Photo: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra (Flickr); License: CC BY 2.0

Have you ever had the desire to kill en masse, but were concerned by human rights watchdogs? Have you ever felt threatened by your political opponents, who you wanted to eliminate quietly, but were concerned by pesky media eyes? Have you ever wanted to establish a stark totalitarian regime but were concerned with international pressure? Try Dictator’s Jelly©, an innovative product coming from a small family-owned network near Dupapič, Poldonia, that may be the answer to your concerns. Hailed as the new Illiberal Rub, the product helps you realise your authoritarian potential by dislodging parts of the central nervous system responsible for compassion and sensitivity to mass murder, while simultaneously sharpening your mind for diversion and ideological warfare. Apply some and you become an authoritarian leader, rub some more and you become a flat out totalitarian ruler. Designed especially for budding autocrats with lingering moral dilemmas. Or so they say. Recently E&M sat with the product’s creators, Igor and Vassya1, who shared a few words about their salad days as a startup in Vladivostok, getting inspired by North Korea’s very own Kim and galvanising dark matter by accident.

1 the true identities of the interviewees have been concealed for security concerns

E&M: How did the idea of Dictator’s Jelly© come about?

Igor: It was quite natural. We have always been big admirers of all things authoritarian – we dabbled in spreading illiberal ideologies from an early age, then jumped on the deep web and did some electoral meddling. You see, what’s a teenager to do in Vladivostok? Unfortunately, none of us has quite the features to become an actual dictator – I am too handsome and Vassya is mentally impaired (laughs, Vassya frowns). Plus, the competition is insane. So, we thought: we can’t really physically contribute to setting up totalitarian strongholds around the world, but we can help other people with the right set of charms do that. And we can turn this into a business model…

Vassya: The idea of Dictator’s Jelly© came more or less fully formed. I made a little research while Igor was staring at the ceiling of his panel flat (Igor rolls eyes). I noticed there were many ambitious potential dictators around who had experimented with small-scale projects like non-democratic practices, corruption, judicial capture and so on. But they were still lacking something to obliterate all opposition and take a full grasp of their countries’ resources. I guessed they were still hampered by traces of virtue. Well, I thought we could help them get it out of their system.

There were many ambitious potential dictators around who had experimented with small-scale projects like non-democratic practices, corruption, judicial capture and so on. But they were still lacking something to obliterate all opposition and take a full grasp of their countries’ resources.

Photo: Slava Vygolov, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (Flickr)
Photo: Slava Vygolov (Flickr); License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

E&M: How were you planning to do that?

Vassya: Looking at our customers, they are not complete dilettantes: they are a refined bunch of thugs. Some had already shut down media freedom, mesmerised their crowds and were progressing towards one-party rule and abolishing elections. But it was taking too long, enemies were still kicking and they seemed hesitant to proceed, despite building momentum. What was stopping them from making that final step? Me and Igor, when he was not playing CS:GO, consulted a few sources, including studies on the nature of evil, comics and medical records. We came to the conclusion there was a hidden switch somewhere in the human mind which could turn even the kindest soul into a ruthless satrap. We only had to flick it.

Igor: Yeah right. We bought a bunch of stuff to test our hypothesis. I remember buying Lenin’s brain on Silk Road. We also needed real-life samples to map our response topography on, so we looked around and tapped DPRK’s Kim. It was very difficult to obtain that medulla tissue, I tell you – hiring a good chef in that country is impossible. Of course, for a project of that scale we needed to raise some buck, which makes us forever indebted to our friends at the Malnovation fund in Switzerland. But we also did a couple of odd jobs, like siphoning banks and enriching uranium…

Vassya: I knew he would mention the uranium (snaps).

Igor: Those were fun days. Remember when we accidentally opened a portal to another dimension that smelled like a cowshed? Also, who knew that accelerating a frozen dog turd through dark matter could cause so much havoc in the taiga? Meteorite, my ass (laughs, Vassya joins nervously). Anyways, after the initial tests, we liaised with a number of bidders who could help us stabilize the formula and roll out the product. That is when we stumbled upon the guys in Poldonia, a very friendly family business, although individually a bit retarded by religion.

