Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Lengths Thin Skinned Authoritarians Go To....

When you think we have it bad here, just look around you.  China is the latest to ban innocuous items for fear of embarrassing the leader.  This isn't North Korea / Syria level of insecurity, but it is close (link).
It reminds me of the time Belarus outlawed clapping (link).

Now that sounds silly, but Belarus outlawed any demonstrations against the Dictator President Lukashenko. He was term limited out in 2006 - before he changed the constitution. Since people couldn't demonstrate without arrest, public demonstrations on Friday outside the Presidential Palace took the form of clapping, ostentatiously for the President, but he outlawed it.

Demonstrations moved from clapping  to signing the National Anthem in front of the Palace (then it was outlawed). To smiling widely as they passed the Palace (also outlawed for a while).

It all sounds like some zany Marx Brothers skit, until you realize that Lukashenko is still in power and has been since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

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