Pandemic strongmen
Thu Oct 08, 2020 · 166 words

The Pandemic Was Supposed to Be Great for Strongmen (The New York Times) is an eye-opening article about why authoritarian strongmen have such a difficult time with pandemics.

The key ideas I got from Ivan Krastev’s article are:

  1. The instinctive reaction of authoritarians is to play down a pandemic.
  2. Lukashenko (Belarus), Putin (Russia), Bolsonaro (Brazil) and Trump (US) are great examples of this.
  3. In 2020, authoritarians no longer have the freedom to create and choose crises, because there is only one crisis… the pandemic.
  4. Authoritarians only enjoy crises they create as opposed to actually solving problems.
  5. In 2018, the migrant caravans in the US are a great example of this.
  6. Authoritarians also can’t appear weak when people are non-compliant so pushing for mask compliance is a no-go.
  7. Citizens can now judge how well a government is doing by how well they flatten the curve.

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See also

  1. Zanny Minton Beddoes interviews Bill Gates about COVID-19
  2. Governors, president both responsible for pandemic response

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