We have it in three flavors: cherry samogon, honey spiritus and bloody gorelka.

Photo: Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky (Flickr); License: CC BY 2.0
Photo: Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky (Flickr); License: CC BY 2.0

E&M: So, what is inside?

Igor: We can’t really tell. Certainly not space frog urine (winks). It is a very powerful inhibitor that clings to certain enzymes and attacks the ability of the brain to process humanistic values or civil rights proclivities. It gets the balance right, scraping what we are all made of – pure evil – and plonking it right on top. We have it in three flavors: cherry samogon, honey spiritus and bloody gorelka. You want to try? (takes out a small flask of suspicious blue liquid out of his sweatshirt’s pocket)

E&M: No thank you. Is there demand for that kind of product?

Vassya: You can bet. You see the idea is quite innovative – when we were developing the blueprints the world was still under the impression that liberalism will win. We were running against the grain, driven by a firm belief in the eventual reversal of democracy and return of totalitarian regimes. In the beginning it was just us and a small community of believers. It was not until a few years later that our predictions came true. But since then the wave has been unstoppable. Of course, we still get the most orders from Europe and the third world, but there has been recent interest from unlikely corners, such as the US.

Igor: Yeah, illiberal demagogues can’t get enough of it (chuckles)

Photo: Jenny Ondioline (Flickr); License: CC BY 2.0
Photo: Jenny Ondioline (Flickr); License: CC BY 2.0

E&M: How much will it cost by the way?

Igor: You don’t pay with money for Dictator’s Jelly©. Oh no boy – you cannot pay with money for that. (eyes glowing strangely)

At present the social gaps are so wide you can fit an entire flotilla of sinking ships inside and no one will know.

E&M: Ideology or religion – where are the present day dividing lines?

Vassya: I would say ideology. There isn’t anything as powerful as Marxism-Leninism, but current re-distribution policies have considerable potential to cause strife. At present the social gaps are so wide you can fit an entire flotilla of sinking ships inside and no one will know. The rich are already scared of the poor and immigrants better have sturdy behinds, as they are going to get some whopping. The smell of the next revolution is already in the air – the moment when the hungry and mindless rise and empires fall. Remove law and order and humans will devolve to beasts in the next hour. Restore them and you will be tsar. What better way to do that than ideology?

Igor: I am not so sure about that. Physical survival is one thing but try stripping humans from their fairytales and divination gimmicks. They will eat you alive, friend. Nothing can replace the sensation of being right by belonging to the right group. Masses need morals like intrigants need poison. They need their actions endorsed by a divine authority. And let’s face it: lay institutions are not making it easier to obey, weakened as they are by constitutional freedoms. Something Dictator’s Jelly© is set to fix.

Believe the preachers, be concerned what people say, bow down to your superiors, kneel before authority – only then you will be truly fulfilled.

Photo: Johnny Silvercloud (Flickr); License: CC BY-SA 2.0
Photo: Johnny Silvercloud (Flickr); License: CC BY-SA 2.0

E&M: Your opinion on liberalism?

Vassya: Nowadays I would not go so far as to qualify liberalism as a threat, more as a passing fad. It had its moment but it fell flat. Why? Because it was based on the idea that humans want to be free. Not a day passes by without me and Igor pondering over that strange idea. Why would anybody want to be free? Where on earth are they going to go? It is a profound mystery how pundits could be so optimistic to mix freedom and satisfaction. Believe the preachers, be concerned what people say, bow down to your superiors, kneel before authority – only then you will be truly fulfilled.

E&M: What future for the far-right?

Igor: The far right hardly have any future other than breaking their teeth on Nazi leftovers. They need to grow up. Come to us if you want the real thing.

End.

 

Interview taken by: Tangerine Black

 

Cover Photo: Photo: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra (Flickr); License: CC BY 2.0

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    Alex is Bulgarian and is currently stationed in Poland. He did Politics & Security at University College London and specialised at Charles University in Prague for a year. He is an analyst with interests in the region of Central and Eastern Europe.

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