I hope everyone’s enjoying their weekend. If you’re looking for something to read, here are some suggestions taken from things that I’ve come across on the internet recently.
Peter Beinart in the Atlantic revisits the links between right-wing authoritarianism and misogyny – the basic idea is well known, but this is a good up-to-date presentation of it with some interesting data.
If you want to feel depressed, read Tyler Cohen at Bloomberg on the travails of Emmanuel Macron. He seems convinced that Macron is getting it wrong, but is conspicuously short on suggestions for how he could do better.
Also at Bloomberg, but more encouraging, is this story from Noah Feldman on how Brett Kavanaugh is already disappointing the hard-line conservative bloc on the US Supreme Court, and how he may stop the court from drifting too far from the mainstream.
A very interesting Harvard University study looks at online media’s role in the 2016 presidential election, quantifying some of the free kick that the Trump campaign was given and the way that media ideas of “neutrality” played into the hands of liars.
Alexander Hurst in the New Republic treats Trumpism – reasonably enough – as a new type of cult, and looks at some of the literature on cult deprogramming for hints as to how it might ultimately be dealt with.
Batya Ungar-Sargon at Forward has a very clear explanation of how it is that Benjamin Netanyahu and his supporters can align themselves with far-right antisemites: because they and their critics have different ideas about what being Jewish means, which leads them to adopt completely different definitions of antisemitism.
For fans of the shifting fortunes of “neoliberalism”, Phillip Magness at the American Institute for Economic Research has done some digging into European debates of the 1920s, although the contemporary relevance is less than clear.
The Economist has a long but important read on the shifting fortunes of Deng Xiaoping, who unleashed China’s economic miracle, and how under Xi Jinping the country is turning its back on reformism in favor of dogma and government control.
The best thing I’ve read on this week’s Brexit developments is this piece by Gary Younge in the Guardian, which eviscerates both Theresa May and her hard-Brexiter opponents.
Mark Lila in the New York Review of Books dives deep into the competing currents of the French hard right: I don’t agree with all of his conclusions, but there’s lots of fascinating material, and I think the basic idea of a split between “classical organic conservatism” and “reactionary Christian nationalism” is pretty much right.
Coming back to Australia, Norman Abjorensen at Inside Story has a very sensible presentation of how the Liberal Party got to where it is and the difficulties it faces in sorting out its future.
And to put our country in a slightly better light, Michael McVeigh in Eureka Street retells the inspiring story of William Cooper on the eightieth anniversary of his protest against Kristallnacht.