Posted by Oakes Spalding on 12/10/16
If you think about it, it’s sort of a paradox. Dictators almost always claim the support of the majority, usually the vast majority.
I suppose on occasion they have it. Often they don’t. But they all go to significant lengths to make people think they have it, which often means they have to lie about it.
Yet they’re dictators, and presumably they have the institutional support – the military, the secret police and so on – in place to remain dictators. So you might imagine that once in a while some dictator somewhere would say, “I admit that the people don’t support me on this one, but you know what, continuing the revolution (or whatever) is just the right thing to do. Political morality isn’t a numbers game, you know.”
It never happens.
Weirdly, it does sometimes happen among democratically elected leaders. Obviously, leaders in democracies like having democratic support, especially around election time, but they sometimes take pride in doing the right thing for the sake of it and will often cite incidents of this to tout their leadership abilities or independence or whatever.
People often say that the leader of the Catholic Church is in essence a dictator. He can create advisory committees or call synods to ask for advice but can then (perfectly within his rights) ignore their recommendations. He can choose whichever new cardinals he wants, change canon law on his own initiative and so on and so forth.
But I think it’s more accurate to call him a limited or constitutional-monarch, at least if we have to use the conventional categories. But in this case the limited part of it isn’t, say, a parliament but rather the in large part written “constitution” of the Old and New Testaments, the decisions and claims of past popes and councils, the interpretations of the Church fathers, the arguments of recognized doctors of the Church and so on.
It’s notable that Jorge Mario Bergoglio has “governed” more as a revolutionary dictator – claiming the support of the masses – than as a constitutional monarch. It’s true that he and his allies have sometimes claimed the support of the Holy Spirit. That’s sort of an extra attempt to enlist the support of those Catholics who still believe in the real existence of that entity – which perhaps does not include Bergoglio and many of his allies.
But the main theme is: we have the support of the vast majority of Catholics. Those who oppose us are a small minority of reactionaries, rigid conservatives and the like. They’re old, they’re dying out. We are the future.
As is the case with many revolutionary dictatorships, the claim may at first seem true or at least mainly true, even to outsiders.
But then someone pokes the bubble, or draws attention to the fact that beneath the surface all may not be what it seems.
See yesterday’s interview with the journalist Edward Pentin.
And then it all comes crashing down.
In the last few days, Bergoglio and his men have claimed that his agenda to admit unrepentant adulterers to communion received two-thirds support at the Second Synod on the Family.
That is an easily-verified lie.
Even after Bergoglio packed the vote with sycophants and cronies, and heavy-handedly manipulated the process from start to finish, that particular element of the agenda was officially rejected.
As I argued a few days ago, this sort of thing may be a sign of desperation.
Another interesting thing about dictators is that they’re almost always paranoid. Their ongoing attempts to root out and eliminate opposition are not mere exercises in, say, sadism but actions initiated out of fear. In fairness, dictators are often successful because of this. Paranoia is often a kind of Machiavellian virtue. For dictators, at least, it beats complacency.
Bergoglio believes (we know this because he has told us) that he is up against a vast-right wing conspiracy to defeat his agenda. It includes powerful members of the media along with independent “cyberhackers” trolling the Pope with “fake news” from their basements.
The conspiracy includes retreads from the old-regime, as well as reactionary Latin scholars.
But the people are with him (so he claims). All power resides in the masses.
At this point what should have happened was a raised-fist speech from a balcony (along with the obligatory secret-police sweep).
Instead the papal caudillo publicly revealed himself to be a disgusting pervert.
Bergoglio is a Peronist or perhaps a Castro-wannabe.
Give them their due. Peron lasted 22 years (on and off), Castro lasted 57.
Bergoglio hasn’t even lasted 4.
Can you think of any self-respecting (and historically notable) dictator who only lasted that long?
Even on his terms, Bergoglio is an inept and pathetic failure. And so are his men.