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(7,178 posts)
Sat Nov 26, 2016, 09:28 PM Nov 2016

What you yes, you can do to save America from tyranny

Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so.

Here are 20 lessons from across the fearful 20th century, adapted to the circumstances of today.

1. Do not obey in advance. Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You've already done this, haven't you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom.

2. Defend an institution. Follow the courts or the media, or a court or a newspaper. Do not speak of "our institutions" unless you are making them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions don't protect themselves. They go down like dominoes unless each is defended from the beginning.

3. Recall professional ethics. When the leaders of state set a negative example, professional commitments to just practice become much more important. It is hard to break a rule-of-law state without lawyers, and it is hard to have show trials without judges.

4. When listening to politicians, distinguish certain words. 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.

5. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives. 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.

More: http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2016/11/21/learning-history-can-save-america-tyranny
15 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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What you yes, you can do to save America from tyranny (Original Post) Madam45for2923 Nov 2016 OP
Please pass along. Madam45for2923 Nov 2016 #1
K&R MontanaMama Nov 2016 #2
bookmarked, rec'd, kicked barbtries Nov 2016 #3
Excellent advice! Silver Gaia Nov 2016 #4
They are already expanding the definition to include Protestors. Dustlawyer Nov 2016 #5
We need to fight all this! Madam45for2923 Nov 2016 #7
The USA is plagued with rabid patriotism BSdetect Nov 2016 #6
KnR! Madam45for2923 Nov 2016 #8
To be honest, LWolf Nov 2016 #9
Do say more! Madam45for2923 Nov 2016 #10
I say plenty more on a regular basis. LWolf Nov 2016 #12
Alright! Be well! Madam45for2923 Nov 2016 #13
I want to remember this. Nt duhneece Nov 2016 #11
A Yale history professors powerful, 20-point guide to defending democracy under a Trump presidency mahatmakanejeeves Dec 2016 #14
Thank You! Madam45for2923 Dec 2016 #15


(10,502 posts)
5. They are already expanding the definition to include Protestors.
Sun Nov 27, 2016, 12:32 AM
Nov 2016

It seems they are "economic terrorists" that cause property damage. Yea, they slip a few black flags into the protesters to incite and commit destruction. Voila! Instant terrorists!


(46,179 posts)
9. To be honest,
Sun Nov 27, 2016, 03:48 PM
Nov 2016

and I know that honesty is often not appreciated at DU, while these are good tips, I would rather people have paid attention before they were necessary.

This outcome was predictable, was predicted by many, and derided by so many of those now outraged and offering advice for how to deal with it. If only they'd offered better ideas before it reached this point.

It simply exhausts and discourages me to see so many jumping in with "solutions" when they ignored the real solution. It doesn't inspire me to jump in.

I guess the silver lining is that we might, now, be able to oppose bad policy without being shouted down as disloyal.

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