The Road to Unfreedom Read Ü 104


characters The Road to Unfreedom

The Road to Unfreedom

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 2016 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 our own More information with links to my review coming soon stay tuned

Free read ¸ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ´ Timothy Snyder

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 is a very focused investigation centered solely on Russia's recent history since the fall of the Berlin Wall it's becoming a pure Oligarchy or rather a Kleptocracy What's we get some rather startling and almost unbelievable details into the nature of Putin's aimLet me be clear end aim is very clear He's stated it about a million times He's so confident in his power and methods that I can't see any truly viable method to stop him And so he is open and honest about just how many lies he can get away withWhat's unbelievable is how he's been able to revise history on such a massive scale as to make Stalin a hero rewrite his involvement in WW2 drastically or taking a relatively obscure philosopher who was a contemporary of Lenin and elegize him to the point of near godhood projecting his text as the grand narrative of Putin's Russia Literally He's had the book printed everywhere talked about everywhere and it all boils down to some CRAZY St Like the unfettered belief that the leader is the soul of the nation and that nations are always innocent Harm can be done to Russia but it will always remain innocent There can be no double standards if there are no standards Facts are for other people Use facts as weapons against those who rely on them but never be fettered by them Trust the leader who will always steer you right People in Russia may not believe this st but remember every media source will be spouting it Anyone who has ties to America or Europe are immediately branded enemy collaborators All the western countries are ruled by the Homosexual Agenda and Russia must never fall before themThis is just a taste of the reality under Putin He is a master at reality control After the devastation of the 90's when practically all otherwise well off USSR populace was cashed in and the full reserves of the government power and wealth was transferred to a handful of men it was absurdly easy to lock down everything Putin has an amazing amount of combatant hackers at his disposal Full media control Banking And of course the military Remember when the Ukraine was urged to give up over a thousand nuclear missiles in 2010? And then Putin invaded them annexed them and completely rewrote history about 5 times in order to justify everything about it in 2012? You know like things saying there is no such thing as Ukraine Or there is no Ukraine language It has always been Russia This book has an amazing wealth of information in it Don't take my word for it It'll shock youLet me steal this from another review of this book and btw thank youMethods of control Constant reference to a past era of greatness Hyperfocus on enemies who are enemies because of who they are and not what they do A profound belief in a zero sum or a negative sum world Willingness to hurt oneself if in doing so you can hurt someone else The manufacture of crises and conflicts where none exist in order to control the news cycle Constant labeling of information sources as “fake” in an effort to delegitimize any source of truth Repetition of blatant easily verifiable lies with no evidence to back them up other than the fact of the assertionHis stated goal is to always keep Europe and America as eternal enemies a la Eurasia in Orwell's 1984 That means always being on an antagonistic footing flooding his population with propaganda and just plain telling any kind of lies he likes so long as he gets the results he wants There is no need for any kind of verifiability He is an Eternal Leader who is Always Innocent and he does NOT need Facts He just needs to control every narrative And he doesThe next part of this book is just plain scary We've heard all about Russia's supposed involvement with Trump We've heard both sides make a lot of noise and get nowhere because the signal to noise ratio is absolutely atrocious hereWhen investigative journalism ACTUALLY does its job however a lot of truly damming facts come to light You know those pesky little things that Putin cares crap over?Russian hackers fully bankrolled by Putin's media empire is attacking America This statement isn't just some silly conflation He's on record of saying it and there are MANY records proving it Millions of fake facebook accounts with targeted marketing to tight demographics pandering to prejudices and conspiracy theories fake movements all across the internet including millions of tweets by bots trying to influence the political debates Successfully I might add Many attempts were also made on the voting machines Note the direction almost every convenient leak came from during the election cycles The republican party knew about Trump's many economic connections to Putin including a Trump Tower with MANY rooms bought by placeholder corporations whose paperwork all led back to Russia many new real estate deals The official line was to hush it up Fire officials that tried to investigate it And all the while overwhelming hacker support flowed toward Trump Let's not forget Trump and Putin's long standing friendship They're both fictional characters after all telling many interesting narratives read lies that don't need any factual basis They just need to be plausible for the moment until the power base can be firmed upPlease refer to the list of power grabbing methods Does anyone else see a similarity between Russia and America?It's almost like all the super rich looters are playing by the exact same handbook The goal is to get rich at everyone else's expense If you don't make the 1% bracket you're nothing Just watch for the new grabsLook I said it was nearly unbelievable But I unlike radical revisionist leaders actually LIKE facts If this book tells me anything