Left and Right

In 2022, Pay Attention to Right-Wing Authoritarianism

By   Reason

For decades, libertarians have focused on illiberalism coming from the political left. But authoritarianism has taken root among many conservatives across the world.

At the eve of a new year, it’s traditional to make a resolution or two. I have no such list for myself or others, but I do have a wish. For 2022 and beyond, I wish that all of us who still cherish liberal values will band together to oppose the worrisome rise of authoritarianism around the world.

For decades, those inclined toward free markets have focused on authoritarianism coming from the political left. We have spared no energy denouncing and opposing it. We’ve rightfully been concerned about the push to centralize more power in the hands of federal governments and to increase the scope and size of all government. We have warned that these policies, pursued consistently, pave what the great F.A. Hayek called “the road to serfdom.”

This fight should continue. However, it’s time to be equally harsh toward those on the right who want to use state power to control individuals’ choices and destroy those with whom they disagree. In America, this illiberalism was visible in many of the policies pushed by former President Donald Trump, including industrial policies riddled with favoritism and hostility to foreign workers and immigrants. It peaked during the last months of his presidency with claims of stolen elections and other conspiracy theories.


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  1. 1) Authoritarian is a useless word.
    2) The Right in the West is mostly leftist, and most leftists are elitist conservatives, so what does this distinction even mean.
    3) libertarians are irrelevant and presumptively against anything any central state does, so why bother focusing on some particular Tribe at all when the reality is that you’re basically already against almost everyone’s default political ideologies.

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