"Most ruling elites are aware that economic development will result in the emergence of powerful challengers to power and probably the loss of the political monopoly," writes Chinese American scholar Minxin Pei in his book "China's Trapped Transition." What follows is a bit dense, but worth reading carefully:
"Such a realization would prompt the agents of the regime to increase their discount rate for future income from the monopoly and, consequently, intensify their efforts to maximize current income while maintaining a high level of repression to deter challengers. In addition, the collapse of a foreign regime with similar characteristics may make fears of losing one's own power even more acute and real. The net effects of the combination of a growing sense of long-term insecurity and the demonstration effects of a fallen fellow autocracy may be those akin to a run on the bank, with agents rushing to cash in their political investments in the regime, quickening the collapse of the regime's authority."
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