Rabble Rousers: Discuss the Political Economy of the Coming Apocalypse

When: Sat, May 14, 2022 at 10:00am

Secular Hub
254 Knox Ct.
Denver, co, 80219

This Month: **How can so many people believe the autocrats' nonsense?:**
**How circumstance, manipulation, and human psychology allow fascists to amass power**

Last month we examined the events over the past 50 years and the current mood among young National Conservatives to conclude that America's dalliance with authoritarianism is a rising tide, not just a passing wave.

As we came to the end of our conversation, we had to table one particularly vexing question, which we will tackle this month: **Seeing that the autocratic movement contains so much irony, hypocrisy, and absurdity, how can thinking people and voters take it seriously?**  More pointedly, we'll consider the reasons why so many of our neighbors, family, and friends buy into such nonsense.

We'll tackle this conundrum by considering the works of two preeminent writers on the psychology of fascism.

Yale professor Jason Stanley became a prominent pundit on autocratic movements with his 2018 book "How Fascism Works."  We'll use an short review of that work in The Guardian ([https://tinyurl.com/bdzzmjv6](https://tinyurl.com/bdzzmjv6)) as an easy precis for his theory on authoritarianism's appeal to the masses. 

Matthew C. MacWilliams is a scholar and award-winning expert on authoritarianism.  We'll look at two appendices from his 2020 book "On Fascism" to consider what happens to people as individuals and as communities that makes them willing victims of demagogues who clearly intend to strip the voters of their rights once and if they can get elected. (Download a pdf copy from here: [https://tinyurl.com/4n8t7yv7](https://tinyurl.com/4n8t7yv7))

Rabble Rousers meets 10am to 1pm on the second Saturday’s of most months. We typically use a couple of recent articles from the punditocracy as a catalyst for a civil, intellectual conversation of the issues and events threatening our democracy.

We welcome perspectives from both ends of the political spectrum, so that, as a group, we avoid falling into a filter bubble and instead learn deeply from contrasting frames of reference.

Former Jefferson Humanist board member Ralph Hughes and retired economics professor Alec Tsoucatos will facilitate the conversation. They have been conducting community classes on political economy for the Denver metro area for several years now, and they thoroughly enjoy the stimulating exchanges such forums bring forth.

**Please be COVID considerate and attend if you've been vaccinated, boosted, and are feeling well.**

Meetup event page