In his bestselling book The End of Power, Moisés Naím examined power-diluting forces. In The Revenge of Power, Naím turns to the trends, conditions, technologies and behaviors that are contributing to the concentration of power, and to the clash between those forces that weaken power and those that strengthen it. He concentrates on the three “P”s—populism, polarization, and post-truths. All of which are as old as time, but are combined by today’s autocrats to undermine democratic life in new and frightening ways. Power has not changed. But the way people go about gaining it and using it has been transformed.
The Revenge of Power is packed with alluring characters, riveting stories about power grabs and loses, and vivid examples of the tricks and tactics used by autocrats to counter the forces that are weakening their power. It connects the dots between global events and political tactics that, when taken together, show a profound and often stealthy transformation in power and politics worldwide. Using the best available data and insights taken from recent research in the social sciences, Naím reveals how, on close examination, the same set of strategies to consolidate power pop up again and again in places with vastly different political, economic, and social circumstances, and offers insights about what can be done to ensure that freedom and democracy prevail.
The outcomes of these battles for power will determine if our future will be more autocratic or more democratic. Naím addresses the questions at the heart of the matter: Why is power concentrating in some places while in others it is fragmenting and degrading? And the big question: What is the future of freedom?