Analogy between a Dictatorship and Viral Infection

By Mwungeri

” One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back. “_ Carl Sagan

I- Definition of a dictatorship vs. Definition of a viral infection: 
A dictatorship is a form of government in which one person or a small group of people possesses absolute power without effective Constitutional limitations. 

A viral infection is an infection caused by a virus. A virus is a microscopic organism that invades living cells in order to reproduce. When it comes into contact with a host cell, a virus can insert its genetic material into its host literally taking over the host’s functions. 

II- A ruler’s ascension to dictatorship vs. A virus’s need to infect a host’s cell: 

In the first place, a ruler who later becomes a dictator is far from being a financially and emotionally independent individual. Therefore, he usually resorts to force or fraud to gain despotic political power, which he maintains through the use of intimidation, terror, and the suppression of basic civil liberties. He may also employ techniques of mass propaganda in order to sustain his public support. All viruses are obligate parasites. They lack metabolic machinery of their own to generate energy or metabolize proteins, so they depend on host cells to carry out these vital functions. 

III- The harm done by a dictatorship vs. The virulence of a virus: 

The harm a dictator inflicts on his conquered people varies according to the type of his dictatorial regime,e.g., military dictatorship, single-party dictatorship, personalist dictatorship, monarchic dictatorship, hybrid dictatorship, etc. Virulence, the capacity to cause disease, varies markedly among viruses depending on their types. Some viruses cause lethal disease while others do not. 

IV- How a dictator maintains his power vs. How a virus keeps reproducing in a host’s cell: 

A dictator uses political parties (if any) and mass organizations to mobilize people around the goals of the regime, oftenest to the detriment of the general public’s best interests. 

A virus dictates an infected cell to produce more viral protein and genetic material instead of its usual products. Of course to the virus’s best interests. 

V- The difficulty to throw down a dictator vs. The difficulty to treat a viral infection: 

It is difficult to dislodge an oppressive dictator because the state almost always has overwhelming superiority, more especially when it comes to the use of force. A viral infection is particularly difficult to treat because the pathogen is within the human host’s cell and because the genetic information of the virus is directing the human cell to make viruses rather than synthesize normal cell materials. 

VI- Inefficiency of using violent oppositions to topple a dictatorship vs. Inefficiency of using antibiotics to cure viral diseases: 

A violent opposition most often leads to prolonged stalemate or prolonged civil war. Consequently, the violent opposition does more harm to the citizens that it’s meant to free from the arms of the dictator. Antibiotics are used to treat some bacterial infections, but not viral diseases. The latter cannot be cured by  antibiotics as viruses reproduce inside the host cells. It is very difficult to develop antiviral drugs, as they might damage the host cell whilst killing the virus. If you take an antibiotic when you actually have a viral infection, the antibiotic attacks bacteria in your body. Bacteria that are either beneficial or at least not causing disease ! 

VII- The advantage of nonviolent action in fighting against a dictatorship vs. The advantage of encouraging the host to fight viruses off on its own: 

The objective of nonviolent action is to undermine those in power while winning over the general population.Viruses kill and damage your body cells. Your immune system must fight them off.