Magyar talks about the three stages of establishing autocracy. Stage one, the “autocratic attempt,” is when potential regime change from democracy to autocracy is still reversible. Stage two is what he calls the “autocratic breakthrough.” The final stage is autocracy, or a mafia state.
A mafia state is essentially a criminal government. Mafia states — like Putin’s Russia — develop as the government takes over businesses. As the ruler consolidates power and wealth, both wealth and power come to be concentrated in one person. Eventually, the entire state comes under the control of the head of the family and expands across the entire country. In other words, the ruler ends up owning the country.
When this happens, the ruler’s personal interests and the interests of the nation become meshed into one. Trump has been open about his admiration for Putin, the head of a powerful mafia state. Trump, in fact, often acts like a mafia don.