I wrote a tongue in cheek, obviously fictional, blog post called The Domestication of Humans earlier this month setting out how an authoritarian global order is going to control meople through vaccinations.
However, for some countries, unfortunately, the authoritarian fiction of the post is closer to fact.
It seems to me that control of the people with the guns is the key to such totalitarian control and recently, nowhere has this been better demonstrated than in Myanmar.
Normally the politicians get to call the shots (bad joke; shots = bullets or vaccinations) which is the case in places like Russia and China.
But in Myanmar the politicians have simply been sidelined by the army commanders who appear to be in charge.
In Belarus, the popular uprising of 2020 has effectively been quashed through the use of force and fear applied by politicians in control of the people with the guns.
Now I'm going to digress a little.
I got a little annoyed with the jingoistic claptrap tsunami that followed the death of Prince Philip.
The BBC were the worst offenders in my opinion, deluging us with tributes from people who've met him.
And he's met a LOT of people (even I've had lunch with him).
I like most of the Royal Family, just NOT the sycophantic hangers-on.
Now, I'm liking them even more because of their CANNY control of the British Armed Forces over the years.
I'm not saying that BoJo is aiming to turn the UK into a totalitarian regime just yet; just, that if he tried, I think the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William and the armed forces would have something to say about this and thus it would be harder to achieve.
But, the counter-argument to this is Thailand. Here the King calls the shots, controlling both the politicians and the army and hence being able to crackdown on the popular dissent in that country.
So, it's not a perfect system.
But here is where the snoutlets, bless them, come into play.
In Thailand it's a criminal offence to be critical of the King or other members of the Thai royal family.
Whereas in the UK our royals are fair game! And they do help to sell a lot of newspapers!
It's a great reality check for our royals to be able to discern (in most cases) what the meople and society really think about them so that they can adapt (in most cases) their behaviours accordingly.
They don't end up in a bubble of madness! No one should ever take themselves too seriously.
So, the second institution, that I normally slate but which I'm going to be nice about today, is our free press!
In peaceful times it's easy to have a pop at them because, well, they can be annoying, and they too have their own sneaky political and social agendas.
But in the bigger scheme of things they serve as a very useful counterbalance, and my annoyance is a small price to pay because the alternative is unacceptable.
My penultimate thought on this subject was, well what about the good old USA.
They don't have a benign, armed forces controlling, monarchy co-existing peacefully with their politicians.
BUT, they do have a lot of Americans who own guns.
This has put the gun lobby in the USA, and the sale of semi-automatic weapons, which is something that I have felt is appalling up until right now, into perspective in the context of this bigger picture that has crystalised in my mind recently.
In Switzerland too, the laws pertaining to the acquisition of firearms are amongst the most liberal in the world.
I think, that if there were a few semi-automatic rifles in private ownership amongst the streets of Belarus last year, things might have gone a little differently!
Finally, what about Europe? The European Union was formed after the second world war ostensibly to prevent something like the second world war happening again!
Europe has no collective army or monarchy to counter political authoritarianism.
But, I've said that they're a factious bunch before. And I think that this would be their saving grace.... they'd never be able to get organised enough...