“An Acceptable Dictator”. What on earth is that?
According to news reports, Britain’s ambassador to Afghanistan believes we should pull out of Afghanistan with resignation and be content if the inevitable dictatorship that follows is “acceptable”.
Now this got me thinking: What sort of dictator would I myself find “acceptable”? And by this I don’t mean acceptable for other people to live under. I mean, what sort of dictator would I welcome being ruled by? After all, if I wouldn’t want to live under the guy, what right to I have to presume that others would? And do you know, I’m stuck for an answer. I mean, sure, after my day is frequently ruined by Southern Rail, I’d like some chap to come along and get the trains to run on time. I’m just not sure collaborating with another dictator to send half my family to the gas chambers would be an ‘acceptable’ trade-off. No, there must be some moderate middle-ground, like that nice Mr Franco, or something. I dunno, help me out here: what is an “acceptable dictator”?
Before evaluating Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles‘s prescription, let’s at least try to arrive at a working definition of his terms. If you had to be ruled by a dictator, what would be “acceptable”?