Sunday, April 6, 2014

The fate of the Warlord

Once, years ago, here in Libertopia there was a guy who decided he could use his wealth to his advantage in a way some would once have called becoming a "Warlord".

It didn't turn out well for him.

What happened was that he was a very successful business owner who got a little too ambitious. He hired a large security force and sent them out to intimidate his competitors. He tried to force his will on everyone around him and extort protection fees from everyone he could.

But people who have tasted real liberty aren't so anxious to give it up.

Even though he often got his way, through force, word began to spread. More and more people stopped doing business with him and his profits began to fall. He tried to ramp up his intimidation of his competitors, but that only went so far. Some went out of business, some moved, and other new competition sprung up- started by people not so easily intimidated.

He refused to abide by arbitration, and eventually started ignoring all requests for arbitration at all. He thought he was powerful enough to do whatever he wanted to anyone. He got quite a surprise.

Quietly those he was violating began to pool resources to fund a bounty on him. As word got around, more and more people contributed and pledged their help. After all, this guy wasn't just bluster, but was actually initiating force, fraud, and theft. He was a real and imminent threat to everyone.

It didn't take long until the bounty was large enough that it couldn't be kept secret, and he began to fear his own security forces. He started purging the ranks of anyone he doubted, which backfired and destroyed the loyalty of those who would have otherwise remained loyal. The guy got so paranoid he withdrew to his underground bunker. He wouldn't have contact with anyone, and was trying to check any food, water, and air coming into his bunker for poisons- which consumed his time and energy. His remaining security forces began to feel the pressure of being shunned. What good is money when no one will do business with you? The same went for those who helped keep his bunker running. It was mostly self-contained, but repairs still need to be carried out.

Before long, he didn't have enough supporters to keep going. His life support systems failed and his bunker became uninhabitable. In fact, he couldn't get out and he died there in his secure fortress. No one knows- or cares- if he starved or suffocated. But his life is a warning to all who get the idea to follow in his footsteps.

And the bounty was never even paid out. Some was returned to the original donors, some was used to help those he had harmed, and some- the majority- was rolled over into a fund to pay a bounty on any future would-be warlord.


1 comment:

  1. This would make a good folk tale. No doubt it happens, and perhaps something like it happened to Joseph Stalin