Adolph Reed, Jr. at nonsite:
I know that many liberals, and not a few leftists, will dismiss this account as wildly hyperbolic. Liberals have an abiding faith in the solidity of American democratic institutions; leftists have internally consistent arguments demonstrating why a putsch can’t happen because it wouldn’t be in capital’s interests. It always seems most reasonable to project the future as a straight-line extrapolation from the recent past and present; inertia and path dependence are powerful forces. But that’s why political scientists nearly all were caught flat-footed by the collapse of the Soviet Union. To be clear, I’m not predicting the possible outcome I’ve laid out. My objective is to indicate dangerous, opportunistic tendencies and dynamics at work in this political moment which I think liberals and whatever counts as a left in the United States have been underestimating or, worse, dismissing entirely. If forced to bet, based on the perspective on American political history since 1980, or even 1964, that I’ve laid out here, I’d speculate that the nightmare outline I’ve sketched is between possible and likely, I imagine and hope closer to the former than the latter.