Season 8 of the TV series Game of Thrones demonstrates the main strengths and weaknesses of dictatorship very clearly, from the Inca Empire to Stalin’s Communist project.
(================= possible spoilers alert====================)N
- Unsurpassed ability to concentrate all available resources on a task of the highest priority.
- Short response times, quick cycles of learning and innovation.
- High maneuverability. No effort wasted on building consensus and following the rules.
- Lower maintenance.
- High ability to absorb peripheral shocks and tolerate attrition.
- Political cohesion and ideological consistency.
- Extreme vulnerability to any failure at the top level, like incapacitation of the dictator, his miscalculations, isolation, treason of a key aide or gatekeeper.
- A shallow pool of talent and a narrower range of experimentation and learning.
- Fragility: poor at regrouping under pressure and reassembling itself under a changed framework.
- Power succession is a critical, almost never successful, bottleneck.