View: Autocratic model trips on its own red carpet

Mr. Khrushchev said, “We will bury you”
I don’t subscribe to this point of view…


Xi Jinping has spent tens of billions promoting autocracy as the new, responsible leadership model. Yet Putin’s Russia, North Korea, Iran, Syria, and others have shown the world that autocracy is as outdated and hazardous as lead paint.

Top-down regimes cannot nurture creative, competitive innovation because the rule of few or one stifles their people’s freedom, creativity, incentive, and dreams. Autocrats make so many enemies that allowing freedom is a threat not only to their power but to their own special treatment, freedom, and luxury.

When you get past the nationalist or socialist baggage, autocracy becomes parasitic plutocracy plying varied rationalizations for the people’s supposed “need” for the rulers. They often devolve into personality cults combining nationalism and religion to hook gullible people and recruit extremists to help them rule by fear. And the bad decisions just keep coming from the dictators’ club.

For Russia, the invasion of Ukraine was a bad decision driven by autocratic fear of lost control that has led to lost control. And the bad decisions got worse, namely: (1) the decision to blow the Kakhovka Dam, imperiling one of the Eastern Hemisphere’s most important agricultural food baskets; and (2) the order to rig the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in Ukraine with explosives, which could bring long term contamination of the surrounding, agriculturally rich region.

None of this recommends Xi Jinping’s argument that autocratic rule is the wave of the future as he forces others in China to support Putin’s regime. I don’t subscribe to his point of view.

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