authoritarianism   2702

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Brett Kavanaugh And The GOP’s Politics Of Abuse - Rantt
The modern GOP is clearly a place that attracts and fosters abusers. There are abusive men in both parties – there are men in both parties – but the numbers are completely lopsided. The Republican Party also overlaps heavily with the white conservative church, another institution with more than its share of abuse scandals. It’s worth examining why this is the case. The GOP attracts abusers for the same reason any structure with a large power imbalance attracts abusers. The GOP attracts abusers because the party is now fundamentally about preserving a social order with rich white men at the top. Of course, it’s appealing to white men who want to abuse their power. And it creates narratives and attitudes that encourage abuse by the right kind of people. The GOP attracts abusers because it doesn’t just contain power imbalances, it celebrates them.

The abusive dynamics—the gaslighting, denial, victim-blaming and normalization—aren’t new. Their roots are older than the Constitution. This is true not just for racism but for all facets of rich straight white male supremacy. McConnell, Trump, and Kavanaugh are taking advantage of belief systems our country was already steeped in. This was always an abuser’s house.
authoritarianism  america  religion  history 
3 hours ago by corrales
The Suffocation of Democracy | by Christopher R. Browning | The New York Review of Books

“If the US has someone whom historians will look back on as the gravedigger of American democracy, it is Mitch McConnell. He stoked the hyperpolarization of American politics to make the Obama presidency as dysfunctional and paralyzed as he possibly could. As with parliamentary gridlock in Weimar, congressional gridlock in the US has diminished respect for democratic norms, allowing McConnell to trample them even more. Nowhere is this vicious circle clearer than in the obliteration of traditional precedents concerning judicial appointments. Systematic obstruction of nominations in Obama’s first term provoked Democrats to scrap the filibuster for all but Supreme Court nominations. Then McConnell’s unprecedented blocking of the Merrick Garland nomination required him in turn to scrap the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations in order to complete the “steal” of Antonin Scalia’s seat and confirm Neil Gorsuch. The extreme politicization of the judicial nomination process is once again on display in the current Kavanaugh hearings.”
ww2  nazis  mitch_mcconnell  culture  mcconnell  america  trump  fascism  democracy  history  authoritarianism  government  politics  war 
12 hours ago by alexpriest
Globe editorial: With Meng affair, China shows its true face to the world - The Globe and Mail
Janaury 22, 2019

Ms. Meng's arrest in December and China’s subsequent reaction need also to be understood in the context of the Chinese government’s ambitions in the wider world. In many ways, this is not about Canada, or not only about Canada. It’s about Beijing’s determination to tilt the international order in its favour. China’s decisions to [extract reprsials].....were intended as a harbinger of the future, and are being seen as such....The regime wants other countries to know that they will pay a price if they cross Beijing. The message received has been somewhat different: This is how Beijing will behave as its influence and power increase.

The lesson to be taken from the arrests of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, and from the death sentence given to Robert Schellenberg, is plain: Countries that defy Beijing may face reprisals, including having their citizens detained and maltreated.....China’s retaliatory moves against essentially random Canadians are a violation of international norms and law.....The Communist Party of China has officially banned “erroneous Western thought" – things such as the rule of law and the independence of the courts that are defining values in Canada, the United States and much of Europe....To increase its global influence, [China] has been aggressively investing in developing countries in Asia, Africa and South America in order to bring them into its orbit..... China’s detention of Mr. Kovrig and Mr. Spavor serves notice that it has abandoned all pretense of playing by any rules other than the ones set by the Communist Party.

If and when China dominates trade in a region, the rules for foreign investors in that sphere may bear little resemblance to those that Canada and its trading allies hold dear. Trade and other disputes could well be settled in an arbitrary fashion, with little recourse, and with the outcome always tilted toward Beijing.
authoritarianism  bullying  Canada  Canada-China_relations  China  editorials  extradition  fascism  hostage_diplomacy  Meng_Wanzhou  rule_of_law  Xi_Jinping  Chinese_Communist_Party  arbitrariness 
15 hours ago by jerryking
Around the globe, Trump’s style is inspiring imitators and unleashing dark impulses - The Washington Post
When the Nigerian army opened fire on rock-throwing demonstrators last fall, killing as many as 40 people, it defended itself by citing Trump’s threats to do the same at the Mexican border.

