dorkzilla (2517 posts)November 30, 2016 at 6:43 am
A Yale history professor’s powerful, 20-point guide to defending democracy under
A Yale history professor’s powerful, 20-point guide to defending democracy under a Trump presidency
Many of the items on this list are what has always differentiated progressives from the rest of the pack – we mobilize, we activate, we listen, we talk. This one especially:
7. Stand out.
Someone has to. It is easy, in words and deeds, to follow along. It can feel strange to do or say something different. But without that unease, there is no freedom. And the moment you set an example, the spell of the status quo is broken, and others will follow.
Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are twenty lessons from the twentieth century, adapted to the circumstances of today:
1. Do not obey in advance.
Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You’ve already done this, haven’t you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom.
2. Defend an institution.
Defend an institution. Follow the courts or the media, or a court or a newspaper. Do not speak of “our institutions” unless you are making them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions don’t protect themselves. They go down like dominoes unless each is defended from the beginning.
3. Recall professional ethics.
When the leaders of state set a negative example, professional commitments to just practice become much more important. It is hard to break a rule-of-law state without lawyers, and it is hard to have show trials without judges.
4. When listening to politicians, distinguish certain words.
Look out for the expansive use of “terrorism” and “extremism.” Be alive to the fatal notions of “exception” and “emergency.” Be angry about the treacherous use of patriotic vocabulary.
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1 year ago #30
1 year ago #24
12 months ago #34
farleftlib (1363 posts) (Reply to original post) November 30, 2016 at 7:52 am
1. Very powerful and brimming with truth
20. Be a patriot. The incoming president is not. Set a good example of what America means for the generations to come. They will need it.
The water protectors believe they are responsible for the next 7 generations. We should begin thinking like that as well, imho. The list is well worth a look and I’m going to look at some of the books on his reading list. Thanks for posting this, dorkzilla.Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. Margaret Mead
dorkzilla (2517 posts) (Reply to farleftlib - post #1) November 30, 2016 at 3:34 pm
5. Honestly, this should be required reading for all people
People are arrogant enough to think they’d see the writing on the wall or that it’s never going to happen again. Half of my ex-husband’s family were killed in the Holocaust, and I remember talking to his Oma about how she got a lot of stick from people because she wanted to leave after Kristallnacht and everyone told her she was being paranoid. Unfortunately she chose Russia to go to and ended up as a “guest” of Stalin’s building the roads in Siberia but at least she (and her husband and only child) lived.
The Crone (3157 posts) (Reply to dorkzilla - post #5) December 5, 2016 at 6:54 pm
26. And the thing is, Obama has
Totally paved the way for the Anti-Christ to follow in his footsteps, so there is that."Let us not seek the Republican answer nor the Democratic answer but the right answer." John F. Kennedy America is the only country that has real lemons in its furniture polish, and artificial lemon flavoring in its lemonade!
vattel (1582 posts) (Reply to farleftlib - post #1) December 1, 2016 at 5:46 pm
17. I agree:
“The water protectors believe they are responsible for the next 7 generations. We should begin thinking like that as well, imho”
farleftlib (1363 posts) (Reply to vattel - post #17) December 1, 2016 at 6:04 pm
18. Just the person I've been wanting to see
Hey there, vattel, I just wanted to let you know how sorry I am for how I behaved in your thread earlier about pizza-gate. I was rude and disrespectful and generally way out of line. There’s no excuse for such behavior and I hope you accept my sincere apology. The thread got locked mostly because of my flaming, so I wanted to say I was sorry somewhere on the forum. You deserve better than that and if we should disagree again, I will behave with the class you demonstrated and not the disrespect I did.
Hope we can be friends.Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. Margaret Mead
vattel (1582 posts) (Reply to farleftlib - post #18) December 1, 2016 at 7:53 pm
19. I really appreciate the apology, and I too hope we can be friends.
Apologies are rare on discussion boards, and yours is a particularly classy one.
FanBoy (7983 posts) (Reply to farleftlib - post #1) December 24, 2016 at 7:22 pm
32. Neither is the outgoing pres, or the one before that, or the one before that —
none of them are “patriots”.
