Thursday, June 22, 2017

On Tyranny

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century / Timothy Snyder, 126 pp.

Here's what happened.  On a Wednesday in November 2016, Timothy Snyder, the Housum Professor of History at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, and author of the fantastic Black Earth, had a bad day.  In this he was not alone.

In the aftermath of this very bad day, Snyder took his acute historical acumen, much of which has been trained on totalitarian regimes from the 20th century, and came up with a list of recommendations for those of us who might be feeling a little worried about the current state of affairs:

Do not obey in advance.
Defend institutions. (like courts)
Beware the one-party state.
Take responsibility for the face of the world. (the physical and virtual presence of propaganda)
 & etc.

Although it feels like it was written in haste, it's still powerful, and it certainly makes sense.  I just wish it had made me feel better.

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