The Authoritarian Moment Book Summary - The Authoritarian Moment Book explained in key points
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The Authoritarian Moment summary

Ben Shapiro

How the Left Weaponized America's Institutions Against Dissent

3.6 (178 ratings)
17 mins
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    The Authoritarian Moment
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    Inalienable American rights are under attack.

    Freedom of speech is foundational to American life. And now, it’s under attack. 

    According to a poll by the Cato Institute, more than 60 percent of modern Americans are afraid to say what they think – including a majority of liberals, 64 percent of moderates, and 77 percent of conservatives. So who are the people who do feel confident in voicing their beliefs? Those who self-identify as “strong liberals.” 

    Censorship and conformity have infiltrated America’s major institutions, transforming classrooms, boardrooms, and newsrooms into bastions of authoritarianism. The radical left’s truth is the only truth. Feelings trump facts. And all ideological dissent must be silenced.

    The key message here is: Inalienable American rights are under attack.

    Take the social media platform Parler, for instance. In September 2018, the app was launched as a “town square” where people of all political stances could freely voice their viewpoints. Just over two years later, it met its demise at the hands of the authoritarian left. 

    Parler’s downfall started on January 6, 2021, when a group of radicals stormed the U.S. Capitol in an act of violent protest. Soon after the riot came another unexpected event: Google removed Parler from its app store. Apple swiftly followed suit. Finally, Amazon Web Services – the world’s biggest provider of cloud-based web service infrastructure for companies – took Parler offline altogether. With that, the app had been canceled completely. But why?

    According to the speculations of Big Tech, Capitol rioters might have used Parler to coordinate their actions. In a reversal of the American criminal justice system, the platform was thereby deemed guilty until proven innocent. Meanwhile, reports showed that nearly 100 people involved in the January 6 riot were on Facebook or Instagram. Only eight were on Parler. No one could explain why Parler posed a greater threat than these larger platforms. Of course, the powers-that-be at Facebook and Instagram didn’t take their own platforms offline. 

    Similarly, President Trump was banned from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube after the events of January 6, despite the fact that he had advocated for peaceful protests only – and publicly told the rioters to go home. Meanwhile, Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader who calls the United States his “number one enemy,” was still welcome on social media. 

    Big Tech, it seemed, had no consistent rhyme or reason. They simply wanted to silence the opposition. And actions like these spell out a frightening future for American democracy.

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    What is The Authoritarian Moment about?

    The Authoritarian Moment (2021) is a plea to preserve America’s foundational freedoms in an era of rising authoritarianism. Rejecting a culture of censorship and conformity, it urges readers to stand up against the intolerance endemic to many modern institutions.

    Who should read The Authoritarian Moment?

    • Americans of all political parties who fear for their nation’s future
    • Skeptics of widespread wokeism, ideological intolerance, and cancel culture
    • Anyone concerned with preserving foundational American freedoms

    About the Author

    Ben Shapiro is an American political commentator and host of the popular daily podcast, The Ben Shapiro Show. The author of three national best sellers, Brainwashed; Porn Generation; and Project President, he has also appeared on hundreds of radio and television shows to date. He holds a bachelor of arts in political science from UCLA and a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School.

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