|Korra was disappointed that he wasn't|
as wise as he seemed. I was disappointed
that he wasn't as deep/nuanced as he
Just watch Jodi Foster's monodimensional callous as she blows border-runners out of orbit, or Unalaq shark-jump his way from an interesting character who teeters between madness and enlightenment into pure evil for absolutely no apparent reason.
Catching Fire's president character was the most frustrating in this regard because of how little effort was vested into making him seem at all like a workable despot. Having stopped reading the series after the first novel, I can't really say whether the fault rests in Collins' lap or the movie producers' but given my experience, it wouldn't surprise me at all if the answer were "both."
President Snow, I would like to offer you my services as a consultant in how to maintain a stable authoritarian regime. I've seen you and so many like you do your jobs so pathetically that pity drives me to offer these services pro bono.
|Orange shorts: Sure sign of free thinking.|
The Tributes in your hunger games need to be the extremists. Dissentors. Rebels. But they also need to be any Peacekeepers that get out of hand. They need to represent the scary people in the pro-Capital and anti-Capital fringe that are easier to dehumanize and thus, harder to sympathize with when they murder each other. Then, when they die, no matter which side they're on, the masses can say that they pretty much deserved it and then go back to feeling comfortably ambivalent towards your rule.
You need to label dissent as anti-social, unhinged and calloused to the sad situation that most people are enduring. Paint yourself as making the noble, painstaking attempt to fend off all these selfish extremists for the sake of the people. You're the cool, even keel, stable, middle-ground. Those that disagree with you are basket cases who will probably shoot-up a mall some day... assuming the next Games take place in a mall. (Which they should).
|Headline: District 12 Tribute under arrest|
for eating her baby. Gamekeepers say this
does not disqualify her from the Hunger Games.
Even if she's not lying, you can still beat the whole thing by saying "we tested the child and believe that it is not a viable fetus. It will probably miscarry before the games -- it will certainly not survive to full term." Or you could just abort the pregnancy like the Chinese do and say (like the Chinese do) that it's for the good of society.
Never do live broadcasts. Seriously. Editing is the propagandist's best friend.
When detractors attempt to spread their own propaganda, hold them to ridiculous standards of proof. Use your educated partisans to label such detractors as being dishonest, unwilling to subject their claims to scientific rigor, and especially of being hateful or calloused of people from other districts who depend on Capitol's wealth redistribution mechanisms to survive. You can discredit all sorts of people in the eyes of the public without ever having to gamble on their actions when in your holodeck thunderdome.
Autonomy and Identity
|You know Nazis held hands, too.|
You should do far more to help people feel like each district is just a convenient compartment but all of the people are part of one, great Panem collective. When they are all proudly waving the same flag, it's harder for them to dehumanize you, their dictator, as a separate entity because you wave the same flag they do.
Make rail travel freely available. Or at least super-cheap. The expense will not be negligible but the benefit will be a society without the closely-knit communities that are needed to form a real, effective rebellion. Small, compartmentalized cultures keep secrets better, identify one another more easily, and share values; all of these things are the enemy of a sprawling dictatorship.
You should make it a point to try to engineer good-cop-bad-cop routines among your Peacekeepers. Find a sociopath inside one district, nurture his cruelty and indifference, and place him in charge of law enforcement for his home district -- all for the glory of District 12! Meanwhile, you should also have kinder, more compassionate law enforcers under him who also happen to be from the Capitol -- accents and all. This way, the natives associate their own kind with barbarism and your way with benevolence.
|Diabolicaltude is directly|
proportional to the twirlitude of
It really seems to me that you have no reason to lose to the uppitty hillbillies in District 13. If you ever bothered to look at the cards, you'd find that the deck is stacked in your favor. Do us all a favor and man-up! Be a real, honest despot! One that we can be afraid of, one that could actually defeat the plucky little resistance. Would you do that for us, sir?