Beating Left-wing Authoritarianism

September 18, 2021
Article category: Highlights. Tags: 
Beating Left-wing Authoritarianism, by Nicholas J. Kaster  American Thinker, September 17, 2021. Excerpts follow:

Ben Shapiro’s new bestseller, The Authoritarian Moment, is about the death of authentic liberalism and the rise of left-wing authoritarianism....

How did arrive at this moment? The roots go back a long way, but Shapiro lays much of the blame on Barack Obama and particularly his 2012 re-election campaign. As Shapiro tells it, Obama ran in 2008 (at least superficially) on a message of healing and bipartisanship. The public, not cognizant of his Alinskyite past, bought it. But by 2012, that act was no longer tenable. So he shifted gears and ran a very different campaign, cobbling together an intersectional coalition of identities.
 
“This strategy,” writes Shapiro, “pitted Americans against Americans, race against race, sex against sex. Obama domesticated the destructive impulses of authoritarian leftism in pursuit of power.”...  By uniting the “utopian impulse” of progressivism (the idea that the world’s problems can be fixed by expanding the power of the State) with the “revolutionary impulse” of identity politics, the 2012 campaign proved to be transformational....
 
The effect was a top-down revolution, “using the system to tear down the system.”...
 
More than a decade ago, Angelo Codevilla, professor of International Relations at Boston University, penned an insightful essay on “America’s Ruling Class” in the American Spectator....
 
The result has been what Shapiro calls the “renormalization” of America: the takeover of one institution after another by the progressive Left -- academia, corporations, media, big tech -- and the Left’s silencing of dissent by intimidating its opponents into inaction or browbeating them into compliance.
 
In the last chapter, Shapiro offers three options for taking back American institutions.
 
First, he urges legal action....
 
Second, Shapiro advocates the formal expansion of anti-discrimination law to include discrimination on the basis of political views...
 
Third, and most provocatively, Shapiro urges us to “build alternative institutions.”...
 
The authoritarian moment has arrived, the result of a decades-long evisceration of core American institutions. It will end, says Shapiro, when the silent majority stands up and refuses to be silent any longer.