[T]o many... including this newspaper, he has come to embody a new, post-cold-war model of authoritarian rule which combines a democratic mandate, populist socialism and anti-Americanism, as well as resource nationalism and carefully calibrated repression.
And he zinger:
Link. If some latter-day Rip Van Winkle woke up this morning and asked how the world had fared in the 20-plus years since the fall of Communism, this would be a good insight with which to start, except that the E is far too cautious in it approach. I should think they are describing also China, the Central Asian Republics and a whole host of less-noticed governments where a combination of state capitalism and soft police state have coalesced into s viable--well, the E says "alternative to liberal democracy," but I should think that maybe "parody/lampoon of liberal democracy" captures the new reality even better. For more background, look here.
This model has proved surprisingly successful across the world. Versions are to be found in countries as disparate and distinct as Iran, Russia, Zimbabwe and Sudan. In one way or another, these regimes claim to have created a viable alternative to liberal democracy.