at all it's to look beyond the noise We can all be so involved in our little crazy lives so much that we fail to see the big picture That goes for politics too What happens when we realize that a MASSIVE concerted effort to game America's political system actually SUCCEEDS?Oh nothing We're still bickering between blues and reds Of course since we do most of that online it's actually absurdly easy to focus all of one's resources on this choke point Russia has a veritable army of hackers fanning the flames of all lefts and all rights stirring up racial prejudices sexist prejudices and any other conflict they can dream up And we buy it Hell most of all these events might be pure fabrication but none of us seem to be doing ANYTHING to confirm or deny them Certainly not our media They're too busy running ideological platforms themselves See how easy it is to sow SO MUCH confusion and chaos on your enemy? And the best thing is WE LAP IT UP use it all as proof we are right yet againWhere are our antibodies? Where is the strong Press that digs up all this crap and shows it for what it is?Oh wait that's what this book is trying to be Lislam Et Le Réveil Arabe this forceful and unsparing work of contemporary history Snyder goes beyond The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English the headlines The White Guns to expose The Book of Football Quotations the Governess Gone Rogue (Dear Lady Truelove, true nature of The Road Back Home the The TV Time Travellers threat The Prester Quest to democracy By showcasing The God Squad the stark choices before us between euality or oligarchy individuality or The Ayatollahs Democracy totality The Silent Sea (The Oregon Files, truth and falsehood Snyder restores our understanding of Classic Essential Vegetables the basis of our way of life offering a way forward in a The Murder Exchange time of The Isis Covenant (Jamie Saintclaire, terrible uncertain This is a very focused investigation centered solely on Russia's recent history since The Excalibur Codex (Jamie Saintclaire, the fall of The Cold War the Berlin Wall it's becoming a pure Oligarchy or rather a Kleptocracy What's we get some rather startling and almost unbelievable details into The Soul of Leadership the nature of Putin's aimLet me be clear end aim is very clear He's stated it about a million The Night Listener times He's so confident in his power and methods Under Currents that I can't see any The Confidential Agent truly viable method The Light In The Window to stop him And so he is open and honest about just how many lies he can get away withWhat's unbelievable is how he's been able Three Entertainments to revise history on such a massive scale as Lissa to make Stalin a hero rewrite his involvement in WW2 drastically or Lissa taking a relatively obscure philosopher who was a contemporary of Lenin and elegize him Red Sky At Sunrise to Taken by the Alpha the point of near godhood projecting his Ghost Children text as Crazy for Cake Pops the grand narrative of Putin's Russia Literally He's had Horse Trade (Saddle Club, the book printed everywhere Extraordinary Circumstances talked about everywhere and it all boils down From Madman to Crime Fighter to some CRAZY St Like The Secret of the Stallion (Saddle Club Super Edition, the unfettered belief Lets Weigh the Evidence that Patient Safety Ethics the leader is Systems Failure the soul of Becoming an Academic the nation and Taking Nazi Technology that nations are always innocent Harm can be done Train Wreck to Russia but it will always remain innocent There can be no double standards if A Political History of the World there are no standards Facts are for other people Use facts as weapons against Modernist Time Ecology those who rely on The Glovemaker them but never be fettered by Timelines of American Literature them Trust Architecture in Formation the leader who will always steer you right People in Russia may not believe Great Powers, Small Wars this st but remember every media source will be spouting it Anyone who has A Bloodless Victory ties Epiphany to America or Europe are immediately branded enemy collaborators All Unplanned Parenthood the western countries are ruled by The Cloak of Aphrodite the Homosexual Agenda and Russia must never fall before Russian Eurasianism themThis is just a Betsy Bonaparte taste of American Hieroglyphics the reality under Putin He is a master at reality control After Wellbeing of Transnational Muslim Families the devastation of Betsy Bonaparte the 90's when practically all otherwise well off USSR populace was cashed in and Interactions the full reserves of Critical Communication Studies the government power and wealth was The Big Vote transferred Gender and Firearms to a handful of men it was absurdly easy Six Essential Fingerings for the Jazz Guitarist to lock down everything Putin has an amazing amount of combatant hackers at his disposal Full media control Banking And of course Defining Shinto the military Remember when Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter and Other Poems the Ukraine was urged Stable Witch (Saddle Club, to give up over a White Separatism and the Politics of the American Extreme Right thousand nuclear missiles in 2010? And The Reign of Stephen then Putin invaded Aliens them annexed Aliens them and completely rewrote history about 5 Not a Nickel to Spare times in order A Journey Through the Last Dance to justify everything about it in 2012? You know like The Last Dance things saying No Go the Bogeyman there is no such Everyday Islam in Post-Soviet Central Asia thing as Ukraine Or Luke Banderloft and The McFarven Pirates there is no Ukraine language It has always been Russia This book has an amazing wealth of information in it Don't A Story of Yhwh take my word for it It'll shock youLet me steal Dominion this from another review of The Routledge Companion to Photography Theory this book and btw Men Speak Out thank youMethods of control Constant reference The Luminaries to a past era of greatness Hyperfocus on enemies who are enemies because of who Educating