Democracy is a fair system that gives the people the power to run the country. This also weakens the politicians’ grip on the people. If you were a leader of a democratic nation, how could you gain more power? The obvious answer would be to become a good leader who gains the people’s trust and rules a government of the people, by the people, for the people. However, if you want to rule against the wishes of the masses yet not lose their trust, you can use the Ignorant Masses Policy.
The Ignorant Masses Policy is a type of policy that makes the people foolish to make ruling them easier. It was used by Imperial Japan to try make colonising Korea easier in the 1930’s, while also being famous as the policy of choice by Nazi Germany. The most classic example is the 3S Policy used by Japan and Korea in the 1980’s. “3S” stands for mankind’s never-ending interests: sex, screen and sports. The Policy uses these to enthuse the public and making them naturally lose interest over social issues. For example, in the 1980’s, the president of South Korea, Chun Doo-hwan (who rose to power through a coup d’état) hosted the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, while establishing pro baseball, pro football and pro ssireum (Korean wrestling). Furthermore, he installed colour television on a national level, lifted the curfew (promoting prostitution) and lessening censorship on sexually suggestive dramas and movies.
The Ignorant Masses Policy oppresses the people in the complete opposite way to the reign of terror seen in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Instead of destroying freedom, it provides even more freedom and information to drown out interest for the more important field of politics. This policy was well-represented in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. A government that oppresses its people with pleasure and distractions is far more formidable than a government that uses pain and control.
“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” ~ Goethe