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The Road to Unfreedom characters ï eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB ☆ ❰Reading❯ ➶ The Road to Unfreedom Author Timothy Snyder – With the end of the Cold War the victory of liberal democracy was thought to be absolute Observers declared the end of history confident in a peaceful R own political order In this forceful and unsparing work of contemporary history Snyder goes beyond the headlines to expose the true nature of the threat to democracy By showcasing the stark choices before us between euality or oligarchy individuality or totality truth and falsehood Snyder restores our understanding of the basis of our way of life offering a way forward in a time of terrible uncertain. This book is astonishingly bad “Bloodlands” by this author was a decent book This one is confused in theory biased in orientation and paranoid in psychology Essentially the book is a Russophobic rant with Vladimir Putin at the center of a global web of evil with Donald Trump at one of its outer nodes Putin in the author’s narrative pulls the strands connected to the Donald I have many uarrels with this book I will list them until I run out of wrath and gasFirst As a conceit to give a theme to his work Snyder contrasts two concepts of history as employed in political language the eternity view eg we are victims and we have forever enemies vs the view of the present as culmination as in the much discussed albeit trivial The End of History This distinction makes little sense either in terms of intellectual history or as an analysis of propaganda It's just kind of goofySecond Snyder constantly uses the word fascist with as much vigor as the Stalinists did when they denounced social democrats as social fascists or Jonah Goldberg does when he finds fascism in contemporary liberalism Because it's a term of political abuse fascism has lost much of its meaning and there is certainly little consistency in what it means from one writer to another I don't think it has much use beyond Mussolini's Italy and perhaps those who consciously emulated itThird Snyder completely ignores the geopolitical factors that freuently drive Russian policy Russia has no strong natural barriers to the West or to the East as nd has freuently been invaded from both directions Europe’s insistence on swallowing up Central Europe and Russia’s near abroad was bound to provoke a reaction Tsar commissar oligarch or even a hypothetical neoliberal regime would have the same concerns By ignoring geopolitics and wallowing in righteous indignation over Russian concerns about Western designs on the Ukraine Georgia etc Snyder is geopolitically blindFourth Snyder depicts the Maidan uprising as some kind of Kumbaya festival He ignores the rôle of Soros Victoria Nuland and her minions etc in these “color revolutions” that always seems to go nowhere Fifth Snyder ignores Putin’s achievements while harping on his real and perceived faults Yeltsin abetted by Jeffrey Sachs and his ilk nearly destroyed Russia Putin pieced it back together and is building it up again Similarly Snyder glorifies the neoliberal world with its sterile sexuality materialism and ethnic self immolation Sixth There is no social analysis All we see is discussion of various writers who may or may not be influential and a Putin conspiratorial center There are no institutions classes economics nationalities churches laws—just “fascist” ideologues and a Putin centered conspiracy Hardly a way for a trained historian to explain the world Seventh Snyder ultimately notices some flaws in the US although not in the EU but only as conditions to be exploited by a Russia centered Trump conspiracy This is blindness I’m not going to take the time here to enumerate the economic demographic and cultural destruction wrought in our country in recent years—it would take me too far afield—but to suggest that it’s all a Russo Trumpian conspiracy and not a collective failure of the American political class is blindness Jeb and “I’m With Her” failed for good reasons In short this is a boring incompetent stupid misleading paranoid book Truly a loathsome piece of work

Timothy Snyder Ï 7 free download

With the end of the Cold War the victory of liberal democracy was The Road ePUB #8608 thought to be absolute Observers declared the end of history confident in a peaceful globalized future But we now know this to be premature Authoritarianism first returned in Russia as Putin developed a political system dedicated solely to the consolidation and exercise of power In the last six years it has creeped fr. All of the virtues depend upon truth and truth depends upon them all Final truth in this world is unattainable but its pursuit leads the individual away from unfreedom The temptation to believe what feels right assails us at all times from all directions Authoritarianism begins when we can no longer tell the difference between the true and the appealing The cynic who decides that there is no truth is the citizen who welcomes the tyrant Flipping brilliant If you decide to read only one non fiction book this year make it this one

review ↠ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Ï Timothy Snyder

