Sticks and Stones
It wasn't long after they were writing his obituary.
In 2059 the General finally made up his mind and banned memories. His perfect world had been crafted and molded under his rule for the past fifty years. There was almost no doubt that he was the most successful ruler of the world- after all he had cured most illnesses, found homes for everyone that mattered, and kept everyone under his rule fed. Oral traditions had a way though of weaving memories of little rebels into grand inspiration. The General decided it was best not to risk it. He sat in the Palace in the capital city and made the order.
In 2049 he decided to ban all writing. It was bad enough they were still having trouble with the common cold cure, now that cancer had been solved. The General didn't need any more nasty articles posted in the underground about his small failure. As he walked among the city streets of the capital with his people, he gave the order. They could remember him as the hero, and that's what counted.
In 2039 he decided to ban books, but allow writing of notes for business. He was especially tired of those tedious technical manuscripts, because no one understood them anyway. The older pieces of literature had ridiculous standards that some were trying to hold him to. The General decided to burn the books, but his offices still needed the communication. They were so close to finalizing the house plans for the people unsheltered out there. He toured around the state, visiting his workers and stopping once to whisper the order to an assistant.
In 2029, speech was still free if you watched your words and bent them to his will. The General liked to visit the other countries and give loud promising speeches to them. He had such high hopes for his new world; already he was implanting his plan to solve the food shortage.
In 2019 the General led his first military attack after a rallying speech accompanied by propaganda posters of the glorious utopia that would follow them. It was quite good, actually, and everyone who went agreed it was a truly memorable event. After the first campaign in Canada, his supporters grew. He took Alaska after the Provinces, and slowly whittled away at the states moving downward methodically until North America was his. He shouted his orders and fought on the battle lines side by side with his army. The soldiers privileged enough to call him a friend all admired his sway with words. They had no doubt he would do great things.
In 2009 he graduated from Military Academy with the nickname the General. He was popular amongst the students, but Teachers didn't like the way he had argued against their authority. It wasn't that he was popular among friends really, so much as he had a group of people admired him, and would do anything for him. They agreed reverently with his dislike of the campus paper that always blocked any good reporting, and the way they had to be careful what they said in supposedly "open" meetings. He promised his aspiring soldiers things would change if they stuck by him.
In 1999, sitting under the tree in the playground reading his comic book of generals, bullies came up to him and yelled threats. They tore up his comic book and left him with a black eye. He promised himself he'd never forget, and one day he'd show them all.