Courtesy Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose writes in the September/October issue that the leaders of Russia, China, Turkey, the Philippines and Hungary all “fought their way from obscurity to the throne and then took a hard authoritarian turn”:
Historical eras tend to have characteristic leadership types: the fledgling democrats of the 1920s, the dictators of the 1930s and 1940s, the nationalist anticolonialists of the 1950s and 1960s, the gerontocrats of the 1970s, the fledgling democrats (again) of the 1980s and 1990s. Now we’re back to dictators.
The leading figures on the world stage today practice a brutal, smash- mouth politics, a personalized authoritarianism. Old-school strongmen, they do whatever is needed to grasp and hold on to power.