This is a good essay because Charles Hugh Smith does indeed pinpoint autocracy’s fatal weakness. From Smith at oftwominds.com:
This desire for compliance and consensus dooms the autocracy to failure and collapse because dissent is the essence of evolutionary churn and adaptation..
The various flavors of autocracy (theocracy, kleptocracy, dictatorship, etc.) look remarkably successful at first blush but they all share a fatal flaw. To understand the flaw we must start with the dominant dynamic of all organisms, natural selection.
Things change. Those organisms which adapt quickly and successfully survive, those that don’t perish. Things change for many reasons and over different timespans. Drought slowly but surely makes regions unlivable for all the but hardiest creatures. A meteor strike can ruin an entire species’ prospects.
I try not to get too philosophical here, but bear with me because this is an important point: selection isn’t teleological, meaning that selection isn’t working toward a goal or end-point, it is entirely contingent, solely responsive to the environment that exists today. There is no “plan” guiding what’s selected to what we imagine is “better;” what’s selected is whatever offers an advantage given the selective pressures of the moment. If water is scarce, mutations that enable the organism to get by on less water have selective advantages.