Ask Dr. Sinisterion: World Domination
(Because of a bone-crushing workload, I’m a bit behind in my blogging. Luckily, there’s a brilliant and infinitely talented guest blogger (whose culpability in producing the recent “Snowmageddon II” is suspected but unproven) who has once again come to the rescue. Here is his latest dose of insights about the world from a decidedly and distinctly unique point of view. Please join me in welcoming Doctor Sinisterion.—Mike Stackpole)
Doctor Sinisterion (D. D.), is the author of the recent book If I Was A Supervillain. Having retired after a long career as a spiritual consultant and entrepreneur, he took time to study many of the great criminal enterprises of our time, and offers his critique of them in his book. Critics have suggested the book is merely an exercise in revisionist history. He scoffs at his critics and looks forward to the day that fire ants will consume their young. He has recently undertaken a new line of work: he is now a life coach for those in the costumed trade.
Dear Dr. Sinisterion,
I am a budding criminal mastermind. I have foregone the trivial, such as torturing small animals or setting fires; and have come up with a brilliant plan for world domination. What’s say I give you the idea, you do it, and we’ll split the money 50-50?
I have a superior idea. Why don’t you do the work, and just give me 25%?
“What?” I hear you ask. “Why would I give you 25% for doing nothing?” Because, dear boy, you wanted 50% for doing nothing. I’m far more generous than you are.
I find your claim of being a budding criminal mastermind as intriguing as I find it dubious. When you finally leave your parents’ basement and take a look at the wider world, you’ll discover that being a criminal mastermind requires more than wishful thinking, a steady diet of cheese-worms and excelling at Grand Theft Auto. The closest you’ve been to incarceration is that time you accidentally locked yourself in the trunk of your mother’s car. I suspect you have conducted many “thought experiments” which, in sophistication, rank barely above scams to get free fries from your local McDonald’s. For reasons beyond my ability to comprehend—and I have a vast capacity for comprehension—you have decided that you’re just too smart to ever be caught.
You reveal your barely adequate intelligence by announcing your very goal: world domination. Why would you want that? Once you control the world, not only do you have the forces of goodness and niceness and decency arrayed against you, but you invite assaults by all the others whose goal is, likewise, world domination. Your desire to have your face every coin will be your downfall. Your passing will be unmourned and your grave unmarked.
No, the true criminal mastermind does not want world domination. It’s been done, and seldom ends well. Alexander the Great. Julius Caesar. Genghis Khan. Justin Bieber. All of these sagas have tragedy written all over them. A good criminal mastermind remembers that tragedy is for heroes. It’s what makes them human. And it’s why they can always be defeated.
Criminal Masterminds do not seek to dominate, but merely to influence. It really would not take much for a criminal enterprise—we’ll use Goldman Sachs as an example—to buy a small nation. They could install their board as the highest law in the land and do great business doing what they do. (Even I can’t makes sense of that.) But once you own a country, then you have to run a country, and foreign entities always wish to undermine your sovereignty. Internal opposition is also a problem—peasants are annoyingly inventive when they feel oppressed. And you have to feed them.
In short, when you own the country, you have to do the heavy lifting.
If you influence things, however, you do little work and share in the profits. Granted, your attempt to get me to do your work was a nice first attempt. A mastermind knows not to buy when he can rent. Not only does it raise the profit margin and lower the actual work load; but it provides a degree of insulation if things go badly and the operation needs to be shut down. After all, an international leader on the run from criminal charges can seldom find a home; but a successful consultant is welcome everywhere.
But, He-But, take heart. I am certain that soon you will graduate from High School; and shortly thereafter your parents will let you go out alone and your mom will no longer write your name in your underwear. Dream globally, but act locally—choosing your jurisdictions wisely—and you may yet have a career.
If you have a question for Doctor Sinisterion, please enter it in the comments below. Doctor Sinisterion cannot answer individual emails, nor is he responsible for anyone acting on his musings.
￼In Hero Years… I’m Dead comes in two editions. The basic edition costs $5 and contains just the novel. the Deluxe Edition includes a long essay about the process of the writing and the genesis of the ideas. These two links will take you to my store where you can buy the epub format which works on Sony readers, the iPad and the Nook.