Umair, while your concern over US decline into authoritarianism is entirely warranted, you seem to be conflating a Marxist view of society (which was profoundly wrong in every regard) with self-censorship. Remember, however, that the most striking examples of self-brainwashing occur under left-wing regimes such as the Soviet Union, North Korea, and Venezuela. So the right has no monopoly on the kind of nonsense typified by Trump and the Republican Party in the USA. Moreover the UK is going the same way at high speed, as witnessed by the fact that the biggest liars (the Brexiteers) are in the ascendant.

Our problem is that our ape-brains are tiny and easily manipulated, while our societies have become complex and abstract. So we gravitate towards those who offer simple-minded “solutions” via sound-bites even the dullest-witted can vaguely encompass. This isn’t a function of left-versus-right nor of your mistaken ideas of capitalism-versus-who-knows-what; it’s a fundamental consequence of the hardwired behaviors of our species. Blaming “capitalism” for Trump is as misguided as blaming “the Patriarchy” for closing down Planned Parenthood locations. The real problem is deeper, and by focusing on the wrong things one gets no closer either to clarity or solutions.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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