It's not just that they're all authoritarians. Their culture wars have similar agendas.
This perhaps illustrates Piketty's observation that the natural form of government, from Babylon to the present, is autocracy. Whether your economic system starts with Adam Smith or Karl Marx, money will sooner or later take over and you end up with the plutocracy/kleptocracy of Trump and Putin. Here, tiny groups of individuals control most of the money, and everyone else is a peasant. Smith foresaw this, and thought that progressive taxation would be used to control capitalism. This worked well in America until in 1980 it ran headlong into Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan, best described as a couple of horse's asses. They allowed the Heritage Foundation, along with the Mercers and the Kochs to set up an American kleptocracy not unlike Putin's. Kleptocracies thrive on lies peddled to the peasants. In America, however, the possibility of true democracy can always be resurrected. We just have to get a few million people to stop voting against their wallets....
One of the first things we learned in Junior High was that "you can't have a negative hypothesis," when writing a report. You can't because it's impossible to prove a negative. Time and time again, though, the so-called conservatives back us into a corner and we're foolish enough to accept their rhetoric, then try to explain it away by failing to prove a negative.
The moderates and liberals didn't invent "Counter Culture." The far right invented it. They came up with the term, came up with the concept, and publicized the heck out of it until the term was accepted into the current vernacular. Once embedded, moderates and liberals then tried to explain that they weren't engaging in it. That sealed the deal. Counter Culture became a real thing. We're the ones who gave it life and stuck ourselves with the impossible task of trying to prove a negative.
Meanwhile, it's the conservatives who are trying to cancel authentic history, minority rights, voting rights, women's rights, all while rewriting laws to keep our money flowing up hill into their possession. We need to recognize this tactic, call it out each time they come up with a new accusation, and stop answering their false charges by trying to prove that we're not doing something that they invented.
good morning Professor. When do you sleep? Thank you for doing this. I agree with you that the vast majority of people are simply pawns in global struggle. Since I, and everyone else, I know in RT is just a pawn. #ithurtsmyheart. I have never watched Tucker Carlson but defense that Russia never called him a racist, is, I suspect, simply false. Russia spread division, some in "favor" of BLM and some "opposed." The goal was to get people who live in the USA to hate other people who live in the USA. I think they succeeded beyond what they dreamed of.
Like a fox guarding the proverbial henhouse, the authoritarians want to control everyone with religion and 'tradition' while they prey on people and rob them.
The common link is the alleged fear of 'the other' whether Jews under Hitler,the West under Putin,or indeed non white non WASP advancement.If your political philosophy has logical inconsistencies within it which can be spotted too readily then you have to create a blanket of rhetoric to smother doubts among the insecure eg the suppression of 'my' culture or 'my' sovereignty.I was mildly surprised to learn from his spirited defence of J.K.Rowling that Putin reads Harry Potter, but guess that living in isolation in the Kremlin makes you start to believe in magic spells and broomsticks.
Professor, Though admittedly, I haven’t thoroughly thought through your thesis, in my mind, Putin, unlike Trump and Carlson, has a very clear fascist ideology and presents a very clear idea of what an empire looks like. Borrowing some from Professor Timothy Snyder, Empire, in Putin’s mind, declares that one’s neighbor (e.g., Ukraine) doesn’t exist, its state doesn’t exist, its people aren’t really people. Putin as dictator has a right to tell them who they are. And if they don’t agree, he will destroy their elites; he will humiliate them. He will bring them to their knees, until they have no choice but to agree to be who he says they are.
As for Trump and Carlson, I sense they are consumed by one interest: the consolidation of wealth and power. And though, like Putin, Trump might exploit the aggrieved by validating their discontent with statements like the world, indeed, is broken, and “I alone can fix it,” I sense Trump solely is driven by insatiable greed and self-serving interests that stipulate complete power be subordinated to him and distributed, at his discretion, to those who own as opposed to those who do not.
