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The attack on the Capitol and the health of American democracy

Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Anne Applebaum had a disturbing takeaway from the Capitol riots of January 6th: An unignorable portion of the American population revolted against democracy itself. "That wasn't Republicans attacking Democrats," Applebaum argues. "What you saw was a group of people who were attacking the system itself."

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How China & Russia exploit civil unrest as democracy’s failure

A tried-and-true argument that autocrats frequently make to their constituents isn't so much that life is amazing at home, but that it's just as bad elsewhere. That's according to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum, who joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to unpack the enduring allure of authoritarianism around the world. "Everything that goes wrong inside the United States or in Scandinavia or in Southern Europe is immediately beamed back to Russians in the form of state propaganda," Applebaum says.

Watch the episode: Authoritarianism's Enduring Appeal: Anne Applebaum Discusses

Authoritarianism's appeal when democracy disappoints

What is so attractive about authoritarianism? Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anne Applebaum argues it has to do with a fundamental civic disillusionment. "The drive towards authoritarianism for the last 100 years resulted from people who feel some kind of disappointment with democracy." It can be a political disappointment or a personal one, Applebaum argues, that pushes people away from democratic institutions. And it's a trend that has only grown in recent years in some of the world's oldest and strongest democracies, including in the United States.

So how do governments make the case for democracy? That's the subject of Applebaum's interview with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World, which began airing on US public television stations nationwide on Friday, March 5.

Watch the episode: Authoritarianism's Enduring Appeal: Anne Applebaum Discusses

Why anti-democratic movements in Europe and the US are remarkably similar

Political movements that promote authoritarian leaders and anti-democratic governments have gained significant ground in Eastern Europe in the past twenty years. And according to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anne Applebaum, it's a trend that goes beyond that specific region. "This will sound very bizarre, but the trajectory of events and the nature of political debate in Poland is amazingly similar to the United States, the kinds of arguments that people make, the, the level of polarization… you can see this impulse to destroy and undermine the institutions of democracy everywhere." What is the appeal of such movements and what has the pandemic done to expand their influence?

Applebaum and Ian Bremmer take on those questions on GZERO World, which began airing on US public television stations nationwide on Friday, March 5. Check local listings.

Watch the episode: Authoritarianism's Enduring Appeal: Anne Applebaum Discusses

Authoritarianism’s enduring appeal: Anne Applebaum discusses

Across the world, from the Philippines to Hungary to Venezuela, nations have embraced authoritarian rule in recent years, in many cases with significant popular support. What is the enduring appeal of authoritarianism, what has the pandemic done to accelerate its growth, and how susceptible is the United States to its sway? Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anne Applebaum joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to investigate the allure of these anti-democratic movements and to shed light on their unlikely champions.

Podcast: Authoritarianism’s Enduring Appeal

Listen: From the Philippines to Hungary to Venezuela, countries across the world have embraced authoritarian rule, in many cases with significant popular support. What is the enduring appeal of authoritarianism, how susceptible is the United States to its sway, and what has the pandemic done to accelerate its growth? Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anne Applebaum joins Ian Bremmer to discuss.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

Why opposition leader Alexei Navalny returned to Russia after poisoning

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny shocked the world last year when he recovered from an attempted assassination plot by poisoning — an attempt that bore all the fingerprints of the Russian government. Then he shocked the world again by returning to Russia and timing that return with the release of an hours-long documentary that catalogued the Putin regime's extensive history of corruption. Virtually no one, therefore, was shocked when he was immediately sentenced to a lengthy prison term. Anne Applebaum, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and expert on authoritarian regimes, believes there was a method to Navalny's madness. "His decision of '….I'm going to do something that harms me personally, but is going to be a lesson for Russians. I'm going teach a generation of Russians how to be brave.' I mean, not very many people would have the guts to do that."

Applebaum's conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World, airing on public television stations nationwide starting Friday, March 5. Check local listings.

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