When the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia criticized ruler Hun Sen for cracking down on the opposition and the media, the authoritarian leader pointed out that Trump had his back — not the diplomats’.
trump  authoritarianism  world 
18 hours ago by corrales
Why Trump is overjoyed at the Covington student controversy - The Washington Post
"The reaction to this incident has moved through a few stages: an initial liberal outrage; a conservative backlash premised on the idea that the initial reaction was based on a misreading of the situation; a media mea culpa that itself seems based on little to no evidence that they actually got anything wrong in the first place; and now a backlash to the backlash as liberals assert that the media is being pressured and manipulated by a right wing practiced at this sort of thing."
authoritarianism  trump  journalism 
yesterday by corrales
From Exile to Dirtbag: Edgelord geopolitics and the rise of “National Bolshevism” in the U.S.
“It’s nothing,” he said, sitting next to me on the bed. “A gang tried to beat me up on my way from the Metro.” It happened in a central district of Moscow. And then it happened again two weeks later…
yesterday by corrales
Fundraiser by Claire Berlinski : STITCH BY STITCH: A BOOK
"If we fail to understand how and why liberal democracy around the world is collapsing, we have scant hope of preserving ours. If we fail to understand why the West, in particular, has come under attack, we have no hope of responding intelligently or organizing ourselves to defend it. Stitch by Stitch shows that Europe—the other half of the West, from which we have been deliberately and systematically alienated—is now the central battlefield in the war for liberal democracy. The crisis in Europe has become so acute that its long postwar peace, the basis of the postwar global order, is under threat.

To survive, illiberal democracies—and Putin’s regime in particular—must undermine liberal democracies. Successful liberal democracies are an inherent threat to these regimes. Their existence refutes the story the Caesars tell their citizens about the world. This is why Russia is working assiduously to discredit liberal democracies and replace them with illiberal regimes sympathetic to the Kremlin. To do this, he must alienate the United States from Europe, and alienate European nations from each other. This is precisely what is happening, putting our security and the world’s at risk. "
Politics  Authoritarianism 
yesterday by lydialaurenson
The Best of a Bad Situation | Issue 33 | n+1
Once in a while, and with increasing frequency, climate change rises to the forefront of popular consciousness. A critical mass of people aided by the notion that others are doing something similar can break through the powerful psychological resistance and look the blinding thing in the face. It’s devastating and painful; you grieve and you panic. Even so, there’s relief in bringing something so painful into view, in holding it with your mind. But you can only look for so long. Resistance reasserts itself, and you slide back behind it. Next time you come out a tiny bit further before you retreat. This is how understanding happens, through a series of breakthroughs and retrenchments and consolidations, as with all efforts toward intentional growth.
downslope  authoritarianism  racism  supremacy  nationalism  extinction 
6 days ago by zesteur
Double-plus effective - Johnson
On idiocy:
"Countless psychological studies have shown that what is easy to process is seen as more truthful. “I’m going to build a big, beautiful wall and Mexico is going to pay for it” may be preposterous, but it is easy to understand, and the human brain, in its weakness, likes easy things."

On repetition:
"Another Trump tactic is repetition. This, too, may be incorrectly seen as childish. Mr Trump does often say exactly the same thing several times in a row in a crude, hammer-blow fashion. But in more sophisticated guise, repetition is a venerable rhetorical tool."

"...the most beloved rhetorical repetition of the 20th century is the great refrain, “I have a dream.” Mr Trump is certainly no Martin Luther King, but he knows how to leave an audience remembering what he said."

"...unscripted quality is powerful. Even a valid argument is weakened if it sounds canned. Even an invalid one sounds stronger if it appears spontaneous, especially to voters disgusted with the professional politicians."
language  psychology  trump  authoritarianism 
6 days ago by corrales
Donald Trump’s 50 Most Unthinkable Moments - The Atlantic
“Unthinkable” is a special project from The Atlantic, cataloging the 50 most norm-shattering moments of the Trump administration.
archive  politics  trump  authoritarianism  gopbatshittery  Feed  IFTTT  outrage  resistance  Stars 
8 days ago by atran
‘The Far Right Are Succeeding Again in Appealing to the Most Primitive Identity Symbols’
No, it’s not that I don’t like it; the problem with carnival is that it’s a form of popular invention or popular subversion that responds to a certain institutionality. There is a time each year when men or women of the people become kings or queens and subvert the world, turn it around or upside down, but do so in a specific time. And for me that’s different from this capacity of people who show up at unexpected moments, without any programme or any schedule. Carnival is the time of the people, but after this time everyone goes home, goes back to work, back to their condition. What I think of these rituals is that they don’t have a really subversive effect, partly because for me what is involved in the suspension of the incapacity that others attribute to us is something quite different: it is the invention of a new temporality.
philosophy  authoritarianism 
8 days ago by corrales

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