Rider (1974 posts) (Reply to original post) November 30, 2016 at 9:49 am
2. #8 and #9…smh. Damn hard to "believe in truth"
and “investigate” when our media is complicit in propagating fake news.
Great article Dork!If not now, when?
Greenwich (1757 posts) (Reply to Rider - post #2) December 8, 2016 at 10:43 am
31. The monopoly we call MSM isn't a free press —
and a free press is certainly the enemy of corruption of government when it works to challenge the powerful.
In every sense, censorship over our free press since the days of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird has moved control of our press into the hands of the corrupt.
peacecorps (4162 posts) (Reply to original post) November 30, 2016 at 9:59 am
3. I feel the need to come to Trump's defense and shift the blame elsewhere.
5. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives.
When the terrorist attack comes, remember that all authoritarians at all times either await or plan such events in order to consolidate power. Think of the Reichstag fire. The sudden disaster that requires the end of the balance of power, the end of opposition parties, and so on, is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian book. Don’t fall for it.
8. Believe in truth.
To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.
Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on your screen is there to harm you.
16. Learn from others in other countries.
Keep up your friendships abroad, or make new friends abroad. The present difficulties here are an element of a general trend. And no country is going to find a solution by itself. Make sure you and your family have passports.
Thanks for finding and posting this, dorkzilla.
Octafish (3771 posts) (Reply to original post) November 30, 2016 at 12:14 pm
4. 5. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives.
When the terrorist attack comes, remember that all authoritarians at all times either await or plan such events in order to consolidate power. Think of the Reichstag fire. The sudden disaster that requires the end of the balance of power, the end of opposition parties, and so on, is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian book. Don’t fall for it.“Get the truth and print it.” -- John S. Knight
ThomPaine (4790 posts) (Reply to Octafish - post #4) November 30, 2016 at 4:56 pm
6. When the Reichstag catches fire, grab your wallet. Fight the tendancy
to look to the authoritarians for help. That’s what they want. Progressives need to build a cohesive network for support in lieu of looking to the authoritarians. During and after a disaster, keep an eye out for vultures, they will be there.
jdpriestly (5877 posts) (Reply to Octafish - post #4) December 2, 2016 at 1:22 am
20. This is such an important point. We fell for it in 2001 (at least most of us
did), and we can’t let that happen again. We are a strong country. We have nothing to fear.
I think of my ancestors who came here early, traveled West when it came time to farm there, got along well with Native Americans, moved when asked by the Native Americans, loved their surroundings, conserved the earth, helped others and worshiped in their own way, revering the earth and others. That’s where I come from, and I want to carry on the tradition.
My ancestors were fearless. We must all be fearless and set an example for those who come after us.No Truth! No Trust! Bernie or Bust!
The Crone (3157 posts) (Reply to Octafish - post #4) December 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm
27. Actually, I think our
Reichstag fire occurred on that beautiful sunny Tuesday morning, Sep 11th 2001.
And although many average people believe the “official story” is a bit fishy, leaders of both political parties joined together to create two unending wars, and a behemoth of various surveillance efforts. All because of profit usually trumping civil liberties, and what are the lives of people in Iraq and Afghanistan worth, anyway?
Sadie (3069 posts) (Reply to The Crone - post #27) December 6, 2016 at 2:03 pm
28. And today
Jimmy Dore exposes the latest war that Obama has decided to go for Somalia. We are slaves to these wars.Wake up, peeps, their kids go to Harvard and Yale; your kids go to Iraq & Afghanistan.
ThomPaine (4790 posts) (Reply to original post) November 30, 2016 at 4:59 pm
Marym625 (28368 posts) (Reply to original post) November 30, 2016 at 7:36 pm
9. Excellent post!
Thank you! I’m going to stick this for a day or twoTake Action #StopFCC https://www.battleforthenet.com/breaktheinternet/ "Once the decision was made to go into Iraq as an invader and occupier, it’s like our nation lost its conscience. And it has not yet gotten that conscience back." Madfloridian
MattSh (460 posts) (Reply to original post) November 30, 2016 at 10:50 pm
10. Oh my freaking dog…
Timothy Snyder? The same Timothy Snyder who was head cheerleader for the US overthrow of the Ukraine government? That Timothy Snyder?
