Why Are Autocrats Popular? - Assault on Democracy

Autocrats, with their iron-fisted rule and disregard for democratic norms, have managed to garner popularity among certain segments of the population. This can be attributed to various factors. Economic instability and inequality can drive people towards strong leaders who promise quick fixes and scapegoats. Autocrats often employ populist rhetoric, appealing to nationalist sentiments and portraying themselves as champions of the common people, thus tapping into public discontent. Additionally, autocrats effectively exploit fear and insecurity, using propaganda to manufacture enemies and crises, which in turn increases their perceived strength and decisiveness. Moreover, autocrats often erode democratic institutions, manipulate elections, and suppress dissent, thereby creating an illusion of stability and order that may appeal to those disillusioned with the complexities of democracy.