From Democracy Digest:
Can contemporary authoritarians be compared to 20th-century dictators? Not exactly, given the absence of coherent ideology, mass violence and weak cult of personality.
Skeptics like Jan-Werner Müller – author of What is Populism? – reject contemporary analogies to twentieth-century fascism as mistaken in part because new authoritarian-populist regimes are aware that the term bears an intolerable stigma, notes Peter E. Gordon, the Amabel B. James Professor of History at Harvard.
Today’s anti-democrats, Müller observes, “have learned from history” that “they cannot be seen to be carrying out mass human rights violations.” But this argument doesn’t refute the analogy; it confirms it, . The new regimes can find ways to adopt the strategies of the past even as they publicly disavow any resemblance, he writes for The New York Review of Books.
Read the full article on this really interesting perspective here.