1. In a recent talk, he says,
The question has been posed at this conference whether we are witnessing the rise of authoritarian or fascist governments. Among the old democracies at least, I believe the opposite is closer to the truth. Democratic governments are terrified of the public’s unhappiness. They know that heroic actions are expected of them, but also that every initiative will be savaged and every failure amplified. Their behavior is the opposite of authoritarian. It’s a drift to dysfunction: to paralysis.
Look at the Republicans on Obamacare.
Other provocative passages:
Rhetorical aggression defines the political web. By embracing Trump in significant numbers, the public has signaled that it is willing to impose the untrammeled relations of social media on the fragile forms of American democracy.
Information, it turned out, has authority in proportion to its scarcity – the more there is, the less people believe.
I recommend the whole thing.
2. Read his account of the controversy over allowing a representative of a far-right German party to speak at the conference.
3. I continue to recommend The Revolt of the Public more often than any other book. But I also recommend my review of it. Near the end of my very long review, I wrote,
The dominant strategy of the outsiders is to focus on the negative, exposing and denouncing the failures, imperfections, and corruption of the insiders. On the left, this means heaping blame on the institutions of capitalism and free markets. On the right, this means heaping blame on the institutions of government. Neither side will propose, much less implement, an effective reform agenda.
I could have included academia and professional media as institutions disparaged by the outsider right.
Maybe a publisher would want to produce a print version of the book, with my review as an introduction.