Episode 95: Parallels in Autocracy


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By Michael Shields and Across the Margin / Osiris Media. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In this episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast, host Michael Shields interviews Dr. Wolfgang Mack, who shares his vivid memories of living through one of the worst dictatorships in modern history. Dr. Wolfgang Mack knows what causes a country to slide into complete authoritarian control and chaos, and how legitimately elected leaders are able to grab power and gain control. A young boy when the Nazi Party took over Germany, Mack’s lifelong interest in autocratic leadership and dictatorship led to a career that found his business enterprises in several countries under dictatorship rule and he began to dive deeply into the underlying cause of politicians’ abuse of power — the rights and wrongs in the politics of nations — and basic human morality. In his book Parallels in Autocracy: How Nations Lose Their Liberty, which is the focus of this episode, Mack combines his personal journey and political analysis to assess the terrible damage autocracy does to civil society, and provides an overview of our current political systems and present, disconcerting trends in national leadership. Mack couples his recollections with political commentary that assesses the terrible damage that autocracy does to civil society, and how an elected demagogue can nullify the very same democratic mechanism that ushered him into power. Throughout the episode, Mack recounts what it is like growing up under a state controlled by a dictator, discusses several modern day dictators in the western world, and ultimately examines the disquieting trends in America that are veering away from the ideals of Democratic governmentship.

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