Intuition they are and not what Poor Economics they do A profound belief in a zero sum or a negative sum world Willingness Anglo-Saxon Emotions to hurt oneself if in doing so you can hurt someone else The manufacture of crises and conflicts where none exist in order The Thin Red Line to control Jeeves in the Offing (Jeeves, the news cycle Constant labeling of information sources as “fake” in an effort Biggles Defies the Swastika to delegitimize any source of The Outlandish Companion truth Repetition of blatant easily verifiable lies with no evidence Scream If You Want to Go Faster to back Fathers and Forefathers them up other The Dinner Lady than False Pretences the fact of Flesh and Blood the assertionHis stated goal is Miss Gomez and the Brethren to always keep Europe and America as eternal enemies a la Eurasia in Orwell's 1984 That means always being on an antagonistic footing flooding his population with propaganda and just plain False Step telling any kind of lies he likes so long as he gets Digital Minimalism the results he wants There is no need for any kind of verifiability He is an Eternal Leader who is Always Innocent and he does NOT need Facts He just needs Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man to control every narrative And he doesThe next part of Slummy Mummy this book is just plain scary We've heard all about Russia's supposed involvement with Trump We've heard both sides make a lot of noise and get nowhere because Boardwalk Empire the signal Magic Tree House to noise ratio is absolutely atrocious hereWhen investigative journalism ACTUALLY does its job however a lot of Popinjay Stairs truly damming facts come Fire with Fire to light You know The Pretender those pesky little A Battle Won things Sunjata that Putin cares crap over?Russian hackers fully bankrolled by Putin's media empire is attacking America This statement isn't just some silly conflation He's on record of saying it and Secret Agent Mummy (Secret Agent Mummy, there are MANY records proving it Millions of fake facebook accounts with geoff, buda ve ben targeted marketing Perky to Spinning Jenny tight demographics pandering A Saucerful of Secrets to prejudices and conspiracy Rayleigh Through Time theories fake movements all across Wannabe in my Gang? the internet including millions of Dive in the Sun tweets by bots The Genius of Birds trying Wild Things to influence Biggles Flies East the political debates Successfully I might add Many attempts were also made on Letters to Chloe the voting machines Note Ford County the direction almost every convenient leak came from during Johannes Cabal the Necromancer the election cycles The republican party knew about Trump's many economic connections Academia Obscura to Putin including a Trump Tower with MANY rooms bought by placeholder corporations whose paperwork all led back Bloot slaat dood to Russia many new real estate deals The official line was Wide-Eyed and Legless to hush it up Fire officials Il rogo di Berlino that Conquest (Making of England, tried The Team to investigate it And all Beatrix Potters Letters the while overwhelming hacker support flowed Fleishman Is in Trouble toward Trump Let's not forget Trump and Putin's long standing friendship They're both fictional characters after all The Rain-Soaked Bride telling many interesting narratives read lies The Nightingale Girls (Nightingales 1) that don't need any factual basis They just need Clever Girl to be plausible for Lost Empress the moment until A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi the power base can be firmed upPlease refer The Fate of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, to Schlump the list of power grabbing methods Does anyone else see a similarity between Russia and America?It's almost like all The Prodigys Cousin the super rich looters are playing by The Demons of Ghent (Forbidden Spaces, the exact same handbook The goal is Pleins feux sur le tutu (San-Antonio to get rich at everyone else's expense If you don't make Bogwoppit the 1% bracket you're nothing Just watch for Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life the new grabsLook I said it was nearly unbelievable But I unlike radical revisionist leaders actually LIKE facts If Dip this book The Day Louis Got Eaten tells me anything at all it's Measuring Time to look beyond Jerusalem the noise We can all be so involved in our little crazy lives so much Bound to Submit that we fail Oil on Water to see Officer, Nurse, Woman the big picture That goes for politics Ghostwalk too What happens when we realize Angel Be Good that a MASSIVE concerted effort Stepping Stone and Love Machine to game America's political system actually SUCCEEDS?Oh nothing We're still bickering between blues and reds Of course since we do most of Life is a Dream that online it's actually absurdly easy უხილავი ქალაქები to focus all of one's resources on Amberville (Mollisan Town Quartet, this choke point Russia has a veritable army of hackers fanning Summer Horse (Saddle Club, the flames of all lefts and all rights stirring up racial prejudices sexist prejudices and any other conflict Zuckerman Unbound they can dream up And we buy it Hell most of all Ténébreux samedi these events might be pure fabrication but none of us seem The Mark of Cain (Long Lankin, to be doing ANYTHING Every Pretty Thing (Darby McCormick, to confirm or deny Forgiving Keven them Certainly not our media They're Cincuenta Sombras de Grey (Trilogía Cincuenta Sombras) too busy running ideological platforms Escape themselves See how easy it is The Nativity to sow SO MUCH confusion and chaos on your enemy? And Miss Peregrine (Miss Peregrine, the best Forsaking All Others thing is WE LAP IT UP use it all as proof we are right yet againWhere are our antibodies? Where is Command Authority the strong Press The Warburgs that digs up all Reunion this crap and shows it for what it is?Oh wait Reheated Cabbage that's what Its OK Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids this book is The Friend Zone trying No Mean Glasgow to be