The Road to UnfreedomOm east to west as nationalism inflames Europe abetted by Russian propaganda and cyberwarfare While countries like Poland and Hungary have made hard turns towards authoritarianism the electoral upsets of revealed the citizens of the US and UK in revolt against their countries' longstanding policies and valuesBut this threat to the West also presents an opportunity to better understand the pillars of ou. Timothy Snyder has coined two terms to reflect political states of mind that are ahistorical The first is inevitablilty as in the politics of inevitability; the second is eternity as in the politics of eternity Once defined both will feel familiar to us The politics of inevitability is a childlike state in which we assume the way things are is inevitable unchangeable and meant to be since we've gotten used to it and forgotten about alternatives In the West once the Berlin wall came down and once the Soviet Union had collapsed we thought liberal small l democracy had won once and for all After a while too no one had experienced anything else This is akin to the logical error that says because things have always been some way they always will be When the politics of inevitability prevails we as individuals really have no meaningful political responsibility since the current situation is after all inevitable And for the same reason we don't have concern for caution or limits since what is inevitable can neither need support nor suffer damage Then some new mental framework or attitude against which we have no ready defenses descends on society perhaps in response to some unexpected trauma or shock to the system think Trump or Brexit perhaps aided and abetted by a new disruptive form of media In the sixteenth century that disruptive media was the printing press; at some earlier point it was writing itself Now we're talking the internet and social media After the politics of inevitability is dispatched the politics of eternity settles in The politics of eternity is us them on steroids We are innocent victims of them for all eternity in an endlessly repeating cycle of drama and spectacle with nothing to be done except get with the program get on board get brainwashed and accept along with everyone else the acceptable beliefs Don't think and without thought there is no dissent A modicum of coercion and a dash of violence will season the stewBetween the two inevitability and eternity is a space for history Only in history can we think and act and make a difference That's what the author is aiming for That's the good His heroes are the investigative journalists who see and observe often at risk to themselves enabling us to remove from our eyes the enveloping and blinding shroud of eternity His book's dedicationFor the reporters the heroes of our timeSnyder organizes his book into six chapters with the title of each a political virtue juxtaposed to its opposite The first is Individualism or Totalitarianism In that first chapter he describes Ivan Ilyin the rehabilitated fascist and conspiracy theorist of the early to mid twentieth century whose thinking informs the political ideology of Putin's Russia where the politics of eternity is in full sway helped by the fact that most Russians receive their news via state controlled TV and at the national not local level Russia white and Christian and meant to be at the forefront of the nations is for all time the pure and innocent victim of fascist violation; the West along with its liberalism freedom and factuality is by definition that violator and in the defense against it all is justified The individual too is evil except as a part of the state about which status the individual has no choice The second chapter is Succession or Failure either the state has a succession principle by which power changes hands lawfully or it doesn't the Ilyin ideal being a manly leader who mystically embodies and represents his country and retains power the model that supports Putin's Russia in its current oligarchical manifestation In contrast if the rule of law prevails at the top meaning a real principle of succession then imperfections in the system such as corruption or ineuality are potentially correctable Chapter Three is Integration or Empire In contrast to Yoram Hazony's book The Virtue of Nationalism which has been making waves lately Snyder argues that our notion of independent states is rooted in myth He says that in actuality what we formerly had were empires whose attempted persistence as independent states could not be maintained and from which failed effort they were rescued by the EU The imperial mode is colonization which is familiar so far; but what Snyder points to is colonization within Europe with disputes settled not by diplomacy but by invasion and annexation That's the mode to which a Russia looking backward to the age of empire aspires and which its fascist and totalitarian ideology aims to justify Inherent in those views is that circa 2010 or 2012 Russia gave up early efforts to modernize and liberalize that is to compete with the West on its own terms embarking instead on its current courseNext comes Chapter Four Novelty or Eternity About halfway into that chapter Snyder gets to what happened in Ukraine in 2013 and eventually 2014 Novelty means Ukraine as an independent democracy pursuing country intent on closer integration with Europe while eternity as used here refers to Russian mythology that Ukraine is and always has been Russian so that Russia was going to put its foot down and put a halt to Ukrainian independence Thus Snyder at this point in his book reaches recent history He movingly describes the solidarity resulting from the Maidan protests some of which I believe found expression in his earlier book On Tyranny Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century And he tells what happened a lot of which received inadeuate attention in the West In Chapter Five Truth or Lies he continues with the information war how Russia played Ukrainian and Russian speakers within Ukraine against each other created propaganda that the Maidan independence demonstrations were fascist endeavors engineered by the US and also propagandized its own citizens from outlying parts of the country with outrageous stories for example that Ukrainians had crucified a three year old Russian boy in order to galvanize them to come fight and sometimes die Again Snyder highlights what journalists were doing as long as they could to get out the truth of what was happening Russia had limited success on the ground in Ukraine but practiced its infowar techniues for use in Europe and then in the US And that last area is the subject of Chapter Six Euality or Oligarchy regarding the election of their man in Washington Donald TrumpDiscussion of whether Ukraine is a fascist state still persists and during 2014 the country