You’ve assumed power, dispersed your rivals, scattered your enemies, and subsequently legitimized your rule in the eyes of the international community. Your family is happy and not doing anything to embarrass you; the generals are pleased with your compliments, an infusion of high-tech military hardware, and those shiny gold epaulets you’ve fastened on their uniforms. The business community is in equally high spirits ever since you mandated unfair trade practices that have generated a windfall of cash for their formerly sputtering enterprises. And you’ve just won a limited war with those vermin in the adjoining country, annexing an oil field or two for good measure. In short, the gods have smiled on your authoritarian adventure, and all should be right with the world. But wait a moment: some blogger is complaining, somewhere, about your record on human rights; a crowd in a public square starts chanting dangerously political slogans after the victory of the national soccer team, and the supporters of a defeated rival you’ve failed to imprison organize a peaceful march (with candles, flowers, and “Freedom” signs in tow) protesting your increasingly hard-line tactics. What a mess. Civil unrest, political demonstrations, and rioting are useful in small doses as sedatives for an unruly citizenry, but let them proceed unchecked and they can and will topple your regime or at least sow the seeds of revolution. Happily, these expressions of public anger can be prevented, managed, and in a pinch put down ruthlessly, and you should consider all three options if you expect to have a lengthy and uneventful rule.