In an autocracy, the autocrat IS the govenment – as long as he controls the armed forces. Who cares if the entire parliament walks out? The lack of lawmakers does not imply the lack of government, as it would in a democracy.
An autocrat worth his salt, who intends to remain in power, will use merciless force against challengers. Anything less would be suicide.
**Kazakhstan’s President Says Security Forces Can ‘Fire Without Warning’ to Quell Unrest**
**President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Friday that “bandits” were responsible for the unrest and must be “destroyed.” He thanked Russia for sending troops to help establish order.**
**By Ivan Nechepurenko, Valerie Hopkins and Marc Santora, The New York Times**
**Jan. 7, 2022**
**BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan — The authoritarian leader of Kazakhstan said Friday that he had authorized the nation’s security forces to “fire without warning” as the government moved to bring an end to two days of chaos and violence after peaceful protests descended into scenes of anarchy.**
**“We hear calls from abroad for the parties to negotiate to find a peaceful solution to the problems,” President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said in an address to the nation. “This is just nonsense.”...** [end quote]
The problem for the country is that transfer of power from one strongman to a successor rarely goes smoothly.
**Behind Kazakhstan Unrest, the ‘Strongman’s Dilemma’**
**Since the Cold War’s end, most dictatorial governments have collapsed after their ruler’s departure.**
**By Max Fisher, The New York Times, Jan. 7, 2022**
**The trend holds whether the leader leaves voluntarily or involuntarily, dies in office or retires to a country home.**
**Sometimes, as in Spain after Francisco Franco’s death in 1975, it opens the way to democratization. More often, as in Egypt, Sudan, Zimbabwe and many others, the result is a cycle of coups, civil conflict or other violence...**
**The lesson, experts stress, is hardly that strongmen bring stability. Quite the opposite: Their style of rule erodes the foundations of governance, making themselves indispensable at the cost of leaving behind a political system barely capable of governing but primed for infighting....**
**Kazakhstan now looks like an example of this, too. It casts doubt on Mr. Nazarbayev’s supposed solution and suggests that the problem of strongman succession may be, on some level, irresolvable....** [end quote]
Want some fun history to watch this weekend?