Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kim Jong-un Will Probably Be Crazier Than His Father

The new leader of North Korea is 28 year old Kim Jong-un.

When the US constitution was written a lower age limit of 35 was put in place for the holder of the office of president. This was partly because as the founders looked through history they noticed that the most completely crazy, paranoid and murderous rulers were often those who took office at a very young age.

Roman emperors are a good case in point- most of the really terrible emperors were those who took power at a very young age. For example this list ranks the five worst emperors and I have added their age at ascension in brackets:
  1. Caligula (25)
  2. Elagabalus (14)
  3. Commodus (19)
  4. Nero (17)
  5. Domitian (30)
The list is obviously subjective but broadly indicative of how things are seen. Getting absolute power while still young and full of the desires and immaturity that goes with that tends to be a very bad thing. In the case of Kim Jong-un he is part of dynasty that has held absolute power for 70 years and has grown up in an environment where questioning his authority is tantamount to treason.

This is not an environment in which openness and responsibility are likely to be nurtured.

8 comments:

A K Haart said...

"has grown up in an environment where questioning his authority is tantamount to treason."

Not a good start that - it's how we bring up our kids too.

Henry Crun said...

"The new leader of North Korea is 28 year old Kim Jong-un."

heceforth known as Kim Wrong-un.

TDK said...

I find these Korean dictators names confusing. I wish there was some easy way to remember that Kim Jong Un was the young one and Kim Il Un, the sickly one.

TDK said...

Or even Jong-Il. Bah!

Ross said...

I wonder if there are other sons Kim Jong-deux & Kim Jong-Trois....

"Not a good start that - it's how we bring up our kids too."

Yeah but we don't make them absolute dictators afterwards.

James Higham said...

Elagabalus

Never heard of him. Joke name is it?

banned said...

James, you surprise me

Helio (Greek =Sun) ga baal (Syriac Sun/meteor god of old); he ended up a bad un; slain by his own Praetorians for buggering his bodyguards (allegedly).

Ross said...

I think the life expectancy of a Roman Emperor could have been extended if they had simply not had bodyguards.