Thursday, August 21, 2014

Q&A: Taking over the world edition

My observations on taking over the world (or at least a country) sparked some feedback. First, thanks for everyone who got in on the conversation.

Dr. Frogge points out: Of course any world domination scheme with a decent chance of success will be held tightly to the chest - I’m not about to release MY plans until it’s all over.

I'd expect so! Like any good caper, secrets and specifics are for you and you alone. Like anything else in this guide, my goal is to get aspiring supervillains to start thinking in certain ways about the topics important to their chosen field.

"Ambitious in Alberta" says: Between peak oil, global climate change, international unrest, and open civil war, we supervillains don't have to do anything. When the world breaks, we can come in and pick up the pieces.

Yeah - you and everyone else. I wanted to leave it implicit in the post, and I went as far as mentioning the heroes, but any world conquest plan must necessarily take your fellow supervillains into account. All it takes is for any 3-5 villains of your power level to team up and take you down, and I guarantee you there's that many for every would-be conqueror.

There, I said it. If the world falls apart, it will mean a villain civil war. Some villains will decide they liked the good life of civilization enough to protect what's left of it. Others will decide that a larger slice of this very big pie is worth a few former friends. You can bet that the long planners and clear thinkers in the villain community are looking at the scenarios you talk about and have taken plenty of steps, so if your hope is to be on the top of the food chain, you better be one of those people.

"Mexican Megalomaniac" says: Who in your opinion has come closest to world conquest, or at least world destruction?

Sore wa himitsu desu.

"Eyepatch of Power" says: Aside from the difficulties in destroying threats to your power, you sound pretty down on world conquest. What else don't you like about it?

I think running the world is the antithesis of the villain ethic. Actually keeping a world running well enough to enforce your will is a lot of work. You have to learn a lot of skills, you have to interact with a lot of people, and you're going to be tied down, making decisions, answering peoples' bullshit questions because they can't think for themselves, and just generally managing shit. You don't have time for you, because you'll be too busy.

Don't believe me? Look at before-and-after pictures of any US president, especially a two-termer. The job turns those poor bastards gray and carves deep grooves in their faces. Early in his campaign, the president who led us into Iraq (the first time) looked like your friendly grandfather. Midway through the actual war, he looked like Death warmed over. The office of the president is one of the most powerful positions on Earth, and it sucks the life out of anyone who gets close to it. Now, multiply that by 200-odd countries.

Basically, if I wanted a busy, stressful day job, I'd go get one.