Timothy Snyder ´ 4 Read

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 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 from east to west The Road to Unfreedom was not the book I was expecting it to be which is not necessarily a problem since the thing it was is at least as good as the thing I thought it would be What I was expecting was a sort of parallel history study of Russia the European Union and the United States showing how various global trends have influenced each of these entities in similar ways What I got was a very learned history of Modern Russia under Vladimir Putin and an clear explanation of how he has influenced both Europe and the United States for his own political endsThe book is part theory and part journalism and the theory is important to understanding the journalism The basic theoretical narrative that Snyder offers goes something like this the two major dysfunctions in a society are “the politics of inevitability” and “the politics of eternity” The politics of inevitable are fueled by wrongful optimism—the belief that history is guaranteed to take a certain direction so there is no need to worry about anything Classical Marxism is a manifestation of the politics of inevitability because it sees history as inevitably ending up with a socialist revolution and the overthrow of capitalism A similar politics of inevitability saturated America after the end of the Cold War as neoconservatives touted “the end of history” or the belief that free market capitalism and liberal democracy remained the only viable ideology in the worldThe politics of inevitability is pretty straightforward The politics of eternity is harder to understand partly I think because Snyder’s terminology doesn’t really work here What he means is something like “politics unmoored from history” Where the politics of inevitability are driven by hope the politics of eternity are driven by despair In this phase leaders portray their nation as a uniuely moral entity that has been historically misunderstood and besieged by enemies It looks to the past for challenges and then presents those past challenges as present realities And it presents the problems to be solved as so great that no government could ever solve them All that a leader can do is protect the country from its eternal threats and preserve its eternal righteousness Fascism is perhaps the clearest example of a form of government based on the politics of eternityThe politics of eternity reuires not only the suspension of historical understanding but a suspension of truth It cannot exist in a world of verifiable facts that motivate actions so it must go to great lengths to separate the people from the facts This means authoritarian suppression of speech of course but it also means massive propaganda But the propaganda is not so much aimed at convincing people to believe that a lie is true as it is aimed at convincing people that NOTHING is true so they might as well believe whatever is most convenient The propagandists of this kind of state as their most basic mode of communication work to undermine people’s belief in facts When this is gone then the state assumes the right to declare what is true and the leader lies with impunity simply to force other people to become complicit in the charadeIn different ways the politics of inevitability and the politics of eternity both bolster the authoritarian state because they both relieve people of any responsibility for the futureWhereas inevitability promises a better future for everyone eternity places one nation at the center of a cyclical story of victimhood Time is no longer a line into the future but a circle that endlessly returns the same threats from the past Within inevitability no one is responsible because we all know that the details will sort themselves out for the better; within eternity no one is responsible because we all know that the enemy is coming no matter what we do Eternity politicians spread the conviction that government cannot aid society as a whole but can only guard against threats 8With this theoretical model in place Snyder spends several chapters showing how Russia under Putin has moved from inevitability to eternity A lot of this is fairly dense intellectual history as the professor shows how the clearly fascist World War II era ideas of Ivan Ilyin were rehabilitated by Putin and other Russian elite He goes through a series of pro fascist Russian intellectuals that produced the intellectual environment for Putin’s stateWhat comes through very clearly here is that Putin is a fascist Full stop That he has not been uiet about that in his speeches and writings in Russia He has openly uoted acknowledged fascist writers and promoted them to highly visible positions He has labeled America and Western Europe decadent enemies to Russia driven by a mad compulsion to homosexualize the world by forcing everybody to allow gay marriage This is apparently the most important issue in Putin’s internal politics Putin has manipulated elections his own and others and suppressed any kind of democratic freedom Any gestures of friendship that he makes to America or Europe must be understood in this context he has pledged to his home audience that he will destroy usHere Snyder brings in another theoretical concept but a very easy one to understand He calls it “strategic relativism” which means in his words “Russia cannot become stronger so it must make others weaker The simplest way to make others weaker is to make them like Russia”This principle Snyder argues has driven Russia’s policy towards the West since around 2008 The two primary targets have been the European Union and the United States A part of this strategy was the invasion of Ukraine in 2014 This was done because Russia’s own geopolitical ambitions call for the creation of a Eurasian state that balances the EU But it was also done because Ukraine was getting too close to Europe and Putin wanted to deprive the EU and Ukraine from each other The invasion of Ukraine was only a modest success—if even that—as a military exercise But it was a triumph of propaganda as Russia figured out how to manipulate world opinion through bald faced lies Twitter and FacebookAnd this is the new front of the assault on both the EU and the US The Russians have figured out how to exploit democracy’s design flaws by flooding social media channels with misinformation and by cultivating Westerners through huge capital transfers and overt blackmail Brexit was one example of this Donald Trump is another Both Snyder argues could not have been possible without RussiaAll of this leads up to a final chapter that is as devastating an indictment of Donald Trump as we are likely to get until the Mueller investigation comes to light Trump he shows has been groomed by the Russians for years starting in the 1990s when he was deep in debt and unable to pay his bills The Russians transferred huge amounts of money to him through unsecured loans and purchases of real estate at wildly inflated prices Trump’s first campaign manager—Paul Manafort—made millions advising Russians and pro Russian Ukranians on political strategies and nearly every member of Trump’s inner circle during the campaign had extensive contact with Russian agentsSo this is not just a few post on social media Russia created a fictional character that Snyder calls “Donald Trump successful businessman” It capitalized a basically bankrupt real estate developer and then started selling him to the world as a politician This does not necessarily mean that Trump himself collaborated with the Russians Snyder is careful to note that It is just as likely that he is a useful tool whose ambition and ignorance made him a perfect fit for Russian intdeligierests But there is no doubt whatsoever that pretty much everything Trump has done since becoming president is exactly what Putin and Russia wanted to happenAnd Trump has governed according to Putin’s playbook which is what Snyder calls “the politics of eternity” Elements of this kind of politics include Constant reference to a past era of greatness Hyperfocus on enemies who are enemies because of who they are and not what they do A profound belief in a zero sum or a negative sum world Willingness to hurt oneself if in doing so you can hurt someone else The manufacture of crises and conflicts where none exist in order to control the news cycle Constant labeling of information sources as “fake” in an effort to delegitimize any source of truth Repetition of blatant easily verifiable lies with no evidence to back them up other than the fact of the assertionThe end game here—and there is an end game—is that Americans become so distrustful of the rule of law and the political system that they no longer believe that anything they do will matter It does not matter to Putin if Trump is shown to be a corrupt bumbling liar What he wants us to believe is that everybody is a corrupt bumbling liar so one is just as good as another And if we get there we will be as miserable as the people in Russia are and Putin will have won by making us just like him Without increasing Russia’s actual power he will have increased Russia’s relative power by decreasing oursOr we could you know do something else


