Make special dates during the year to remember the liberation of the people - your takeover
  10. Brainwash schoolchildren with morning song about how great you are


With purges you can get rid of those individuals who could pose a threat to your position. Or, you could just use purges as a way of getting even. Remember that mean kid at school who used to bully you or steal your pocket money? Or the nosy guy who occupied the very last parking lot just before you? Just think of the expressions on their nasty faces when armed soldiers smash their door in the middle of the night, shouting "Payback time!" and dragging them away to the torture chamber rehabilitation centre. Talk about getting even. Purges must take place at night.

New constitution[edit]

A new constitution is required, because the old one didn't recognize you specifically. The sole purpose of your new constitution should be to ensure

1) your unquestionable rule

2) that it seems legal

A lawyer may come in handy, but don't pick the honest kind, choose one from the remaining 99 per cent.

Now what?[edit]

The country is yours, but you can't simply do what you please with it. You want to remain in power as long as possible. You will become addicted to power. But always remebmber kids, ban this book~!

Build a palace[edit]

You'll want to spend your people's money in constructive, rewarding ways, so why not build a floating citadel? All the dictators are doing it!

You may want to live in your nation's old royal/presidential palace, but why not build a new, decent one? King Louis XIV of France built the Versailles Palace (not himself, stupid! Besides It was uncomfortable as shit!), containing about 1,000 lavishly decorated rooms. Nice, but barely adequate for someone like you. Go crazy: build a Medieval castle, an oriental palace, or an exact copy of the White House with a huge plaid cupola on top of it. You say it, they'll build it.

It is a good idea to have a slightly more humble provincial palace in the countryside. You may take refuge in it in case things get bad in the capital.

A palace should include:

  • a thick, high wall
  • a plentiful supply of food, tobacco and Beer in case 'the people' start rebelling
  • a landing site for a helicopter, in case you have to leave your country in a hurry

Make a cool salute or pose[edit]

Hitler had his salute. Mussolini had raised his fist. Lenin had one hell of a pointing finger. So awe inspiring. Everyone will want to follow you and your glorious and sinister, flatigous and all around evil benevolent dictatorship. Having a cool and dramatic pose will make you seem cooler on the global stage, and even Kim Jong Il will come back from the grave and bow before your awesome power.

Just LOOK at that pose!

Invent a title for yourself[edit]

Tired being called Mr/Ms or Sir/Madam? Or "Thick Johnny"? Adopt a title that reflects your genius and awesome power. Insist that people use the title when addressing you. It might be fun to make your title as long as possible and see your subjects trying to memorize it in agony. Examples:

(When making a title, be sure to have as many things capitalized as possible. This makes it look more dramatic and awesome. Don't worry about what your English teacher would say. Just execute her.)

Or instead, invent a new name for yourself. Vladimir Ilyich Uljanov is better known as Lenin and Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugazhvili as Stalin. Adopt a name that's easy to shout in chorus.

Be creative[edit]

Express yourself. Rename your country. This will perplex foreign nations, which of course is hilarious. Most dictators add the term "Democratic Republic of" in the old name of their country -- how dull is that? Make up a long and complicated name. Muammar Qaddafi changed his country's name to the present "Great Libyan Socialist Arab Jamahiriyah". Or make up a completely arbitrary new name. Ambitious statesmen name their country after themselves. Nero planned to rename Rome Neronia after burning it to the ground.

Release the graphic artist inside you and design a new flag reflecting the brave new tomorrow of your great country. Use as repulsive colours as possible.


At present, there is no country whose flag depicts an aardvark. The question is, should there be one?

Write and compose a new national anthem, or hire real writers and composers to do the work for you. Saparmurat Niyazov, the current President of Turkmenistan, is the author of the country's national epic Ruhnama. If you are not that ambitious, you could rename the days of the week and the months of the year after you and things you like, such as ice cream.

Cult of Personality[edit]

Write your own biography as well, or let others write for you. Make sure it brings the fact you are a god or from some important family member, or you are a great soldier and warrior who defeat the enemies of your nation.

Plan your successor[edit]

As much as you claim you are immortal, make sure you carefully pick a successor. You can pick your son who is carefully trained and follow your ideals, or your extremely loyal friend. Make sure they can carry your regime on, and also pass them this guide as well.

Further activities[edit]

As a dictator, you control foreign policy as well. Many dictatorships choose isolationism to thwart foreign influence. This need not be the case. Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan can boast good relations with the US. In fact, it is often very important to have at least one sufficiently powerful foreign country as a supporter. Just look at Saddam Hussein, who had none. He used to be doing standup comedy in a courtroom and has now been hanged. Pathetic! It is benefical for you to stay alive as long as possible. That's the funnest part of the game!


Wars are a risky business (not recommended unless you are desperate). You may want to annex some small nations bordering your country, but remember that this could also cause instability. It is better to advance gradually like Hitler before the outbreak of WWII, acquiring relatively small territories at first. This way, international organisations are less likely to become uneasy.

