Rebecca Solnit On Democracy And Authoritarianism

Rebecca Solnit (June 24, 1961 -)

Democracy is a set of agreements to make decisions together and respect the outcome whether you like them or not. The kind of violence we saw on Capitol Hill (Jan 06, 2021) is authoritarian, a way to try to force other people to submit to the will of the perpetrators. This violence comes from the white men who were long the only people with power in this country imagining themselves as marginalized and oppressed outsiders because others might also have power and a voice. We saw these kind of men last summer, when they invaded the Michigan capital while carrying semiautomatic rifles and saw them again when a handful of them were arrested for a plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. We saw them in racist shootings from the Texas border to a Pennsylvania synagogue… Authoritarianism is always an ideology of inequality: I make the rules, you follow them, I change them at will and punish those who don’t obey, or, if I feel like it, those who do because I can.