10 thoughts on “The Road to Unfreedom

  1. says:

    The Road to Unfreedom was not the book I was expecting it to be which is not necessarily a problem since the thing it was is at least as good as the thing I thought it would be What I was expecting was a sort of parallel history study of Russia the European Union and the United States showing how various global trends have influenced each of these entities in similar ways What I got was a very learned history of Modern Russia under Vladimir Putin and an clear explanation of how he has influenced both Europe and the United States for his own political endsThe book is part theory and part journalism and the theory is important to understanding the journalism The basic theoretical narrative that Snyder offers goes something like this the two major dysfunctions in a society are “the politics of inevitability” and “the politics of eternity” The politics of inevitable are fueled by wrongful optimism—the belief that history is guaranteed to take a certain direction so there is no need to worry about anything Classical Marxism is a manifestation of the politics of inevitability because it sees history as inevitably ending up with a socialist revolution and the overthrow of capitalism A similar politics of inevitability saturated America after the end of the Cold War as neoconservatives touted “the end of history” or the belief that free market capitalism and liberal democracy remained the only viable ideology in the worldThe politics of inevitability is pretty straightforward The politics of eternity is harder to understand partly I think because Snyder’s terminology doesn’t really work here What he means is something like “politics unmoored from history” Where the politics of inevitability are driven by hope the politics of eternity are driven by despair In this phase leaders portray their nation as a uniuely moral entity that has been historically misunderstood and besieged by enemies It looks to the past for challenges and then presents those past challenges as present realities And it presents the problems to be solved as so great that no government could ever solve them All that a leader can do is protect the country from its eternal threats and preserve its eternal righteousness Fascism is perhaps the clearest example of a form of government based on the politics of eternityThe politics of eternity reuires not only the suspension of historical understanding but a suspension of truth It cannot exist in a world of verifiable facts that motivate actions so it must go to great lengths to separate the people from the facts This means authoritarian suppression of speech of course but it also means massive propaganda But the propaganda is not so much aimed at convincing people to believe that a lie is true as it is aimed at convincing people that NOTHING is true so they might as well believe whatever is most convenient The propagandists of this kind of state as their most basic mode of communication work to undermine people’s belief in facts When this is gone then the state assumes the right to declare what is true and the leader lies with impunity simply to force other people to become complicit in the charadeIn different ways the politics of inevitability and the politics of eternity both bolster the authoritarian state because they both relieve people of any responsibility for the futureWhereas inevitability promises a better future for everyone eternity places one nation at the center of a cyclical story of victimhood Time is no longer a line into the future but a circle that endlessly returns the same threats from the past Within inevitability no one is responsible because we all know that the details will sort themselves out for the better; within eternity no one is responsible because we all know that the enemy is coming no matter what we do Eternity politicians spread the conviction that government cannot aid society as a whole but can only guard against threats 8With this theoretical model in place Snyder spends several chapters showing how Russia under Putin has moved from inevitability to eternity A lot of this is fairly dense intellectual history as the professor shows how the clearly fascist World War II era ideas of Ivan Ilyin were rehabilitated by Putin and other Russian elite He goes through a series of pro fascist Russian intellectuals that produced the intellectual environment for Putin’s stateWhat comes through very clearly here is that Putin is a fascist Full stop That he has not been uiet about that in his speeches and writings in Russia He has