• The Authoritarian Personality and the Rising Far Right

    by Sam Ben-Meir

    This moment of peril for American democracy calls for a return to the diagnosis presented in "The Authoritarian Personality," 1950s effort to develop a social-psychological profile of the people likely to embrace fascism. 

  • It's Also Frightening When Trump Tells the Truth

    by Tom Nichols

    Showing his belief that the democratic process is only legitimate when he wins, Trump demonstrates the nihilism at the heart of MAGA, which Joe Biden correctly called out last week in his speech. 

  • Can We Do Better than Liberal Democracy?

    by Adam Gopnik

    Critic Adam Gopnik examines two recent books on alternatives to representative democracy that respond to the recent use of institutions by power-seeking authoritarians. 

  • Trump's Reelection Threatens a Politicized Civil Service

    by Heather Cox Richardson

    Since 1883, the federal civil service has been protected from the old spoils system by rules for merit-based hiring and promotion. Trump has threatened to revert to a system of rewards for loyalists and punishment for enemies, without regard for performing the public's business. 

  • The Dictatorship of the Supreme Court

    by Christine Adams

    Six judges, who are impervious to public opinion and majority rule are exercising arbitrary control over American society, jeopardizing the very legitimacy of the government. 

  • Where Will America Be by 2030?

    by Ed Simon

    The right's agenda is for a white, Christian, patriarchal nationalism that simply can't be achieved by majority rule. That's what the Supreme Court and 400,000,000 privately owned guns are for.

  • Seeing Through America's "Crisis Industrial Complex"

    by Nikhil Pal Singh

    While the elite media class indulges in lurid fantasies of an armed breakup of the nation, those who live precarious or impoverished lives find themselves already enmeshed in a civil war; the real red/blue conflict is about who will control the infrastructure of repression built up over the last half century.

  • Bringing CPAC to Hungary Betrays the Roots of the Conservative Movement

    by Lauren Lassabe

    It is a bitter irony that the postwar American conservative movement was energized by the anti-Stalinist Hungarian revolution of the 1950s; today the movement takes inspiration from a repressive regime and its autocratic leader. 

  • Tim Snyder Discusses Putin's "Big Lie" about Ukraine on Maddow

    Timothy Snyder, history professor at Yale University and author of "Bloodlands," talks with Rachel Maddow about the manipulative power of a "Big Lie" and why it's so difficult to untangle a person from a Big Lie once they've bought into it.

  • Authoritarianism Isn't Just About Personality Cults

    Recent books on "strongmen" reduce the problem of authoritarianism to the phenomenon of charismatic leadership and ignore many of the structural factors contributing to democratic collapse. 

  • Revenge of the Patriarchs: Why Autocrats Fear Women

    by Erica Chenoweth and Zoe Marks

    "Fully free, politically active women are a threat to authoritarian and authoritarian-leaning leaders—and so those leaders have a strategic reason to be sexist."

  • Now is the Time to Revisit Arendt's Origins of Totalitarianism

    by Anne Applebaum

    The political and economic supports for stability and prosperity in the developed world are more precarious than ever; the revival of authoritarianism that Arendt predicted may be at hand, making her work more vital than ever. 

  • Trolling History: Social Media Harassment From Abroad

    by Alexandra F. Levy

    In authoritarian regimes there are fewer and fewer safeguards for historians whose work challenges nationalistic myths; often harassment has a green light from the state. 

  • Fascism's "Legal Phase" is Here, and the Threat is Real

    by William Horne

    The authoritarian right has identified the institutional weak points in American institutions and is preparing to exploit them to seize power and excuse political violence. This happened before, with Jim Crow the result. 

  • The Other Pentagon (We Don't Think About)

    by Andrea Mazzarino

    The creation of DHS in the wake of the 9/11 attacks was a profound reorganization of the government that created a prodigiously-funded "security" apparatus that views threats to Americans through the dangerous lens of "insiders" vs. "outsiders". 

  • The End of Democracy won't Look Like You Think It Will

    by Tom Nichols

    The authoritarian right isn't motivated or organized enough to create the kind of dystopia some fear. But federalism means that significant chunks of the Formerly-United States will turn the clock back to the late 1950s.