Democracy is in decline. Over half of the world's population now lives under some form of authoritarian rule. Wherever democracy deteriorates, so does support for transparency and accountability. Disinformation about current events thrives, as do versions of history that cover up authoritarian crimes.
Today I'm launching Lucid as a response to this situation. Lucid provides clear analysis about the consequences of democratic erosion and the toll of secrecy and corruption in government, boardrooms, and institutions. The Covid-19 pandemic has made the costs of the lack of transparency and accountability in government brutally clear.
Autocracy thrives when people lose hope that things can change. That's why Lucid also covers the global resurgence of rebellion to abuses of power. This new wave of activism manifests in Black Lives Matter marches around the world, in the global youth climate movement, in resistance against the military coup in Myanmar, and in the increased attention to civic and religious faith in struggles against tyranny.
Lucid is a space of caring and solidarity where we can help each other understand and process the losses we suffer. We need clear minds, open hearts, and transparent communications to recover and rebuild trust, including in our collective power to stand up to situations that threaten our dignity and freedoms.
Building bridges, countering polarization, and helping others to emerge from fogs of falsehood and fear is hard work. Together, we can get it done
Why Subscribe to Lucid?
Three times a week, Lucid delivers essays, discussions, and interviews with people working on the front lines of anti-corruption, human rights, anti-disinformation, democracy protection, social justice, and healing. With informed awareness and clarity of purpose, Lucid readers have the tools they need to effect change.
All content is free for the first weeks, and the newsletter will always have a free component. A paid subscription ($5/month, $50/year) offers thought-provoking interviews, forecasts on American and global politics, live chats, and commenting privileges on articles and discussion threads. Premium subscribers have access to webinars and other bonus content. There's a special student rate: $2.50/month, $25/year. Click the button below to access it.
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I’m Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University, Advisor to Protect Democracy, and the recipient of Guggenheim and other fellowships. My latest book, the #1 Amazon bestseller Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present, examines how anti-democratic leaders use propaganda, corruption, violence, and machismo to stay in power, and how resistance to their rule has unfolded over a century.
Since 2015 I have translated my academic research into columns for CNN, the Washington Post, and other media outlets and into hundreds of interviews with the global press. My knowledge of authoritarianism allowed me to forecast that Donald Trump would seek to implement an illiberal model of governance and use shock events to intimidate Americans - agendas that culminated in the January 2021 assault on the Capitol. I've also written about abuses of power that occur in all political contexts, like sexual harassment.
I bring that expertise and vision to Lucid. I look forward to thinking together about the most pressing issues of our time. You can read more about me and access my writing and interviews here. Follow me on Twitter here.