openly uoted acknowledged fascist writers and promoted them to highly visible positions He has labeled America and Western Europe decadent enemies to Russia driven by a mad compulsion to homosexualize the world by forcing everybody to allow gay marriage This is apparently the most important issue in Putin’s internal politics Putin has manipulated elections his own and others and suppressed any kind of democratic freedom Any gestures of friendship that he makes to America or Europe must be understood in this context he has pledged to his home audience that he will destroy usHere Snyder brings in another theoretical concept but a very easy one to understand He calls it “strategic relativism” which means in his words “Russia cannot become stronger so it must make others weaker The simplest way to make others weaker is to make them like Russia”This principle Snyder argues has driven Russia’s policy towards the West since around 2008 The two primary targets have been the European Union and the United States A part of this strategy was the invasion of Ukraine in 2014 This was done because Russia’s own geopolitical ambitions call for the creation of a Eurasian state that balances the EU But it was also done because Ukraine was getting too close to Europe and Putin wanted to deprive the EU and Ukraine from each other The invasion of Ukraine was only a modest success—if even that—as a military exercise But it was a triumph of propaganda as Russia figured out how to manipulate world opinion through bald faced lies Twitter and FacebookAnd this is the new front of the assault on both the EU and the US The Russians have figured out how to exploit democracy’s design flaws by flooding social media channels with misinformation and by cultivating Westerners through huge capital transfers and overt blackmail Brexit was one example of this Donald Trump is another Both Snyder argues could not have been possible without RussiaAll of this leads up to a final chapter that is as devastating an indictment of Donald Trump as we are likely to get until the Mueller investigation comes to light Trump he shows has been groomed by the Russians for years starting in the 1990s when he was deep in debt and unable to pay his bills The Russians transferred huge amounts of money to him through unsecured loans and purchases of real estate at wildly inflated prices Trump’s first campaign manager—Paul Manafort—made millions advising Russians and pro Russian Ukranians on political strategies and nearly every member of Trump’s inner circle during the campaign had extensive contact with Russian agentsSo this is not just a few post on social media Russia created a fictional character that Snyder calls “Donald Trump successful businessman” It capitalized a basically bankrupt real estate developer and then started selling him to the world as a politician This does not necessarily mean that Trump himself collaborated with the Russians Snyder is careful to note that It is just as likely that he is a useful tool whose ambition and ignorance made him a perfect fit for Russian intdeligierests But there is no doubt whatsoever that pretty much everything Trump has done since becoming president is exactly what Putin and Russia wanted to happenAnd Trump has governed according to Putin’s playbook which is what Snyder calls “the politics of eternity” Elements of this kind of politics include Constant reference to a past era of greatness Hyperfocus on enemies who are enemies because of who they are and not what they do A profound belief in a zero sum or a negative sum world Willingness to hurt oneself if in doing so you can hurt someone else The manufacture of crises and conflicts where none exist in order to control the news cycle Constant labeling of information sources as “fake” in an effort to delegitimize any source of truth Repetition of blatant easily verifiable lies with no evidence to back them up other than the fact of the assertionThe end game here—and there is an end game—is that Americans become so distrustful of the rule of law and the political system that they no longer believe that anything they do will matter It does not matter to Putin if Trump is shown to be a corrupt bumbling liar What he wants us to believe is that everybody is a corrupt bumbling liar so one is just as good as another And if we get there we will be as miserable as the people in Russia are and Putin will have won by making us just like him Without increasing Russia’s actual power he will have increased Russia’s relative power by decreasing oursOr we could you know do something else


