Years ago I interviewed someone who had traveled all over Central and Eastern Europe and Central and South Asia studying states and civil wars and how and why states failed. 'People ask me what's worse, an authoritarian state or no state,' he said. 'I've been in both. No state is worse.' I suppose he was saying when there are rules, no matter how cruel or arbitrary, one knows how to avoid punishment, but when there are no rules but only raw power, it makes you even more helpless.