Make sure to raise taxes before going to war, else your economy can go crashing down. And remember 'Even if you lose a war you still need to act as if your "Awesome" in from of your citizens'.

Or given the advancement of technology, why not create a storage of nuclear weapons? Explain that your nukes are purely for defensive purposes. Make sure you have even uranium to even power the machines making the nukes. Blatantly refuse the denuclearise even with sanctions, unless you are sure the US wouldn't invade you.


Whatever your country, it is probably a good idea to become a member of the UN. Keep it so. You get to travel to New York City annually to drink champagne and to stay in five-star hotel suites. In addition, you get to give a speech to the general assembly. Make sure your speech will be the craziest in diplomatic history, making Hugo Chávez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad look like sensible statesmen. Nobody will remember all the boring stuff the Swedish representative said; everybody will remember your immortal speech. Some unused ideas for your first speech at the UN:

  • Perform cheap magic tricks with cards.
  • Throw money to the audience.
  • Recite "Mary Had a Little Lamb" eight times in a row.
  • Give the speech standing on your head.
  • Wear an Obama mask.
  • Make faces.
  • Steal the microphone when you leave.
  • Chop your balls off, because you are just that awesome and don't worry I am positive your ball regenerator that your "Super Smart" citizens made will be working properly.
  • Make sexy time with other ambassador's wives. They will really respect and appreciate that you plowed their wife while giving a speech in front of them. Just imagine the look on their smug faces. Priceless.


You can manage your country's economy as you will, but be sure to have a secret bank account in Zurich, just in case. Of course, when you are the dictator of Switzerland, you might want to reconsider the location.

Eleven Simple Steps With Historical Examples[edit]

I. Julius Caesar, Dictator of Rome[edit]

  1. Get born in a wealthy family with good political contacts.
  2. Get a top-notch classical education, including fluent command in rethoric, Latin and Classical Greek.
  3. Join the legions and get promoted.
  4. Get into politics.
  5. Form a triumvirate with two other greedy bastards. Be ready to get rid of them at any moment.
  6. Conquer new lands for your country to become a national war hero; France will do nicely.
  7. Win other greedy bastards in a civil war to gain the post of a dictator.
  8. Enjoy your power; hang around with Egyptian chicks.
  9. Beware the Ides of March – you don't want to end up on the Senate floor with dozens of daggers in your throat, no matter how great a play it would make.
  10. DO NOT ATTACK RUSSIA. There is a winter there. They don't exist yet, you fucking fool!
  11. DO NOT ATTACK BRITAIN. They have an Empire bigger than yours. You will only get halfway up that island.

Be sure to kill off many innocent bystanders as you can to get a high score.

II. Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France[edit]

Napoleon, leading his anachronistic armies to victory
  1. Join the army.
  2. Get promoted.
  3. Wait for a revolution.
  4. Seize the moment only after the revolution. Don't act too fast – you could end up in a guillotine.
  5. Secure the support of the unit you command.
  6. Proclaim yourself Emperor. A great opportunity for those who like lavish ceremonies. Design your coronation – that ought to be fun!
  7. Conquer some countries. Spain and Italy are good choices. You will achieve immortal fame. Place your relatives on the thrones of conquered nations. They will be loyal to you.
  8. Win other countries, such as Austria and Prussia, on the battlefield.
  9. Get yourself a proper navy if you really insist on making enemies with Britain.
  10. DO NOT ATTACK RUSSIA. There is a winter there, you know...
  11. DO NOT ATTACK BRITAIN. They have an Empire bigger than yours, you know.

III. Adolf Hitler, Führer of Germany[edit]

Hitler, failing miserably to emulate the success of George Formby
  1. Do not choose an artistic career. Your paintings suck.
  2. Get some military experience; it might prove useful.
  3. Wait for tumultuous times; wars and subsequent economical depressions will do.
  4. Set up a populist party of your own. Learn to talk like a lunatic without being considered one.
  5. Win a national election (the hard part)
  6. Purge your party.
  7. Invent a scapegoat for all the hardships experienced by your nation; ethnic minorities are a good choice.
  8. Once in power, abolish all democratic institutions.
  9. Adopt a goofy title.
  10. DO NOT ATTACK RUSSIA. There is a winter there, you know... Or do you?
  11. DO NOT ATTACK BRITAIN. They have an Empire bigger than yours, hard as it is to admit. You know that, don't you?

