The New Autocrats And Their Increasing Appeal

The New Autocrats And Their Increasing Appeal

Democracies and freedoms have not had a very good decade, but the New Autocrats have had a great one. Autocrats arise from their local cultures and have different qualities, but they do share some characteristics and tactics. Three Characteristics – Personalized Authority, Identification with Historical Greatness and Bluster (a.k.a. the Propaganda of Power) – seem to be necessary elements for the successful mounting of an autocrat’s career. Meanwhile, Five Tactics are shared by most successful autocrats - Repress Dissent, Fight Corruption, Exploit Opportunities with Impunity, Use Fear as a Tool and Inject Confusion Wherever Possible (a.k.a. use the Propaganda of Doubt). Such strongmen evidently want to work with other strongmen, together making themselves appear stronger, and so, many of the current crop of autocrats, including Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan – are reaching out to others to form coalitions or alliances that cause problems (intentionally) for democratic leaders. Together, these kinds of actions are likely to shape global geo-politics going forward, more so than just one dominating figure.

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