“The bad news,” Snyder writes, “is that the history of modern democracy is…one of decline and fall…Americans today are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism in the twentieth century.”
and then goes on to elucidate that thesis in twenty lessons, all of which should be self-evident to anyone of average intelligence and education but the meanings of which continue to elude us to this day.
“Do not obey in advance,” is lesson one, and Snyder cites Austria’s “anticipatory obedience” in Hitler’s annexation of their country in 1938. “Defend institutions” is his second, as in don’t believe everything is fake news just because someone says it is. A free press still exists. Support it and defend it.
“Beware the one-party state.”*
No doubt the Russians who voted in 1990 did not think that this would be the last free and fair election in their country’s history, which (thus far) it has been…The Russian oligarchy established after the 1990 elections continues to function, and promotes a foreign policy designed to destroy democracy elsewhere.
Someone has to…Remember Rosa Parks. The moment you set an example, the spell of the status quo is broken, and others will follow.
One word: Parkland.
A cogent 126-page reminder of what we have to lose, although too many of us seem all too ready to cede all authority to the nearest strongman and always have. Vide I Samuel 8.
*I live in one myself. I can relate.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.