Democracy in America Revisited– The Rise of Authoritarian Capitalism [Sixth of a Series]


I haven’t found anyone who will argue vigorously against the notion that China and Russia have thoroughly abandoned their Communist roots- but the elites who wield power in these countries certainly continue to embrace authoritarianism, only now under ‘freewheeling’ if not free market capitalism. Authoritarian behavior can be contagious. Consider the U.S. policy of unilateral military interventionism that has been in place for over five years since the Iraq invasion—does that feel a little authoritarian to you?

Authoritarian capitalism is an attempt to solve the crisis created by inadequate political institutions that have failed to forge a national citizenry. In a socio-political environment where America’s leaders define the nation’s political agenda through the fear of terrorism and consequent social disorder, convenient excuses (another terrorist attack on American soil) could easily lead to the loss of civil liberties and the rise of authoritarianism in America. Authoritarian Capitalism appears to currently be the default regime of choice for societies lacking the political will and the political institutions to empower marginalized socio-economic groups by allowing the expression of dissent.


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