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Playing With / Repressive, but Efficient

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Basic Trope: An authoritarian regime has good infrastructure.

  • Straight: The People's Republic of Ruritania may do things like spy on its citizens, use the death penalty for everything from stealing a loaf of bread to murder, disallow people to say anything bad about the government or its leaders, forcibly sterilize anyone whose genes it feels are not "good enough" for its Super Breeding Program, and force people to take Happy Pills, but at least there are good schools, top-notch hospitals (all paid for), and the trains run on time.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Not only do the trains run on time, they run 5 minutes ahead of schedule! And there are two chickens in every pot.
    • Ruritania is a shining beacon of prosperity and technological development in a sea of incompetently run democracies — sort of an inversion of Good Republic, Evil Empire.
  • Downplayed:
    • The People's Republic of Ruritania provides some type of Bread and Circuses.
    • The People's Republic of Ruritania isn't fascist, per se, but it's tough on crime and drugs, the social status quo is strict, and the media to a large extent is government-controlled, and as a whole society's a lot more efficient.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: The authoritarian regime's infrastructure is impressively efficient and well-maintained... for the elite class and visiting journalists. Behind the facade and propaganda, it's falling apart.
  • Double Subverted: The regime's lower classes have a much lower standard of living than the elites, but further examination reveals that the basic necessities are taken care of, with budget left over for enough Bread and Circuses to prevent wide-spread discontent.
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  • Parodied: An old Ruritanian man says that the former People's Party of Ruritania government executed and/or abducted thousands of people, set up a massive Sinister Surveillance system, drove nearly everyone into severe paranoia because any of each person's neighbours could be an informer, waged a Forever War with bordering countries, had annoying propaganda at any given corner... Then he says that he misses them nonetheless, because under the PPR there was free universal healthcare — even though the equipment was badly obsolete and clinics crowded. Oh, and the trains — though also outdated and uncomfortable — ran on time.
  • Zig Zagged: Some of the PRR's infrastructure is good, other times, it's not.
  • Averted: Ruritania is not governed by an authoritarian regime — just a nice, if a bit corrupt, democratic government, or old good monarchy.
  • Enforced: Writer on Board
  • Lampshaded: "All according to the old saying: if you want a truly efficient government, you end up with a dictatiorship."
  • Invoked: An authoritarian regime takes over Ruritania, and wants to establish or maintain its credibility to the masses.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: The PRR decides it's not responsible for infrastructure, and lets everything be privatized.
  • Discussed: "How do you get things done around here?" "By doing everything right."
  • Conversed: ???
  • Implied: Nothing is known of Ruritania's form of government, but its law is effective, if strict; its police, while a bit harsh, keeps order perfectly; Ruritanian towns are clearly vibrant and flourishing, and trains do run on time.

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