Politics Under Autocracy

People sometimes look at the sometimes-pathological political process in the United States and then look at rapid economic growth in the People’s Republic of China and conclude that somehow in an authoritarian country you don’t have politics or special interests. But it’s not true, politics happens everywhere—China, America, North Korea, anyplace. The recent events in Egypt have brought forth a lot of stories that illustrate the point well, including today’s Anthony Shadid article on a town built by patronage.