Resolute Square

Ruth Ben-Ghiat

American historian and cultural critic, an expert on fascism and authoritarianism.
Credit: Ruth Ben-Ghiat

About Ruth Ben-Ghiat

Ruth Ben-Ghiat is 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, Fascism, and threats to democracy around the world.
Her latest book, Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present (W.W. Norton & Company) examines how illiberal leaders use corruption, violence, propaganda, and machismo to stay in power and how resistance to them has unfolded over a century.
Subscribe to Lucid, her Substack newsletter about democracy and autocracy.

Follow @ruthbenghiat
Paxton Acquittal: Protecting The Lawless Is What Authoritarian Parties Do
From Ruth Ben-Ghiat: "For the authoritarians of the GOP, who no longer see free and fair elections as valid ways of deciding America's leadership, that amounts to an "overthrow," to use Paxton's word. This is where the GOP is now."
September 19, 2023
Neo-Nazis And Neo-Fascists Found A Home In Pinochet's Chile. Today's Fascists Admire That Regime Of Terror
Ruth Ben-Ghiat explores the continuation of Fascist ideologies and terror tactics after WWII, focusing on the Chilean dictatorship of Pinochet and its lasting legacies.
September 13, 2023
9/11 As Shock Event: The Path To Illiberal Politics
As we remember the tragedy and attack of 9/11, it's an important time to revisit Ruth Ben-Ghiat's Sept. 2022 piece on the anti-democratic policies enacted and accepted post-9/11.
September 11, 2023
Racist Proud Boys
The Proud Boys Will Continue to Mainstream Hate
"The Proud Boys have become a conduit for the infusion of extremist energies into American public life and the Republican party," writes Ruth Ben-Ghiat. And they're not going away.
September 6, 2023
Why Mark Meadows' Mug Shot Haunts Me
Ruth Ben-Ghiat on Mark Meadows: "The former GOP Congressman entered Trump's inner circle already mildly corrupt, refused his leader nothing, and exited as an accomplice to the greatest political crimes of modern American history."
August 31, 2023
Demagogues Don't Debate: Trump Mimics Putin And Orban
Trump had to be on the stage in 2016, but things have changed. "Demagogues like Trump, Putin, and Orban evade debates, weakening democracy in favor of authoritarianism," writes Ruth Ben-Ghiat.
August 22, 2023
Rep. Matt Gaetz, Praising "Force," Goes Full Fascist At The Iowa State Fair
"(For Matt Gaetz) even the Iowa State Fair, a family event, is fair game: working in calls for violence while people are enjoying themselves is ideal for receptivity. Would you like some Fascism with your pork chop on a stick?," writes Ruth Ben-Ghiat
August 14, 2023
Israel At A Crossroads: Where Will Netanyahu's Autocratic Aggression Lead The Country?
"When strongmen leaders shake up the political landscape, normalizing extremists and modeling scorn for the rule of law, there is no return to the status quo," writes Ruth Ben-Ghiat. It's true of Netanyahu, just as it's true of Trump.
August 8, 2023
PragerU: A Far-Right Propaganda Machine Now In Florida Schools
PragerU delivers a toxic mix of conspiracy theories, racism, homophobia, anti-feminism, and neoliberalism, and is now part of DeSantis' Florida public school indoctrination plan
August 1, 2023
Spanish Elections And The Specter Of Franco
"When the wounds of a terroristic dictatorship are still relatively fresh --General Francisco Franco's regime started with a 1936 military coup and ended in 1975, thirty-six years later--any defeat of the far right is doubly important," writes Ruth Ben-Ghiat.
July 25, 2023
Stressed About The State Of Democracy?
"We can't work to save democracy if we're not keeping ourselves mentally and physically healthy," writes Ruth Ben-Ghiat.
July 18, 2023
From Fascism To Hungary And The U.S., Authoritarians Target Universities
What happens on campus reflects and often anticipates democratic decline.
July 13, 2023
Patriotism Means Celebrating America's Multiracial Democracy
How have threats to democracy changed the way you view patriotism and its symbols?
July 6, 2023