Tag: authoritarianism

  • State capacity for decisive action in an emergency does not necessitate the suppression of democracy

    This is an important reflection by Mike Davis in The Monster Enters about the connection too often drawn between Chinese authoritarianism and the effectiveness of their anti-Covid action*. It’s one which comes readily because, as Alex de Waal has put it, “The infection-control state is Max Weber’s military–bureaucratic state on steroids, requiring uniform sanitary habits […]

  • The promise of the populist president

    From this extremely astute essay by Isaac Reed: A widespread ideational feature of monarchical societies (variably realized) is the investment of the common people in a king or queen as their protector against the predations of the aristocracy. The peasant, immediately subject to his lord, reaches to the monarch—the ultimate location of the sacred, the place where […]

  • The vested interests of the media in Trump

    From Jill Abramson’s Merchants of Truth pg 386: The “Trump bump” was mostly responsible for its strong financial reports following the election as the paid digital readership began to explode. By the end of the second quarter there were 600,000 new subscriptions, bringing the total number of digital subscribers above two million. In 2017 paid […]

  • The mundane reality of neo-fascism

    There’s a really powerful piece by Pedro Rocha de Oliveira in Red Pepper placing Jair Bolsonaro’s rise to power in Brazil in socio-political context: There have been hints of fresh horrors ahead during the presidential campaign. A young woman in Porto Alegre was punched and held by a group of men while one cut a swastika […]

  • The meaning of Jair Bolsonaro

    This is a insightful reflection from Glenn Greenwald on the meaning of Jair Bolsonaro. He takes issue with the notion that Bolsonaro is Brazil’s Trump for three reasons: he explicitly advocates military dictatorship, he is subject to weak constitutional constraints and he is from an older far right rather than the contemporary alt-right movement. A huge portion of his vote […]

  • The Banal Reality of Democracy’s Death

    There are two issues which have long fascinated me that seem more salient with each passing day. Our struggle to conceptualise long term social change from within (particularly the possibility of civilisational collapse) and the transition away from democratic government. Cinematic spectacle dominates the imaginary through we conceive of either, whether this is our imagery of what a collapsed […]