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Tha National Interest: The New Authoritarianism: Trump, Populism, and the Tyranny of Experts

Updated: May 9, 2021

In this brief work, American sociologist Salvatore Babones makes the explosive argument that the most pressing threat of authoritarianism today stems not from ‘populists’ like Donald Trump, but rather from Western liberals.

As such, the book belongs to the same “harsh, but constructive” criticism genre as Thomas Frank’s Listen, Liberal and Kishore Mahbubani’s Has the West Lost It?

Early in the book, Babones divides Western political thought into three broad streams: conservative, progressive, and liberal. Conservatives (spoiler alert) generally like things the way they are, because they benefit from the status quo, while progressives would benefit from change and therefore agitate accordingly. Liberals, in Babones’ view, have historically played the role of “referee” between these groups, sometimes siding with one, sometimes with the other, still more often splitting down the middle, as liberals are wont to do.

Read the full article at The National Interest here.


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