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authoritarianism



  • Where Conspiracy Reigns

    Historians Rodrigo Patto Sá Motta and Federico Finchelstein offer insight into how the political right has used rumors of communist plots to maintain power in Brazil, and why the country's political culture today is vulnerable to fake news and conspiracy theories. 



  • "GUILTY": Justice for the Jesuits in El Salvador

    Applying the doctrine of Universal Jurisdiction for human rights abuses, a Spanish Court found former El Salvador Colonel Inocente Orlando Montano guilty in the assassination of six Jesuit priests and two Salvadoran women in 1989. The National Security Archive supplied hundreds of declassified documents as evidence. 



  • Fascism Scholar Says U.S. Is 'Losing Its Democratic Status'

    Political theorist Jason Stanley discusses where the United States today fits into his definitions of fascism. Trump's claims to personally protect Americans from humiliation, the rise of conspiratorial thinking, and the fragility of democratic processes are not encouraging signs.



  • Centrists Are Pining for a Golden Age that Never Was (Review)

    A review of Anne Applebaum's "Twilight of Democracy" argues that the author focuses on the role of nostalgia and personality in driving authoritarianism and breaking up the center-right coalition, but ignores the fact that that the center failed to deliver an improved standard of living to the broad public. 



  • No, America Is Not Succumbing To Fascism

    by Helmut Walser Smith

    A historian of 20th century Germany says the stark political divisions on display in America today are cause for optimism; four years into Hitler's rule, German society had been molded into conformity with Nazi ideals without room for dissent. 



  • Co-opt & Corrupt: How Trump Bent and Broke the GOP

    by Ruth Ben-Ghiat

    The Republican Party, and the robust media universe that supports it, had been ready for a far-right, rule-breaking, and polarizing personality like Trump.



  • Federal Agents in Portland Set a Dangerous Precedent

    by Tom Mockaitis

    The sight of armed men in combat fatigues without name tags driving around in unmarked vehicles to detain protestors might have been expected in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, or the Latin American dictatorships of the 1970s. Such tactics have no place on the streets of an American city in 2020.



  • Trump Has Brought America’s Dirty Wars Home

    by Stuart Schrader

    The history of the Office of Public Safety, created to support counterinsurgency around the globe during the Cold War, demonstrates that Trump’s ardor for authoritarian force has long-standing, homegrown roots.



  • Could Trump Use DHS to Suppress Voting?

    Trump's ordering of DHS personnel to arrest protesters in Portland should be seen in light of the expiration of a critical 1982 consent decree under which the Republican National Committee has agreed not to deploy law enforcement officers to polling stations. That conduct will no longer be barred in 2020.



  • Our First Authoritarian Crackdown (Review)

    by Brenda Wineapple

    Wendell Bird argues that the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 were used more broadly than historians have recognized, and reflect a shakier foundation of free speech in the early Republic.