Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Defending Democracy: Next Steps

Here's one history professor's list of things to do to prevent an even worse situation.  It gets patriotic at the end, but I like these bits:
"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. . . . 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. . . . . Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. Make new friends and march with them. . . . Make eye contact and small talk. . . . Be as courageous as you can. . . . Be ready to say no."
And turn off social media to READ books and longer articles:
"What to read? Perhaps The Power of the Powerless by Václav Havel, 1984 by George Orwell, The Captive Mind by Czesław Milosz, The Rebel by Albert Camus, The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt, or Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev."

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Handmaid's Tale by Atwood becomes ever more compelling.