by Slavoj Žižek
When an authoritarian regime approaches its final crisis, but before its actual collapse, a mysterious rupture often takes place. All of a sudden, people know the game is up: they simply cease to be afraid. It isn’t just that the regime loses its legitimacy: its exercise of power is now perceived as a panic reaction, a gesture of impotence.
cm: If you’re interested in the way that people respond to power in a mature democracy read this. Michael Wolff’s piece on Berlusconi in Vanity Fair is more sensational (it’s about women), but less interesting.