A common thought in fantasy is that a crazy person can become very powerful: The Joker, Hannibal Lecter, Willy Wonka and Tyler Durden to name a few. Let's say a man named Charles, decides to take over the world (mainly due to being power hungry). He's an insane man, with schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder but luckily for him be comes from a rich family.

Does Charles have a realistic chance at taking over the world?

Some clarifications:

  • By "take over the world", I mean - at the very least he must take over the United Nations Security Council - controlling the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, China, and France.
  • Charles must, at the end, be able to control these nations, he does not have to visually be in power but he must be in power.
  • Charles' net worth is estimated at 19 billion.
  • Charles must rise to power within 50 years. He is currently 24.
  • $\begingroup$ Who is Joe? Typo of Charles? $\endgroup$ – Memming May 25 '16 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Memming yeah I apologize $\endgroup$ – TrEs-2b May 25 '16 at 21:25
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about the actions of an individual character, which are explicitly off-topic on Worldbuilding. It's also a duplicate of worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/23350/… except with slightly different starting parameters. $\endgroup$ – Aify May 26 '16 at 0:25
  • $\begingroup$ This is a reality-check. So the question is if a world could have been taken over by a crazy person realistically. It's on-topic as background for the world. But it's borderline and would be hard to follow up on-topic. $\endgroup$ – Brythan May 26 '16 at 5:41

Take one part narcissism, one part charisma, two parts megalomania and one part psychopath

If Charles has all these characteristics and is pretty smart, he'll be able to take over the world or at least gain tons of influence. He may not become a historical arsonist but he'll certainly become a historical pyromaniac.

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    $\begingroup$ You mean Trump? He appeals to people's fears and works the room with it. Look at his spreading influence in the US; it's because he has successfully mobilized the elderly white people to vote for him. With time, he could easily spread his influence and take over the major organizations of the world. $\endgroup$ – Marion May 26 '16 at 1:36

The conspiratorial answer would be to marry into the Rothschild family, as they already control the entire world's banking system through the central banks.

As a related answer, invest heavily into controlling stock of the various central banks. Controlling the money supply and monetary policy give quite a bit of leverage.


As long as Charles is smart enough to act sane then it will be fine. While it would be very difficult to do this. Difficult but not impossible. I would say that any one smart enough to form a functional plan to take over the world, is also smart enough to watch others and figure out what action they consider to be the action of "sane" person and then mimic those action. He would have to be carful though one slip up in the beginning and his carrier as world dictator ends before it can start.


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