For those of you who are similarly horrified at the turn the world has taken in the past couple years, or those who seek to be informed regardless of their political positions, historian Timothy Snyder’s “On Tyranny” is a must-read.
This fantastic book takes 20 lessons from the 20th century and applies them to the current political situation, without ever naming names.
His “lessons,” which range from “do not obey in advance;” “be calm when the unthinkable arrives;” “be wary of paramilitaries;” and “be kind to our language” are all explained contextually and applied, without name, to the Trump administration.
In the words of Trump himself, demagogues like him “love the poorly educated.” While some may decry him (and others who have drawn the parallels) one cannot deny the frightening trends of the Trump presidency that are eerily reminiscent of the 1930s. The way in which the administration has attacked the press (in terms of its legitimacy – fake news ring any bells), women’s rights (in some insatiable need to control), standard operating procedure when it comes to government, and has flirted with the line with force and influence is skirting close to the dictator line. It should, in many ways, be no surprise that the European people and its press, who are far more experienced with demagoguery and its fatal impacts than we are here in North America, were just about the only ones to call the election the way that it happened. History doesn’t repeat, but it does caution. And it is in that vein that this amazing book is written, to serve as a warning to those who need not necessarily be complacent like scores of people were in the 30s.
Honestly, this book is an absolute must-read for politically minded people in North America, no matter what side of the political equation one falls on.
Happy (albeit slightly depressing) reading!