The Beginners Guide to Taking Over the World – the early years

A short history of World Domination

Before setting out on your quest to take over the world, it’s important to understand the history of world domination. There are those from the dusty pages of history whose examples we should follow as we seek to bring the world under our control, and those whose mistakes we should learn from.

The Early Years

A long time ago, in a planet not very far away, a planet so like our own that if you were to assume that it was our own you would in fact be correct, there lived many ancient civilisations. Civilisations that even thousands of years ago were locked in heated conflict, fighting for control. Admittedly their views of control were quite different to ours and involved the eradication of all opposition, but at heart their goal was the same.

Early historical manuscripts deal mainly with the areas in and around what is now known as the Middle East. The super powers of the day, Egypt, Babylon, Israel and Assyria along with others who came and went, traded blows for many hundreds of years. It would appear that success in these times was, as is the case today, largely attributed to superior weaponry and manpower. However, in some cases, particularly in the case of Israel, it appeared that having a deity in your corner added some clout to the claims of human kings. Kings David and Solomon certainly would not have achieved the military successes attributed to them without the help of a higher power.

Many dynasties were also created on the back of a strong economy, it is important not to underestimate the value of material wealth in attempting to establish oneself as a superpower.

The reigns of early global authorities are also marked by a propensity to erect large statues in honour of either the ruler of the day or to mark the empire’s achievements. In fact the recognised “seven wonders of the ancient world” more often than not were built in recognition of a world power. It seems silly that so much manpower was wasted on the construction of these wonders. It’s similar to the high-powered company executive spending excessive amounts on a new vehicle that will simply gather dust in a corporate car park. Only the seven wonders do have some sort of lasting appeal whereas the executive will no doubt replace their car every few years. Wasting resources is not the best way to go about taking over the world. Many rulers found their rule rapidly concluding after their “wonder” had been completed. It’s probably a good idea to keep your rule as low key as possible until you are sure there is no opposition. Erecting 33m tall bronze statues like the Colossus of Rhodes is a sure-fire way to get noticed by other would be rulers.

It is worth noting, that arguably the greatest empire the world has ever seen, the great empire of Rome, erected very few large monuments that did not serve some greater purpose. It helped Rome’s cause that generally the purpose of their constructed monoliths like the Colosseum was to advance the empire’s power. The Colosseum in particular was a great method of controlling the Roman populace. Provide entertainment to the masses and they’ll love you for it. That could almost be a quote from a famous Roman ruler, however since it hasn’t been recorded in any of the annals of history you’ll just have to take my word for it.

The Roman Empire was not based on an entertained, happy, and supportive populace alone. Their rule was made possible by those two pillars of empire building – superior weaponry and well trained, numerous, armed forces. These coupled, or tripled, with a strong economy were enough to enable an enduring campaign of world conquest.

Throughout history empires have risen, and fallen, on the strength of their emperor, or ruler. While weapons may be important, an army without a leader is like, well, an unorganised, leaderless army. Lacking direction and resolve.
The diagram below expresses the importance of a leader in any world conquest.



simone says:

Wow Nathan. That last point is really insightful. Makes me think about one of my favourite blog topics…

Nathan says:

And yet I wrote it 4 years ago. Revolutionary. I should have published it then.

awesome graph, mate. you did the math.

Nathan says:

Yeah, and the whole argument seems so much more sophisticated thanks to the awesomeness of representing arguments in graphical form.

queenstuss says:

“The Colosseum in particular was a great method of controlling the Roman populace. Provide entertainment to the masses and they’ll love you for it.”

Like Anna Bligh and her football stadium for the Gold Coast?