Hard to take him seriously after he was so wrong so often about that one.The Tweetings Will Continue Until Morale Improves - Donald J. Trump ••
dorkzilla (2517 posts) (Reply to MattSh - post #10) December 1, 2016 at 7:02 am
12. From what I've read
Snyder was/is very concerned about the Russian attitude toward the Ukraine (particularly Putin saying the Ukraine wasn’t a real country) and wrote about the region from a historical perspective. He has real concerns about the Russian creep into the Ukraine, especially as the Russians are trying very hard (and going back 1000 years of history to back their claim) to prove that the Ukraine never existed and therefore is their’s for the taking. I understand his being alarmed by this. I haven’t read any of this cheerleading you speak of but it is perhaps something I’ve overlooked.
I’m not challenging your opinion, especially as you live in Eastern Europe, but I just don’t see it the same way. If Snyder did, in fact, call for a US overthrow of the Ukraine government, I’m not sure what that has to do with this article. I’ve made some piss-poor decisions in my life, but that doesn’t mean that my decision making is flawed for life (I’m referring to my 2 lousy ex-husbands-I now have a really awesome one). Is there anything you can point to in THIS article you disagree with?
ozoneman (607 posts) (Reply to dorkzilla - post #12) December 1, 2016 at 4:58 pm
16. That's pretty recent.
We remember Victoria Nuland, that is a truth. Samantha Powers, another truth. A coup orchestrated by the U.S., another truth.
I don’t see a single thing on the list that doesn’t apply to Obama administration, or with Clinton as Secretary of State. “We came, we saw, he died.” And so did the sovereign nation of Lybia. Ask them if they’re happier now. Ask Syria if they’re happier now with Obama’s war. Just asking, truth seeking.
Fact is, there is not much difference between Democrats and Republicans. If Trump can end the wars that have killed millions that Obama started, I think that will be well worth whatever Republican agenda we have to live through.
Next time, Bernie should take off the gloves and expose Hillary for the war criminal she is.
Sadie (3069 posts) (Reply to ozoneman - post #16) December 6, 2016 at 2:14 pm
29. And now
Obama is on to a new war for oil in Somalia. The US Empire building at the cost of innocent children is never ending.Wake up, peeps, their kids go to Harvard and Yale; your kids go to Iraq & Afghanistan.
ozoneman (607 posts) (Reply to Sadie - post #29) December 6, 2016 at 3:45 pm
arendt (1432 posts) (Reply to MattSh - post #10) December 2, 2016 at 8:44 pm
22. Quartz is a yuppie, corporatist rag. This article ducks corporate responsiblity
A while back, I flagged an article that “covered” a demonstration in Moscow.
The report was written by a Viet Namese-American, living in Manhattan, who had a job as a TED talk facilitaor or some such title.
That’s the “strength” of their news coverage. Phone it in.
Look at their Founding Partners page
We would like to thank our launch partners, Chevron, Boeing, Credit Suisse and Cadillac for supporting us
We are grateful to our launch partner, GE, for its support of our foray into one of the world’s largest economies: India.
The site is corporate to the core. I did not like the way this article avoided mentioning that corporations are behind the trouble that they are giving advice about how to resist.
Frankly, I thought the article was a giant deflection from the role of corporations in the coming authoritarian state.
Would not recommend it. Sorry to see it pinned to anything but the trash bin.
travelerxxx (11 posts) (Reply to MattSh - post #10) December 3, 2016 at 1:55 am
24. Snyder pushes McCarthyte PropOrNot site in original
I first read this list of Snyder’s while investigating the PropOrNot site, where I followed a link. Now, I cannot find the link to Timothy Snyder’s Facebook page there (which I believe is the original of this list). If you go to Snyder’s Facebook page, you will indeed find his list. However, the list was modified on Dec. 2. Snyder cites the removal of the reference:
(PPS: I removed a reference to a website, which as friends have pointed out is too context-specific for what has become a public and widely-read list. 2 December 2016)
The website he refers to is PropOrNot. Here is the text of the original point number nine:
9. Investigate. Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on your screen is there to harm you. Bookmark PropOrNot or other sites that investigate foreign propaganda pushes.