  2. says:

    The Road to Unfreedom is written by Timothy Snyder who also recently published On Tyranny Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century On Tyranny is short and brilliant The Road to Unfreedom is also good but it takes work and concentration But I highly recommend it to anyone trying to understand all the uickly moving pieces in Russia US relations these days If I had read this a few years ago it would have sounded like the paranoid musings of a conspiracy theorist Today unfortunately it rings all too true I listened to this as an audio but had also received a copy from Netgalley It works well as an audio but I suspect it works better as a print book because it would allow for going back over some of the dense information


  3. says:

    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


  4. says:

    More information with links to my review coming soon stay tuned


  5. says:

    This book puts together a story we have only had hints at behind events like Brexit and Trump's election It starts with the neofascist ideology that Putin and the Russian oligarchs have adopted it centers around the ideas of a Russian exile and fascist named Ilyin and has morphed into Russian grand strategy to destroy the west The book is a lightning rod which shows a blow by blow account of the Russian attempts to export their authoritarian vision to other countries by using cyber warfare and allying with far right groups in Europe and America to sow division and chaos and bring down their perceived enemies in the west The Russians have incorporated a sinister protofascist ideology and hope to spread it Brexit and Trump were its fruits Must read Here is the author talking about his book


  6. says:

    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


  7. says:

    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


  8. says:

    This is a very focused investigation centered solely on Russia's recent history since the fall of the Berlin Wall it's becoming a pure Oligarchy or rather a Kleptocracy What's we get some rather startling and almost unbelievable details into the nature of Putin's aimLet me be clear end aim is very clear He's stated it about a million times He's so confident in his power and methods that I can't see any truly viable method to stop him And so he is open and honest about just how many lies he can get away withWhat's unbelievable is how he's been able to revise history on such a massive scale as to make Stalin a hero rewrite his involvement in WW2 drastically or taking a relatively obscure philosopher who was a contemporary of Lenin and elegize him to the point of near godhood projecting his text as the grand narrative of Putin's Russia Literally He's had the book printed everywhere talked about everywhere and it all boils down to some CRAZY St Like the unfettered belief that the leader is the soul of the nation and that nations are always innocent Harm can be done to Russia but it will always remain innocent There can be no double standards if there are no standards Facts are for other people Use facts as weapons against those who rely on them but never be fettered by them Trust the leader who will always steer you right People in Russia may not believe this st but remember every media source will be spouting it Anyone who has ties to America or Europe are immediately branded enemy collaborators All the western countries are ruled by the Homosexual Agenda and Russia must never fall before themThis is just a taste of the reality under Putin He is a master at reality control After the devastation of the 90's when practically all otherwise well off USSR populace was cashed in and the full reserves of the government power and wealth was transferred to a handful of men it was absurdly easy to lock down everything Putin has an amazing amount of combatant hackers at his disposal Full media control Banking And of course the military Remember when the Ukraine was urged to give up over a thousand nuclear missiles in 2010? And then Putin invaded them annexed them and completely rewrote history about 5 times in order to justify everything about it in 2012? You know like things saying there is no such thing as Ukraine Or there is no Ukraine language It has always been Russia This book has an amazing wealth of information in it Don't take my word for it It'll shock youLet me steal this from another review of this book and btw thank youMethods of control Constant reference to a past era of greatness Hyperfocus on enemies who are enemies because of who they are and not what they do A profound belief in a zero sum or a negative sum world Willingness to hurt oneself if in doing so you can hurt someone else The manufacture of crises and conflicts where none exist in order to control the news cycle Constant labeling of information sources as “fake” in an effort to delegitimize any source of truth Repetition of blatant easily verifiable lies with no evidence to back them up other than the fact of the assertionHis stated goal is to always keep Europe and America as eternal enemies a la Eurasia in Orwell's 1984 That means always being on an antagonistic footing flooding his population with propaganda and just plain telling any kind of lies he likes so long as he gets the results he wants There is no need for any kind of verifiability He is an Eternal Leader who is Always Innocent and he does NOT need Facts He just needs to control every narrative And he doesThe next part of this book is just plain scary We've heard all about Russia's supposed involvement with Trump We've heard both sides make a lot of noise and get nowhere because the signal to noise ratio is absolutely atrocious hereWhen investigative journalism ACTUALLY does its job however a lot of truly damming facts come to light You know those pesky little things that Putin cares crap over?Russian hackers fully bankrolled by Putin's media empire is attacking America This statement isn't just some silly conflation He's on record of saying it and there are MANY records proving it Millions of fake facebook accounts with targeted marketing to tight demographics pandering to prejudices and conspiracy theories fake movements all across the internet including millions of tweets by bots trying to influence the political debates Successfully I might add Many attempts were also made on the voting machines Note the direction almost every convenient leak came from during the election cycles The republican party knew about Trump's many economic connections to Putin including a Trump Tower with MANY rooms bought by placeholder corporations whose paperwork all led back to Russia many new real estate deals The official line was to hush it up Fire officials that tried to investigate it And all the while overwhelming hacker support flowed toward Trump Let's not forget Trump and Putin's long standing friendship They're both fictional characters after all telling many interesting narratives read lies that don't need any factual basis They just need to be plausible for the moment until the power base can be firmed upPlease refer to the list of power grabbing methods Does anyone else see a similarity between Russia and America?It's almost like all the super rich looters are playing by the exact same handbook The goal is to get rich at everyone else's expense If you don't make the 1% bracket you're nothing Just watch for the new grabsLook I said it was nearly unbelievable But I unlike radical revisionist leaders actually LIKE facts If this book tells me anything at all it's to look beyond the noise We can all be so involved in our little crazy lives so much that we fail to see the big picture That goes for politics too What happens when we realize that a MASSIVE concerted effort to game America's political system actually SUCCEEDS?Oh nothing We're still bickering between blues and reds Of course since we do most of that online it's actually absurdly easy to focus all of one's resources on this choke point Russia has a veritable army of hackers fanning the flames of all lefts and all rights stirring up racial prejudices sexist prejudices and any other conflict they can dream up And we buy it Hell most of all these events might be pure fabrication but none of us seem to be doing ANYTHING to confirm or deny them Certainly not our media They're too busy running ideological platforms themselves See how easy it is to sow SO MUCH confusion and chaos on your enemy? And the best thing is WE LAP IT UP use it all as proof we are right yet againWhere are our antibodies? Where is the strong Press that digs up all this crap and shows it for what it is?Oh wait that's what this book is trying to be