was hamstrung by what Snyder terms propagandistic accusations schizofascist propaganda that in essence accused Ukraine of being what Russia was Another example of schizofascism is accusing Jews of causing the Holocaust Snyder argues his case well though and he supports his argument on this point and otherwise with ongoing references to reports of journalists and other documentation He does not use conventional footnote markers but instead provides running references by page and paragraph at the back of the bookIn a manner of speaking what Timothy Snyder does in this book is celebrate and defend our institutions even as Michael Lewis does in another very different book I recently read The Fifth Risk Many it seems are content to condemn the institutions that support them with the far Right now co opting and outdoing the Left in that endeavor Since nothing is perfect warts can always be uncovered yet Snyder looks to the conditions that support improvement He looks in other words to history change thinking individual effort and heroism and solidarity The conditions we regard as virtues he says cannot exist in the abstract The virtues can exist only in the institutions that embody themAlso understand that the contrast between factuality and fiction is not a debate I recently received an email from my local paper thanking me for my support and making reference to a debate about the news media There is no debate as the attacks on news are not fact based In fact the attack on the mainstream media for being fake news is another example of schizofascism Similarly there is no debating Trump on his wall since his story of why the wall is needed represents a departure from reality This is my point although based I hope on what Snyder says about political fictionSnyder has heard a call and has written this book to try and educate and alert us He has a difficult task What he is saying can be hard to understand It takes study I had to read the first part of the book twice to understand all the historical phenomena and related mythologizing not to mention all the Russian names I who once upon a time studied Russian Meanwhile a succinct slur can lodge in the mind and rally the wrong troops The fact that the truth is complicated than fiction can appear to be a weakness Not only is the simplistic easier it's also convenient And the fact is that Trump and Russia won Many people here are going around saying that nothing has changed this is just of the same and this too will pass In other words it's all an anomaly a bad dream and the inevitable will soon resume Just as This is not really happening is not a good strategy to deal with a mugging neither will it work in these times In a sense Snyder has done what Nassim Nicholas Taleb says he did in The Black Swan The Impact of the Highly Improbable create a story to fight a story Most of the time he does well the complications and difficulties notwithstanding Sometimes when he's talking about the US I can see him painting with too wide brushstrokes that could catapult him into difficulties for example writing as though Southern whites are a monolith If he does that in areas of the globe with which I'm relatively familiar perhaps others would notice the same for their areas Also he focuses on racial and economic ineuality as fueling divestiture from democracy but perhaps instead the problem at bottom is the lack of dignity and recognition people not finding worth meaning or any sense of belonging Anomie in other words Money after all is a form of recognitionNevertheless in writing this book he's done us a major service Kudos Timothy SnyderEven though the subtitle of this book is Russia Europe America here are a couple of uotes from Americanah about Nigeria showing that people elsewhere know about the politics of eternity How other people in the world have heretofore looked toward America and the WestAlexa and the other guests and perhaps even Georgina all understood the fleeing from war from the kind of poverty that crushed human souls but they would not understand the need to escape from the oppressive lethargy of choicelessness They would not understand why people like him who were raised well fed and watered but mired in dissatisfaction conditioned from birth to look toward somewhere else eternally convinced that real lives happened in that somewhere else were now resolved to do dangerous things illegal things so as to leave none of them starving or raped or from burned villages but merely hungry for choice and certaintyObinze envied them for what they were men who casually changed names and passports who would plan and come back and do it over again because they had nothing to lose He didn't have their savoir faire; he was soft a boy who had grown up eating cornflakes and reading books raised by a mother during a time when truth telling was not yet a luxuryA highly touted National Affairs article by Jonathan Rauch entitled The Constitution of Language shows how disinformation works Rauch is sanguine about our institutions than Snyder I think and he focuses directly on Trump not via Russia or Putin yet the article is very good 2015 piece for Foreign Affairs with on Ivan Ilyin 13 2019 I've only read Timothy Snyder's two most recent books On Tyranny Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century and this one Here's a new article reviewing his work that puts those two books into a context and could help with perspective 13 2019Here is a current New York Times piece that is in line with Snyder's contentions about Russia security officials have now concluded that these operations and potentially many others are part of a coordinated and ongoing campaign to destabilize Europe The Kremlin sees Russia as being at war with a Western liberal order that it views as an existential threat A former intelligence officer himself Mr Putin drew a direct line between the Red Army spies who helped defeat the Nazis in World War II and officers of the GRU whose “uniue capabilities” are now deployed against a different kind of enemy