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authoritarianism



  • The Sun Never Set on the British Empire’s Oppression

    While nationalist leaders in postcolonial states win political support by invoking heroic struggle to defeat British imperialism, they are very happy to use the repressive laws of colonialism against dissidents today. 



  • Methods of Power: How do Authoritarians Rule? (Review)

    by David A. Bell

    Is Trumpism a fascist movement or a response to a power vacuum created by decades of neoliberal policies? Historian David A. Bell reviews Ruth Ben-Ghiat's "Strongmen" and argues that the book misses the specific context of Trumpism by making him an archetype of the authoritarian ruler. 



  • The Post-Trump Crack-Up of the Evangelical Community

    Anthea Butler and Kristin Kobes Du Mez offer insight into how racial double standards within evangelical religion and the willingness of "insider" historians to craft a selective picture of evangelical political action has made it difficult to understand how many of today's evangelical leaders have made peace with (or even embraced) white supremacy.



  • Movie at the Ellipse: A Study in Fascist Propaganda

    by Jason Stanley

    Not enough attention has been paid to the video shown to spectators at Donald Trump's January 6th "Save America" rally. A close look shows it to be a work of propaganda firmly in the tradition of fascism. 



  • Reflections On An Imploding Empire

    by Russell Rickford

    Progressive dissidents must meet the moment of Biden's inauguration by not settling for what liberal politicians offer on economic justice, human rights, environment, labor, and health. 



  • My Sister Was Disappeared 43 Years Ago

    A writer became the legally-designated recipient of his sister's remains after she was killed by Argentina's military dictatorship during the nation's Dirty War. The experience led him to confront how a society suppresses the knowledge of political violence.


  • Cheese to Chalk: Can Democracies be Compared to Dictatorships?

    by Leonid Luks

    A German historian argues that American scholars and commentators have for years been too quick to equate antidemocratic measures taken by Republicans with Hitler's seizure of dictatorial power, dismissing ample research on the nature of totalitarian regimes. The last three months have shown that America's core institutions are not weak enough to be crushed. 



  • Trump Is a Threat to Democracy. But That Doesn’t Mean He’s Winning

    by Daniel Bessner and Ben Burgis

    Overreaction to the horror of January 6 risks giving license to a host of new internal security measures that will likely threaten democracy more than the misguided and futile efforts of Donald Trump and his followers to overturn the election. 



  • Pre-Nazi Germany Tells us the Fight to Save American Democracy is Just Beginning

    by Michael Brenner

    German history highlights how the real risk to American democracy came hours after order had been restored in the U.S. Capitol when seven U.S. senators and 138 members of the House of Representatives voted to sustain an objection to Pennsylvania’s electoral votes.



  • The Capitol Riot Revealed the Darkest Nightmares of White Evangelical America

    by Matthew Avery Sutton

    Many observers have speculated that American evangelicals have had a transactional relationship with Donald Trump. But his messages of "American carnage" and warnings of dire consequences if he is defeated mesh perfectly with their end-times outlook and have helped tie evangelicals to the far right coalition. 


  • Donald Trump’s Situational Fascism

    by Gavriel Rosenfeld

    Rather than engage in an unproductive debate about whether Donald Trump is or is not a bona fide fascist, scholars should consider the events of January 6 (and Trump's role in inciting them) as emergent, contingent results of the interplay of factors latent in American liberal democracy.



  • Ex-Friends: Anne Applebaum and the Crisis of Centrist Politics

    Critic David Klion considers the unexamined relationship between the late 20th Century rise of market-oriented liberalism and the 21st century rise of authoritarian nationalism (or, "why so many of her once-close friends have turned out to be fascists").



  • Yes, It Was a Coup. Here’s Why

    Former Trump National Security Council staffer Fiona Hill says the events of January 6, in the context of Trump's refusal to accept the election results, meet the practical standard of a coup. 



  • Don't Compare the Capitol Riot to the "Third World"

    "Lucia Dammert, a Wilson Center Global Fellow and Professor at the University of Santiago of Chile objects to the comparison to the Global South -- adding that the U.S. has played a key role in sparking the turbulence, especially in Latin America."



  • Denial Is the Heartbeat of America

    by Ibram X. Kendi

    Claims that the Capitol riots were "not who we are" are rooted in denial of the long history of racist and antidemocratic politics in the United States. 


  • Will the Republicans Take the Fascist Option?

    by Kevin Matthews

    Before this past week, too many in the GOP seemed too willing to choose the fascist option.  Now they have seen what it looks like and where it leads.  The question Republicans must answer is simple: Will they choose fascism anyway? 



  • An Insurgency From Inside the Oval Office

    “Trump’s attempt to overturn the election, and his pressure tactics to that end with Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, are an example of how authoritarianism works in the 21st century,” said Ruth Ben-Ghiat, author of “Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present.”