Remember when they deplatformed Parler, accused American grandmas of insurrection, and digitally silenced the president of the United States? Remember how they did all of this after Black Lives Matter and antifa rioted for months and radical mayors and prosecutors refused to lock them up? Remember how academia, corporate America, and even the military suddenly stepped out of the shadows and pushed the exact same racist theory, all pushing the lie that America is racist at the same time radicals across the country were attacking statues of our founders and even President Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant?
It all felt so snapped in place, so tightly coordinated. What if it was?
That was all just seven months ago. But the preparation was years, decades in the making. Ben Shapiro shows how it happened, who is behind it, and what to do about it now in his new bestseller, The Authoritarian Moment: How the Left Weaponized America’s Institutions Against Dissent.
Shapiro’s book brings the goods like he always does at the Daily Wire and on his national radio show. "The Authoritarian Moment" is full of facts and hard truths about the threat America faces -- not just from China and now the deep wounds Joe Biden is inflicting on the country through his collapse of Afghanistan -- but across the elite level of all of our institutions. They’re all arrayed against America’s founders, against America’s ideals, and ultimately want to control America’s future.
“Human nature does not change,” Shapiro writes in the opening pages, and so because we want safety many of us are willing to trade our liberty for it. At the same time, some man or group always wants power. They’re only too happy to crown themselves as some form of king, assume that power, and use it to destroy liberty. America faces such a moment now, Shapiro argues, but not in the form of a singular king. It’s in the form of institutions the left has captured and now cloaks itself in as it wields nearly unchecked power over the rest of us. Dissent from their line on anything and you will be silenced.
America’s founders knew their history well, from the Bible to the Glorious Revolution, and knew how the human will to power could warp even the best people and institutions. They set up the system of checks and balances in our Constitution and body of laws that placed leaders and branches of government into healthy competition against each other, creating what Shapiro calls this “extraordinary” moment in which the United States and much of the world lives in republics, not under monarchies or dictators. It’s an extraordinary time the United States ushered in alone, and has led since its inception. It’s also a moment that those who want to amass power seek to discredit and ultimately destroy -- by any means necessary.
Shapiro doesn’t pull any punches. He asserts that the rioters on January 6, 2021, were authoritarians of the right. That is, they sought to overthrow the constitutional means by which we pass power peacefully from one president and party to the next. But those authoritarians, he says, were checked by other members of the political right -- Vice President Mike Pence most conspicuously. There are authoritarians on both sides. The right checked its authoritarians that day, but the left, Shapiro says, not only does not check its authoritarians, such as the Black Lives Matter movement and its antifa allies, the left actively encourages them and gives them succor from the very top.
This explains why America is suffering a dangerous authoritarian moment now, with the greater threat to freedom coming from the left. It’s the left through Big Tech that is silencing dissent. It’s the left, after capturing corporate America, that is attempting to brainwash Americans into dividing ourselves forever by race and other innate and immutable characteristics. It’s the left that’s doing everything it can through the New York Times’ dishonest 1619 Project on one hand and critical race theory on the other to crack up and destroy America at its foundations -- so it can then replace those foundations with its own authoritarian, totalitarian form of society and government.
Shapiro traces how we got here, from the Frankfurt School’s first study of the authoritarian mind to today and now capitalist companies like Coke swiftly unmasked themselves as Marxist indoctrination centers. He shows how Facebook and Twitter have become the vanguard of a new movement that endangers free speech even as the mainstream media militates against the freedom of speech despite the fact that doing so is not in their long-term interests.
Now Americans censor themselves. Not just on Facebook. More than two-thirds of us self censor even in private conversations. Anyone could turn from friend to informant, and they don’t even need a government to push them into as there was in Mao’s China or Stalin’s Soviet Union or the old communist bloc. They turn informant because our institutions encourage it. They’ll ruin your life just for the likes.
If you read just one book about the current crisis of liberty in America, make it Ben Shapiro’s "The Authoritarian Movement." Shapiro brings the facts and marshals them into a cogent picture of what is really happening in America and across the West. While the picture he paints is stark, and entirely accurate, Shapiro offers some hope and some tangible tools to use to fight back against cancel culture and the digital brownshirt authoritarians who currently command all of the institutions.
America is in an authoritarian moment. Our country has experienced one before, during the heavy-handed, jack-booted presidency of Democrat Woodrow Wilson. Liberty survived him and if Americans right, left, and center who love liberty band together, be brave, and fight back, it will survive this one, too, but it’s up to us. America owes Ben Shapiro a debt for describing this terrible Authoritarian Moment, and for providing a map to get ourselves out of it.
A.J. Rice is CEO of Publius PR, a premier communications firm in Washington D.C. Rice is a brand manager, star-whisperer and auteur media influencer, who has produced or promoted Laura Ingraham, Donald Trump Jr., Judge Jeanine Pirro, Newt Gingrich, Peter Navarro, Monica Crowley, Charles Krauthammer, Alan Dershowitz, Pete Hegseth, Steve Hilton, Victor Davis Hanson, and many others. Find out more at publiuspr.com.