20 Rules of Tyranny

The author deals with “the politics of everyday life” to show the small ways in which people succumb to the penetration of tyranny or repel it. Much of the initial power granted to undemocratic leaders is liberated, by “negligent acts of conformity” long before the docility of the people is demanded or demanded. Snyder remembers that when Hitler threatened to invade Austria, ordinary Austrian citizens watched or joined them as local Nazis detained Austrian Jews or stole their belongings. “Anticipated obedience is a political tragedy,” the author writes. Tim Adams of The Guardian describes the work as “a guide to resisting tyranny” and concludes: “You will not read a more relevant field guide to this wisdom than this book. [13] Richard Evans, also in the Guardian, writes: “Snyder encourages us to rethink important issues of our time as well as important elements of the past, but he seems to have rushed a little too fast. [14] Milgram understood that people in a new environment are remarkably receptive to the new rules. They are surprisingly willing to harm others in the service of a new goal and kill them if they have been informed by a new authority. “I found so much obedience,” Milgram recalls, “that I hardly saw the need to bring the experience to Germany.” Perhaps the greatest contribution to Snyder`s clarifying and disturbing work is buried in his epilogue, showing the slippery intellectual path from freedom to tyranny. After the Cold War, he writes, we were fascinated by the politics of inevitability, the idea that history was inexorably evolving into liberal democracy.

So we lowered our defenses. Instead, we are moving toward the politics of eternity, in which a leader describes our past as “a vast misty courtyard of illegible monuments to national victimization.” Inevitability was like a coma; Eternity is like hypnosis. 18. Be calm when the unthinkable happens. Modern tyranny is a management of terror. When the terrorist attack occurs, remember that authoritarians exploit such events to consolidate power. Don`t fall for it. 20. Be as brave as possible.

If none of us are willing to die for freedom, then we will all die under tyranny. On Tyranny focuses on the concept of tyranny in the context of modern American politics and analyzes what Snyder calls “America`s turn toward authoritarianism.” [6] He explains that “(h)istory does not repeat itself, but it teaches[7] it analyzes recent European history to identify the conditions that can allow established democracies to turn into dictatorships. [8] [9] The short book (126 pages) is presented as a series of twenty instructions to combat the rise of tyranny, such as “Defending Institutions,” “Remembering Professional Ethics,” and “Believing in the Truth.” [10] Americans are no wiser than Europeans, who have seen democracy give way to fascism, Nazism or communism. Our only advantage is that we can learn from their experiences. Now is the right time to do so. From the entire terrifying twentieth century, here are twenty lessons on what it takes to resist tyranny, adapted to today`s circumstances. 3. Beware of the one-party state. The parties that reshaped states and oppressed rivals were not omnipotent from the beginning. They took advantage of a historic moment to make political life impossible for their opponents. So support the multi-party system and defend the rules of democratic elections.

In the early days of the Trump presidency, there were acts of subversion by officials, including harmful leaks and rebellions on social media that signaled resistance to certain policies or actions of the new administration. Snyder points out that the professional classes – civil servants as well as doctors, lawyers and businessmen – have a special responsibility when individual freedoms are threatened. “It is difficult to undermine the rule of law without lawyers or to hold show trials without judges,” he wrote. “Authoritarians need obedient officials, and concentration camp directors are looking for businessmen interested in cheap labor.” It`s not a completely compelling course, as if television and online debates don`t have the power to bring new ideas or significant coverage to the public. In fact, this book — by far the most compelling volume among the first publications on the resistance that emerged in response to Trump — was inspired by a November 2016 Facebook post by the author. “We are rapidly maturing for fascism. This American writer leaves us with no illusions about ourselves. – Svetlana Alexievich, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 13. The parties that took control of the states were once something else. They took advantage of a historic moment to make political life impossible for their rivals. Vote in local and state elections for as long as you can.

Snyder points to the clear and recognizable steps a leader or party can take to stifle freedom — such as exploiting terrorist attacks to restrict individual freedoms or allowing the rise of pro-government paramilitary forces — but he is particularly sensitive to the misuse of language. Snyder shows no qualms about going, comparing the rhetoric of the leader and the Donald to highlight formulations that serve the interests of the leader and no one else: it hardly means that there is no role for this lonely individual. Snyder devotes many of his lessons to the power of small decisions in the face of the erosion of democracy. “The small decisions we make are themselves a kind of vote,” he said. “Our words and actions or lack thereof matter a lot. In the anger that Trump has given us – and that will outlive him for a long time – 7. Be thoughtful when you need to be armed. If you carry a gun in the public service, god bless you and keep you. But do you know that the evils of the past involved policemen and soldiers who, one day, did irregular things.

Be prepared to say number 2. Defend an institution. Follow the courts, the media, a court or a newspaper. Don`t talk about “our institutions” unless you make them your own by acting on their behalf. Institutions do not protect themselves. They descend like dominoes unless everyone is defended from the start. Historian Timothy Snyder does not offer a correction to such pessimism – he is, after all, a Holocaust scholar – but begins to light a path from it. “On Tyranny” is a thin book that fits your pocket constitution and seems only slightly less vital. Steeped in Germany`s interwar history and the horrors that followed, Snyder still writes with invigorating immediacy, delivering 20 clear and mostly achievable lessons to prevent, or at least prevent, the suppression of life and spirit. 5.

Think about work ethics. When political leaders set a negative example, professional commitment to simply practice becomes important. It is difficult to undermine the rule of law without lawyers or to hold show trials without judges. Authoritarians need obedient officials, and concentration camp directors look for businessmen interested in cheap labor.