This is all in full agreement with Umberto Eco’s book : « Riconoscere il fascismo », published 1997 ( How to recognise fascism ). It’s fundamental commitment with corporate interests ( in betrayal to the popular classes ) is clear from the beginnig… in Germany or Italy. Putinism is obviously one of them. In the Ukraine war he initiated there is far more at stake that some territories of eastern Ukraine.
Not much to add, except to say be wary of the "our" in the old conservative chestnut "our >way of life<." Who is this "our" they speak of? That'll give you a clue to the "way of life" they speak of, along with the "way of life" others must endure in service to it.
Now we are getting to the heart of the matter, Dr. Reich! Note Koch industries remain in Russia. Also their past support for Trump, Tea Party and much of the Right’s agenda. The Koch family is a perfect example of the oligarchs you refer to.
I really hope you are right about Trump not being re-elected, the Ukraine not being subdued, and Tucker Carlson not being able to succeed in convincing Americans to believe his lies. These are my greatest fears now.
I recently attended a City Council meeting (along with several hundred others) to hear and voice arguments to support or reject the city’s proposal to “make elections more secure” which amounted to voter intimidation and suppression and overreached the county’s authority as well as adding a huge expense to the budget to “fix” a problem that didn’t even exist except in the minds of some people. Because of the high turnout, there wasn’t room in the auditorium for everyone so many of us stood in line and it was interesting to me to hear what people were saying on both sides. After the lunch break, many left and we were able to find seats inside and listen to the speeches prepared by those who had come to speak. I am happy to report that most speakers were against the measure as well as those of us who submitted written opinions and the proposal was overwhelmingly rejected.
I think the number one thing we need to do to lessen the power of the oligarchy in this country is to pass a constitutional amendment to expressly say that corporations are not people and money is not speech (overturn citizens united).
When even our 'progressive media' limit their 'news' to limit our knowledge we are on a slippery slope to Russia, where the 'ruler' Putin at this time, can just block out everything that is threatening to his control, and agenda. Fox news ridicules any other media that is not in sync with their messages, or worldview. It reminds me of churches wherein the message to their 'true believers' is that 'their God is the only God' and everyone else is gonna 'burn in hell'.
I find it significant that the right wing complaints about "cancel culture" are merely a reflection of their own desire to "cancel" anyone who does not conform to their ideas of what "superior" society should be, such as LGBTQ+ people, women, racial or religious minorities, liberals, etc. In fact, they are beginning to sound a lot like Nazi Germany in their desire to eliminate the "inferior" elements of society.
And a conversation with a local educator and her take on the home schooling wave cresting over our youth since the pandemic, sent a chill down my spine . Perhaps being a bit judgemental, but we always took 'homeschool'n' as isolationist, sociopathic behavior of parents wishing to protect das kinda from their perceived 'evils of society'. Turning a deaf ear and a blind eye towards the normal, socialization skills and experiences public and private schooling offers . And this falls hand in hand with privatization of America , i.e.; education, the postal service etc. also keen to the trump, carlson, putin line of thought. Control the input, control the output. In short, THE DUMBING DOWN OF AMERICA. This further insures that their pablum fed notions of fear, paranoia, racism, sexism, nationalism and hatred have an accepting and ignorant audience blindly hopping their train into the abyss.
Great analysis by you and the 10 or so others I read. Understanding is at best 10% of the battle. The rest comes under the heading of Exactly What Do We Do? This isn't just an intellectual debate. We need responses that stick in people's minds; that get them "fired up." Example: The Rep. response to the Clinton's "socialist" plan for health care. How can anyone forget the caricature of Uncle Sam slowly rising alongside a hospital bed. The voters we need to reach have been subtly brainwashed - there's no other term for it. Primary example is R.R.'s, "Hi, I from the government and I'm hear to help." The unspoken Rep. mantra is make as much money as you can in whatever way(s) you can get away with. The Dem. mantra is the role of government is to promote the overall well-being of all who live here. We need to forcefully counter the "socialism" attack. To date it's been extremely effective!
Alternative hypothesis: Playbook by Steve Bannon, all the oiligarchs and autocrats use it.