IV. Joseph Stalin, Premier of USSR[edit]

Stalin, disguised as Karl 'Groucho' Marx at a fancy dress party
  1. Join eager band of mad revolutionaries. Wait for revolution. (n.b. make sure you join a group with a realistic chance of success)
  2. Make sure nobody knows about your plans. Stay quietly in the corner. Nobody suspects the quiet guy.
  3. Present yourself as a copy of the previous dictator in every way. This way, people won't notice you are in charge until it is too late. This also makes all your opponents traitors, meaning you can kill them in public (much more stylish).
  4. Change your mind as frequently as possible to maximise number of opponents/traitors/corpses
  5. Kill 25% of the people at random. The others will be grateful you've allowed them to stay alive.
  6. Necessary building schemes are much cheaper if you don't pay the workers. Randomly imprison the entire population, use them as slave labour. Those granite mines don't pay for themselves, you know.
  7. Grow a bushy moustache. Everyone loves a leader with a moustache, nothing says 'sensible, non-genocidal man of the people' like a moustache.
  8. Allow other countires to invade you, tire them out retreating, then invade their country on the rebound.
  9. Other countries in your area would probably love you to rule them as well, they're just too embarrassed to ask. Take them over to help them out.
  10. DO NOT ATTACK RUSSIA. Wait a minute... you run Russia! Whoopsy!
  11. DO NOT ATTACK BRITAIN. Oh, I see that you're friends with Britain. At least, as long as you both have a common enemy (see directly above)...

V. Kim Il Sung, dictator Great Leader of North Korea[edit]

Frinedly Kim trying to socialise with other dictators at Dictator Con.
  1. Join the Korean Resistance which fights against the Japanese.
  2. Get promoted quickly and take on a cool name.
  3. Go to Russia, where they will notice you and appoint you leader of communist Korea. (hard part, but just endure the cold)
  4. Accept your position, and establish an army (Korean People's Army sounds good) aligned with your communist party.
  5. After the Japanese lost, quickly take control of the north of Korea. Don't take the south yet. Form an intense personality cult.
  6. Introduce reforms in your territory. Make the people worship you and support you.
  7. If you have free time launch a war to take the south. But wait, that's not right. Oh yeah, actually the southern puppets invaded you first. Attack back! Ask China for help.
  8. Even if your attempt to reunify Korea failed, just proclaim the war a victory. Redevelop your nation. Condemn De-stalinisation in USSR.
  9. Before you die, appoint your son to be the next leader. Make sure he follows your ideals (called Juche) and lead the people well!
  10. DO NOT ATTACK RUSSIA. Wait... They are your allies, aren't they? Depend on them for your economy, at least until the 1990s.
  11. DO NOT ATTACK BRITAIN AMERICA. As much as you hate them, don't. Let your successors do the dirty work.

VI. Saddam Hussein, dictator of Iraq[edit]

  1. Join a revolutionary party.
  2. Wait until a wave of revolutionary movements sweeps former colonial rulers out of power in the region, including your country.
  3. Back the aging leader of a coup in your country.
  4. Rise through the ranks of your party. When the time is ripe, force the elderly coup leader out of office and take over the party and the country.
  5. Consolidate your power in the party by naming those you think are disloyal, then putting them on trial and having them executed.
  6. Outlaw all other political parties, purge and execute as needed.
  7. Use oil revenue to build palatial palaces. If 1 palace is good, 10 are better, and 100 are still better.
  8. Use poison gas on any troublesome Kurds (are there any other kind?)
  9. If other countries question your popular support, hold an election where over 99% of your populace approves of your regime.
  10. DO NOT ATTACK RUSSIA, There is a winter there, you know... Oh, you don't know what winter is.
  11. DO NOT ATTACK BRITAIN. They have a proper Empire, unlike your puny little dot of a state.

VII. Barack Hussein Obama, Police State Comrade of The United Corporate States Dominion of America Wall $treet[edit]

Barack Hussein Obama's corporate morphing form
  1. Go to fancy college, preferably a law school. Because what this globe needs is more lawyers.
  2. Wait for a semi-dictatorial idiot to precede you. That way, you can enjoy the fruits of him fucking up twice as bad as you, point to him whenever you don't follow up on your promises, and adopt his anti-democratic policies easily to use them for your turn in fueling the military industrial complex that funds the police state you are establishing.
  3. Before an election appease the people.Choose a couple of annoying catchphrases like "hope" and "change" to get people to think that you're actually going to change something in government.
  4. Always mention God. No one becomes Police State Comrade of The United Corporate States Dominion of America Wall Street without mentioning God. God Bless Uhmarika!
  5. Run for president. You don't have to be good, just the lesser of 2 evils.
  6. After you are elected, appease Wall Street and the corporate overlords, who's criminal spawn you are. Become friends with a few domestic terrorists bankers.
  7. Conceal yourself to be a member of the other party in a bipartisan system. Run for one party, pass legislation that pampers the other party. It's nice to be hated by everyone. Don't bother trying to take a stand or hold to your promises. You are damned if you do and you are damned if you don't. But if you don't, you won't be so tired.
  8. Make sure you distract at least half of the population by use of the media. Conspiracy theories are always good. When the mentally lesser gifted of the population are worrying about stuff like birth certificates, you can screw up the other stuff more easily.
  9. If the even the people who voted for you are upset you are fucking up royally, have the media report you killed a public enemy. Make sure there there is no way to check up on that, say you already dumped the body in the ocean. Don't worry, people don't dislike executions without trial nearly as much as you'd think.
  10. DO NOT ATTACK RUSSIA, There is a winter there and Sarah Palin may get confused over who her new neighbours are.
  11. DO NOT ATTACK BRITAIN. Instead, give the Queen an Ipod.

See also[edit]