Here is the present text of point number nine:
9. Investigate. Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on your screen is there to harm you. Learn about sites that investigate foreign propaganda pushes.
So, now the direct reference to PropOrNot is deleted, and we are advised to “… Learn about sites that investigate foreign propaganda pushes.” Yeah, right. And just who would that be, pray tell? Let me guess…..
Gracchus (1257 posts) (Reply to original post) November 30, 2016 at 11:14 pm
11. A lot of good stuff here.
I especially agree with the idea of getting out in the real world and not letting the Internet consume you. I fail that test often. But when you get out and talk to people you build empathy which can help make you less likely to fall for authoritarianism.
arendt (1432 posts) (Reply to Gracchus - post #11) December 2, 2016 at 8:46 pm
23. You first need to check your Internet sources. Quartz is corporate to the core
See my #22 on this.
CNW (2487 posts) (Reply to original post) December 1, 2016 at 4:51 pm
Enthusiast (11192 posts) (Reply to original post) December 2, 2016 at 5:07 am
21. Kicked and Recommended!"The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. There would be no place to hide." Frank Church "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." - Frederic Bastiat, 1848
Phlem (643 posts) (Reply to original post) December 5, 2016 at 11:25 am
25. Seems like critical thinking, only his flavor.
Here’s a hint, try thinking for yourselves and use logic. That combined with psychology and you can read politicians like a book and a lot of other people. We are complex creatures but when it comes to contemporary politics, assume everything they say is a lie until proven true.
Words are words, it’s the action that matters.
VoiceOfReason (985 posts) (Reply to Phlem - post #25) January 22, 2017 at 8:44 am
cause actions and action cause words, which is not a bad thingy."Men who do evil brilliantly are often admired" Voltaire BERN BABY BERN!! War is madness!
Phlem (643 posts) (Reply to VoiceOfReason - post #33) January 24, 2017 at 11:42 am
34. of which can equal good or bad things to happen so…..
I’m back to what I said. Thinking is good.
VoiceOfReason (985 posts) (Reply to Phlem - post #34) January 24, 2017 at 1:03 pm
35. that's cool"Men who do evil brilliantly are often admired" Voltaire BERN BABY BERN!! War is madness!
2cannan (1418 posts) (Reply to original post) February 14, 2017 at 10:32 am
36. Really good follow up article by the same professor
Time Is Already Running Out on Our Democracy, Says Expert
“I wanted to remind my fellow Americans that intelligent people, not so different from ourselves, have experienced the collapse of a republic before. It is one example among many. Republics, like other forms of government, exist in history and can rise and fall.”
Snyder points to the desperate need to shake off historical amnesia as the Trump administration looks to authoritarian regimes as models. “[O]ne reason why we cannot forget the 1930s is that the presidential administration is clearly thinking about them, but in a positive sense,” Snyder stated. “They seem to be after a kind of redo of the 1930s with Roosevelt where the Americans take a different course—where we don’t build a welfare state and don’t intervene in Europe to stop fascism. Lindbergh instead of FDR. That is their notion. Something went wrong with Roosevelt and now they want to go back and reverse it.”
“During the campaign [Trump] used the slogan ‘America First’ and then was informed that this was the name of a movement that tried to prevent the United States from fighting Nazi Germany and was associated with nativists and white supremacists. He claimed then not to have known that. But in the inaugural address he made ‘America First’ his central theme, and now he can’t say that he doesn’t know what it means. And of course Bannon knows what it means. America First is precisely the conjuration of this alternative America of the 1930s where Charles Lindbergh is the hero. This inaugural address reeked of the 1930s.”
Snyder urges immediate resistance to the administration’s targeting of Muslims, immigrants, blacks and LGBT people, because if it can “slice off one group, it can do the same to others.” He says protest and pushback should continue with regularity.