The Insightful Troll

Rants and ruminations.

On Tyranny

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In his book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, Timothy Snyder looks at lessons from the collapse of various democracies across Europe over the course of the 20th century. A short read on the lessons to be learned and the what we can to protect our democracy.

The European history of the twentieth century shows us that societies can break, democracies can fall, ethics can collapse and ordinary men can find themselves standing over death pits with guns in their hands. We might be tempted to think that our democratic heritage automatically protects us from such threats. This is a misguided reflex. Americans today are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or Communism in the twentieth century. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so.