[Magyar] had an intense dislike for terms like 'illiberal,' which focused on traits the regimes did not possess--like free media or fair elections. This he likened to trying to describe an elephant by saying that the elephant cannot fly or cannot swim--it says nothing about what the elephant actually is. Nor did he like the term 'hybrid regime,' which to him seemed like an imitation of a definition, since it failed to define what the regime was ostensibly a hybrid of.
Magyar developed his own concept: the 'post-communist mafia state.' Both halves of the designation were significant: 'post-communist' because "the conditions preceding the democratic big bang have a decisive role in the formation of the system. Namely that it came about on the foundations of a communist dictatorship, as a product of the debris left by its decay." (quoting Balint Magyar) The ruling elites of post-communist states most often hail from the old nomenklatura, be it Party or secret service. But to Magyar this was not the countries' most important common feature: what mattered most was that some of these old groups evolved into structures centered around a single man who led them in wielding power. Consolidating power and resources was relatively simple because these countries had just recently had Party monopoly on power and a state monopoly on property.
A mafia state, in Magyar's definition, was different from other states ruled by one person surrounded by a small elite. In a mafia state, the small powerful group was structured just like a family. The center of the family is the patriarch, who does not govern: "he disposes--of positions, wealth, statuses, persons." The system works like a caricature of the Communist distribution economy. The patriarch and his family have only two goals: accumulating wealth and concentrating power. The family-like structure is strictly hierarchical, and membership in it can be obtained only through birth or adoption. In Putin's case, his inner circle consisted of men with whom he grew up in the streets and judo clubs of Leningrad, the next circle included men with whom he had worked with in the KGB/FSB, and the next circle was made up of men who had worked in the St. Petersburg administration with him. Very rarely, he 'adopted' someone into the family as he did with Kholmanskikh, the head of the assembly shop, who was elevated from obscurity to a sort of third-cousin-hood. One cannot leave the family voluntarily: one can only be kicked out, disowned and disinherited. Violence and ideology, the pillars of the totalitarian state, became, in the hands of the mafia state, mere instruments.
The post-communist mafia state, in Magyar's words, is an "ideology-applying regime" (while a totalitarian regime is 'ideology-driven'). A crackdown required both force and ideology. While the instruments of force---the riot police, the interior troops, and even the street-washing machines---were within arm's reach, ready to be used, ideology was less apparently available. Up until spring 2012, Putin's ideological repertoire had consisted of the word 'stability,' a lament for the loss of the Soviet empire, a steady but barely articulated restoration of the Soviet aesthetic and the myth of the Great Patriotic War, and general statements about the United States and NATO, which had cheated Russia and threatened it now. All these components had been employed during the 'preventative counter-revolution,' when the country, and especially its youth, was called upon to battle the American-inspired orange menace, which threatened stability. Putin employed the same set of images when he first responded to the protests in December. But Dugin was now arguing that this was not enough.
At the end of December, Dugin published an article in which he predicted the fall of Putin if he continued to ignore the importance of ideas and history.