And that is where America is now. It is overthinking authoritarianism, and badly. No one is offering a new New Deal, a new Grand Bargain, and so there is nothing to galvanize people, inspire them, awaken them, so that they rise up not just against authoritarians, but for themselves, their democracy, their society. Hopeless, glum, broken, Americans sit around and tweet and lament on Facebook and Twitter — but that is how a people become defeated. What is there to fight for, if there is only something to fight against?

You beat authoritarianism by repairing the broken society that gave rise to it.

14 thoughts on “And that is where America is now. It is overthinking authoritarianism, and badly. No one is offering a new New Deal,…

  1. Except none of them (the examples used) returned from authoritarian rule without a civil war or an outside power/nation/group of nations to overthrow them violently.


    If we are totally broken, the authorities that much in power, then it is over. There is no bigger power, no group of nations, no chance of a successful civil war. All we can hope for is a long long struggle to attempt to reform from with over a century or more.

    Unless his own supporters turn on him, or dwindle down thru age, disease, or self destructive behavior we are stuck.

    The money is in their hands, the power is in their hands, the institutions are in their hands and the guns are in their hands.

    How long did it take Rome, which enslaved 1/3 of its population, take to fall?

  2. Joseph Teller It can also be argued that in general the presented samples moved from one sort of overarching authoritarian tyranny to another. These were not nation-states with anything resembling a long-instilled practice of representative governance.

    Which does not let us off the hook, to be sure, nor diminishes the challenges involved.

  3. Matt Wilson I was reading recently about how genuine progressives in Alaska — Alaska! Sarah Palin ville! — have been be achieving total upset victories in a lot of small, local elections, slowly taking over the local Democratic party. Very cool.

  4. You’ve got to take the power back!

    The government has been stolen from the people. Not just by Trump or the GOP, although they’re certainly guilty, but the US system as a whole stopped being a government by the people and for the people a long time ago. Get rid of the district system, get some proportional representation so you get more than two parties to choose from, and depoliticise everything that’s overly politicised.