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At the start of a new Millennium, mankind is still fighting and the political map of the world is shifting. Here are some definitions to help you distinguish your democracy from your dictatorship:
Feudalism: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.
Fascism: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to look after them and sells you the milk.
Applied Communism: You have two cows. Your neighbours help you take care of them and you all share the milk.
Dictatorship: You have two cows. The Government takes both and shoots you.
Nigerian democracy: You have two cows. The Government takes both and shoots you and sends the cows to Zurich.
Militarism: You have two cows. The Government takes both and drafts you.
Singaporean democracy: You have two cows. The Government fines you for keeping two unlicensed farm animals in an apartment.
Pure democracy: You have two cows. Your neighbours decide who gets the milk.
Representative democracy: You have two cows. Your neighbours pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.
American democracy: The Government promises to give you two cows if you vote for it. After the election, the President is impeached for speculating in cow futures. The press dubs it "Cowgate". The cow sues you for breach of contract.
European democracy: You have two cows. At first the Government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. After that it takes them both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.
Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.
Hong Kong capitalism: You have two cows. You sell three to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at a bank, then do a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so you get four cows back, with a tax deduction for keeping five cows. The milk rights of six cows are transferred via Panamanian intermediary to a Cayman Islands company secretly owned by the majority shareholder, which sells the right to seven cows milk back to the listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Meanwhile, you kill the two cows because of bad feng shui.
Totalitarianism: You have two cows. The Government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned.
Political correctness: You are associated with (the concept of ownership is a symbol of the phallocentric, warmongering , intolerant past) two differently aged (but no less valuable to society) bovines of non-specified gender.
British democracy: You have two cows. You feed them sheep's brains and they go mad. The Government does not do anything.
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