The Seven Wonders of the Totalitarian World

From Esquire:

Throughout history, it is the deep-pocketed madmen who tend to leave behind the biggest wonders. And while last month’s election of the New Seven Wonders of the World hints at this point — the emperors who fed Christians to the lions in the Roman Coliseum were neither mild-mannered nor impoverished — they’re basically positive tributes to mankind’s triumphant, enduring half. But what of the tyranny that drove men to produce such wonders? On some level, each of the New Seven is also a colossal monument to narcissism, either some ruler or some culture’s desire to go bigger and leave a mark that cannot be erased — a sentiment not unlike the one held by some of today’s most ruthless dictators.