The year 2011 may well be remembered as the year the dictators fell - Mubarak, Gaddafi, Ben Ali, Gbagbo and Kim Jong Il, be it by death or deposition, will never again taste the sweet ambrosia of power. As we Western liberals reflect on the unshackling of thousands from life under dictatorship this year, our glee merely covers our own seasonal devotion to a charismatic and powerful despot: the self-styled 'Father Christmas'.
That's right, people - Santa is a dictator. I'm convinced of it. I don't mean the upbeat, not-really-that-nasty, Garibaldi biscuity type of dictator, either. I mean that Santa is truly an arms developing, epaulette wearing, election rigging tyrant with a white beard and a (Pol)pot belly.
1. Secrecy and military might
It is known worldwide that Claus resides at the North Pole in a compound large and sophisticated enough for the alleged manufacture and distribution of a sufficient quantity of toys to satisfy the world's estimated 2 billion children.
However, upon inspection of these deliveries on Christmas morning, it is often clear that many of the gifts have actually been manufactured elsewhere - increasingly by Apple, usually in China. This betrays the official reason given for the size and location of the site. From this, we can only conclude that the North Pole compound is, in fact, becoming a heavily militarized zone and is being used to develop a nuclear programme the scale of which has never been seen before on earth.
From the Tiananmen Square blackout to the use of state television in North Korea and the ban on the BBC's presence in Zimbabwe, all totalitarian states practice a policy of isolationism and censorship when it comes to the mainstream Western media.
Going even further than the notorious repressions of Robert Mugabe, Claus has never allowed the media into the North Pole and not only enforces a complete blackout on broadcasting, he imposes the strictest known policy of isolationism of any regime in the world by magically cloaking this workshop from sight, further increasing suspicions that 'Santa's Toyshop' is the true Axis of Evil.
3. Lack of democracy
Hosni Mubarak had ruled Egypt for a long 30 years before being toppled in February. Yet this pales in comparison with Claus, whose initial assertion of power began an estimated 1700 years ago as Saint Nicholas of Myra. It is clear that he is the longest serving continuous autocratic ruler of a social, political and economic entity in history. Christmas is a thoroughly undemocratic institution: Santa Claus holds a single-handed and unaccountable grip on the patronage and tone of the season and the considerable resources it controls. Claus, notably, shows no signs of relinquishing this power, which marks him out as the most tenacious of dictators - even Fidel Castro retired in 2008.
4. Serfdom of the elves
As already explained, Claus has imposed significant strictures on media coverage of life at the North Pole in order to maintain his grip on power. It is believed his political regime is maintained by the oppression of a large population of elves. Reports vary but it is widely agreed that these elves are forced to undertake labour in order to maintain the benign façade of toy manufacture by working in tiny, toymaking gulags appropriate to their diminutive height.
5. Orwellian surveillance and use of propaganda
He sees you when you're sleeping/
He knows if you're awake/He knows if you've been bad or good/So be good for goodness sake.
Need I say more? The most menacing song ever written? Claus had this song put out in 1934, undoubtedly inspired by the use of song and anthem in stirring up disproportionate awe and admiration by the Nazis. Santa Claus is Coming to Town is basically the Christmas equivalent of Deutschland über alles.
Just as Mao's face adorns the Forbidden Kingdom, Saddam Hussein's statue once stood looming over Firdos Square and Stalin had himself inserted into innumerable newsreels and films, so too has Claus ensured the ubiquity of his image - ensuring it adorns pictures, decorations and Coca-Cola ads all over the world.
The time for action - join my (Santa) cause!
I hope you can now see the truth behind the brainwashing - that our benefactor is also our oppressor. The time to act is now! This year we will finally dethrone our jolly overlord!
Liberate yourself this Christmas: block up your chimney, eat your own mince pies, burn your red Santa hats! Vive la revolution!