I originally wrote this piece about 8 years ago. It started with the age-old discussion: Would you rather have Fame, Fortune, or Power? He had made a comment that you couldn’t have much power if you only had a nickel. I disagreed and presented this option instead.
Disclaimer: if anyone uses my instructions to become a dictator – it was all my friend’s fault for posing the question.
Okay – the first thing is – punch a hole in the nickel and hang it around your neck with some leather cording. When asked why – explain it is a symbol of your desires for political freedom in a world where people’s souls are worth as little.
As young, eager-minded but drifting aimlessly-bodied individuals swoon at your feet (and swoon they will) discuss how you have abandoned monetary gain for truth and encourage them to do so also. Offer to help discard of their worldly and shallow possessions for them -so they are not tempted to succumb to the wickedness of “things.” Take the funds garnered from this and hire soldiers of fortune to plot your overthrow of the gov’t. Since your hippie-like followers have given you all, house them and put them to work on a farm — find the most delusional of them all and put him/her in charge to perform your “enlightenment meetings” and “freedom recruitment”. Keep that one person happy – however you must – and keep distant from all others – it makes you more mysterious and gives you more time to focus on your soldiers. Use the produce (cucumbers perhaps?) and profits from the farm to further enhance your largess.
Don’t let the hippies know of the soldiers of fortune (SOFs) or vice versa – live a dual-role, singular purpose life. Let the hippies think of your dictatorship as a “crusade to end all misery.” Let the SOFs think it is a career move for them as they seek their own countries and lands to own. Appoint one SOF as your “right-hand person” and watch him like a hawk. Give him disinformation and see if it leaks – and never trust him. Use him as your spokesperson as you seize your target and establish yourself as the behind-the-scenes dictator.
Begin searching for caves – and look-alikes. Pre-record mystical messages in case you need to flee quickly. When the UN steps in to stop you – sacrifice your Right-hand SOF, and convince your hippie that any negative occurrences were due to them. When you are exposed as the mastermind, run to your cave and begin releasing your tapes.
When all else fails – take a brain-washed lookalike and let him be captured and blamed for all you have done and put to death. Let your followers mourn your passing and let controversy swell over whether you were a martyr or diabolical mastermind.
With your hidden largess, pay a top Hollywood surgeon to secretly and dramatically change your appearance. This will wipe you out almost completely, leaving you only with a nickel.
Take this nickel and punch a hole in it . . .