Before beginning to describe this week’s episode, I’d like to announce that the Winter is Here podcast and James’ Democracy brief will go on a 2-week hiatus from May 23rd until June 6th as we will be joining my co-host Garry for the Oslo Freedom Forum in Norway and other promising meetings in Europe. However, while we’re gone, you can listen to RDI’s Director of Education, Pastor Evan Mawarire, in his Frontlines of Freedom podcast. Where Winter is Here is more of an analysis of different strategies in the global war between tyranny & democracy, Evan’s podcast is more about individual stories of inspiration and resilience. He’ll be speaking with dissidents who have found the courage to overcome incredible hardship in a way that should offer us hope for our own lives – whether we’re fighting for justice or just fighting to put food on the table. While we are still tinkering with our release schedule, for the next two weeks, Evan’s podcast will be released on Fridays.
Now, on to our main event… Ruth Ben-Ghiat is the Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University. She is an MSNBC Opinion Columnist and commentator on CNN, MSNBC, and other media outlets about authoritarianism and threats to democracy around the world.
Her latest book, Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present examines how illiberal leaders use corruption, violence, propaganda, and machismo to stay in power, and how resistance to them has unfolded over a century.
She joined me to discuss how anti-globalist populists are frequently the most globalist leaders of all, how we can prevent dirty money from corrupting the free world, and why tyrants like Putin actually need to be humiliated in order to be stopped.