We have a new type of rule now. Not one-man rule, or rule of aristocracy or plutocracy, but of small groups elevated to positions of absolute power by random pressures and subject to political and economic factors that leave little room for decision.Addict, Junkie, Beatnik, Poet, Novelist, Performance Artist, Accidental Murderer, Political Revolutionary, Actor, Gun Collector, Expatriate, Homosexual, Innovator, Sage of the Needle, America’s Dark Conscience, Lover of Cats, Painter, Reluctant Icon, Muse to Punk Rockers, Monumental Impossibility, Survivor.
They are representatives of abstract forces who have reached power through surrender of self. The iron-willed dictator is a thing of past.
There will be no more Stalins, no more Hitlers.
The rulers of this most insecure of all worlds are rulers by accident. Inept, frightened pilots at the controls of a vast machine they cannot understand, calling in experts to tell them which buttons to push.
—William S. Burroughs, “No More Stalins, No More Hitlers,” from Dead City Radio, Island Records, 1990; and Interzone, Viking Books, 1989.