Deeply familiar with democratic experiments, and their eventual failures in Europe after World War I, World War II, and the collapse of the Soviet Union, Snyder detects dangerous trends in American politics that may be less visible to most citizens who cannot believe that our country, with its system of checks and balances, could succumb to illiberalism or authoritarianism. Crucially, people who were not Nazis looked on with interest and amusement. The danger of disappearing in an unreal internet community feeding conspiracy fears and distorting reality is omnipresent. Milgram told his subjects some Yale students, some New Haven residents that they would be applying an electrical shock to other participants in an experiment about learning. Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. On Tyranny is a call to action. A slim book that fits alongside your pocket Constitution and feels only slightly less vital. Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic states.
Put a copy in your pocket and one on your bedside table, and it will help you keep going for the next four years or however long it takes. He has delegated authority to his top military appointees but, tellingly, has not yet met with or spoken to the commanders on the ground in Iraq or Syria, the military leaders who know the most about the situation. Some people buy 25 or 30 and give them to friends to read. The danger of disappearing in an unreal internet community feeding conspiracy fears and distorting reality is omnipresent. This is a presidency being shaped by the techniques and tone of television and Twitter and YouTube, rather than the progression of rational argument through sentence and paragraph. Milgram grasped that people are remarkably receptive to new rules in a new setting. Local Austrian Nazis captured Jews and forced them to scrub the streets to remove symbols of independent Austria. Perhaps he is too strongly influenced by European history, as when he urges us to beware of paramilitary power: Can we depend upon Neil Gorsuch? After the German elections of , which brought Nazis into government, or the Czechoslovak elections of , where communists were victorious, the next crucial step was anticipatory obedience. I nonetheless think it has a valuable place in the current debate for its clear introduction and reference to further literature, as well as for the remarkable historical parallels which make the fault lines of history visible. With his Dr Seuss vocabulary, he can present the world as a place of simplistic oppositions, stripped of nuance. This American writer leaves us with no illusions about ourselves. They guessed what their superiors wanted and demonstrated what was possible. It can seem strange to do or say something different. We have one enormous advantage which of course has its negative aspects as well , and that is our active participation in it. Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. He devised an experiment to test the proposition, but failed to get permission to carry it out in Germany. There will no doubt be those who dismiss as hysterical the parallels that Snyder draws between the path to power of the Trump administration and that of the Third Reich. A citizen who adapts in this way is teaching power what it can do. Perhaps because he is a scholar of European history, Snyder has little affection for the American Exceptionalism argument — the long-standing and widespread notion among American writers that our country remains largely immune to the wars, political upheavals, and economic calamities that plagued Europe. Spend more time with long articles. If nothing is true then no one can criticize power. He has written the rare kind of book that can be read in one sitting but will keep you coming back to help regain your bearings. So smart, so timely. Read it carefully and be on the lookout for symptoms.
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Waking Up With Sam Harris #79 -The Road to Tyranny (with Timothy Snyder)
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