Kets de Vries In Praise of Dictators: A Swiftian Perspective @INSEAD

Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries, INSEAD, has published In Praise of Dictators: A Swiftian Perspective as INSEAD Working Paper No. 2022/22/EFE, 2022. Here is the abstract.

This article takes a ‘Swiftian perspective’ to the question of dictatorship. Using satire to expose people’s idiocy in supporting dictatorships, it celebrates the benefits of this form of governance. At the same time, it highlights some of the downsides of democracy. It makes the tongue-in-cheek argument that democracies are unwieldy castles in the sky. The subtext, however, draws attention to the dangers of autocratic rule. It highlights how dictators contribute to the destruction of civil society, instigating corruption, terror, war, and even genocide. Furthermore, the article points out how dictators cement their autocratic rule, using fear to keep their citizens compliant. It also highlights how they will suppress free speech by controlling the flow of information. At the same time, the article emphasizes the fragility of democracies and the need to support them through a well-informed citizenry, an independent judiciary, a free press, free speech, solid civic institutions, and the right to demonstrate. The article ends by iterating that all these things are sacrificed in maintaining a dictatorship and how easily it can happen.

Download the paper from SSRN at the link.