Tounge and Cheek

Tongue in cheek

Anon E. Mouse

“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” Lord Acton said. Who remembers Idi Amin?  The Ugandan dictator/ politician/president and military officer. His rule gained notoriety for its sheer brutality and oppressiveness and rumours of cannibalism abounded. But, I do not want to discuss Idi Amin. In South Africa today, small-time autocrats and flexitime dictators abound.

Everybody knows someone who knows someone who works for a total dictatorial autocrat. “This is MY company and you will do what I say when I say or else…” And that unspoken “or else” makes us obey while we are inwardly seething and cursing like a demented sailor suffering from Tourette syndrome.

We find these so-called democratic autocrats in government where nepotism is the de rigueur. Etiquette, protocol and family, even five times removed, insist on joining the uncle or auntie on the gravy train. Obviously, the person who is the prime organiser for familial positions in high positions regards themselves as saviours of their kin and therefore are due the respect fit for a king or queen. And as such, another little dictator is created.

Closer to home, we find a different breed of dictator/autocrat, namely the Idi Admins. Those that control WhatsApp groups, the either voluntary or chosen ones that add or remove humble Sabie citizens according to their imposed rules and regulations. Here I must also unequivocally state that the Sabie be Safe group is not, I repeat, not part of these little Idi Admins. But, the rest is fair game.

On certain groups you get added, on others, you must join. So the choice is yours to stay or sign-up for this group. Then, the name of the group clearly states what its function will be. So far, so good. On some groups, you are only required to be the adoring audience, for only the admins can post. On others, you are allowed to air your views, ask questions or report a problem, up to a point. Then, if you do not agree with the dictatorial admin and you voice your opinion, you are removed from the group.

With the tap of a screen, you are relegated to being persona non grata. You were, horrors of horrors, removed from the group. It is human nature to comment on things said, things discussed and the voicing of opinions, how boring and ignorant the person might be or how much the person exasperates you. Groups need people to function. What will a little dictator be without someone to dictate to? Just asking, you know…

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