Brezhnev, Andropov and Chernenko help on to power with their last breaths no matter how much the Soviet Union was crumbling around them.
Mubarak is in his 80's, he's not about to resign and go into exile. Main reason he'll die in six months to a year. The shock to the system from falling that far that fast is deadly. Look what happened to the Shah and Ferdinand Marcos after they went into exile. Younger men can survive the fall, but not those this up in years.
Oldsters fight to the bitter end and that's what's happening. He's pulling out every trick in the book:
"I'll retire in six months" and throw the Golden Gate in too.
Supporters stage a counter rally - yeah his body guards might be in real trouble if he left them behind.
Supporters attack protesters - time to crack some eggs. reference here the Duc L'Orleans telling Louix XVI "In order to make an omlet you must crack some eggs."
Mubarak learned from the French, Russian and Iranian revolutons not to rely on the military because there reaches a point when they stop shooting the protesters and point their guns at the leaders.
Tieneman Square worked because it was only one aspect of society damanding change: college students. They could be spanked and put in a corner while the rest of society did nothing.
Egypt has erupted from too many aspects of society. Mubarak's use of force will backfire. The people are speaking, not spoiled kids.
What's going to happen. All hell is breaking loose and it's a virus that spreads. First Tunisia, now Egypt and Yemen. Despots beware.
- All spontaneous revolutions like this result in an Oligarchy. Once the despot is removed the group that moves in first seizes power and rules by committee. Iran's oligarchy was made up of clerics. Russia's by the Bolsheviks, France's by the Committee for Public Safety. England is an exception here, Cromwell's reign is a miltiary dictatorship. America's by Congress.
- Oligarchy's are prone to graft, corruption, and anarchy resulting in someone grabbing control. In Russia: Lenin. Iran: Ayatollah Koumeni. France went through two phases, first Robespierre, then after he was beheaded the directory was set up and replaced by Napoleon. America dropped the Articles of Confederation, which had no executive, and adopted the Constitution setting up a Presidency, putting one man in charge temporarily with reduced power (until recently).
- The new despot consolidates power like Khomeni, Lennin, Cromwell and Napoleon. George Washington decided to step down and allow the electoral process to work. Once the despot dies the country goes back to a limited monarch like England and France or a new despot takes their place like Russia and Iran even if it's by sham elections. England and France evolved into parliamentary systems. Russia and Iran have the system in place, but they still have despots manipulating the system. America since WWII starting with Truman (Korea) has seen the rise of an imperial presidency that is leading to despotism no matter which political party is in power. Obama has continued what W and his legal thugs set up since 2001.
- Tunisia and Egypt will follow this pattern putting their own spin on it.
- The Chinese would say Mubarak has lost the Mandate of Heaven. An emperor comes in, there's peace, prosperity, no bad things happen. Later generations there's war, crops fail, natural disasters like flood and famine hit. The emperor loses the mandate of heaven and the people revolt, overthrow this emperor then set up a new dynasty.