  9. says:

    For the first time The Road to Unfreedom Russia Europe America enabled me to see the relationship between the lies and fascism of Vladimir Putin Russian interference in the politics of the United States and Europe and the lies and fascism of Donald Trump Seeing the big picture is no less depressing but at least Timothy Snyder gives us a coherent sense of what is ailing us and a chance to defeat these monsters Everyone should hear his message before the United States embraces the politics of eternity as Snyder calls it in which lies manipulation and artificial nostalgia for times that never were propel us into the abyssI have also been reading lately much of the history of Nazism including the extraordinarily expert manipulation of the German people by Hitler and Joseph Goebbels Putin though intelligent and cunning lacks the maniacal ideological commitment of Hitler and his cronies But he does understand how to establish an oligarchy of outrageously rich kleptocrats including himself and his family while keeping the common people confused and repressed Trump can aspire to that idea given that ineuality and racism in the United States parallels that of Russia that billionaires like the Koch brothers the Murdochs the Mercers and the Trumps have been empowered by Citizens United and that the political deck is stacked but Trump is too stupid in himself to implement it I do believe given America's overall wealth power and proud political traditions not to mention common decency that we can avoid the sad fate of the Russians—and the unfortunate UkrainiansWe must however recognize that Putin's cyberwar against the United States and Europe threatens us all He has already done great damage Barack Obama gave a mild reproof and Trump is delighted Let us use our superior digital capabilities to ensure that Putin fails and takes Trump with him


  10. says:

    Early on in the Mueller investigation and the Trump–Russia scandal Steve Doocy of Fox Friends looked into the camera and asked rhetorically “Do you even care?” seemingly asking a uestion but really telling his audience how they should think This book explains why everyone should care about Trump RussiaFirst it explains who Putin is what he believes and what he wants Spoiler alert Putin is not a communist holdover trying rebuild the old USSR Rather he is influenced by far right fascist “philosophers” who believe in the innocence of Russia in the face of an immoral decadent and homosexual west and he wants to weaken western democracies destroy the European Union and replace it with a “Eurasian Union” stretching from the Pacific to the Atlantic and led by Russia Next the book examines the many actions Putin has taken to undermine democracy It’s now common knowledge that millions of Russian fake social media accounts promoted emails hacked from the DNC and attacked Hillary Clinton while promoting Donald Trump But Russian influence operations were also involved with Brexit the move for Scottish independence the French Presidential election and many others In 2012 Putin fixed his own election by electronically adding votes and when thousands of Russians took to the streets in protest he said they were paid as part of a plot initiated by Hillary Clinton and the decadent homosexual west Sound familiar? Worst of all Putin invaded Ukraine and managed to convince people that the Ukrainians themselves were the fascists In 2014 Russian forces crossed into Ukrainian territory and shot down a civilian aircraft Nearly three hundred people including children died on flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur and the Russian government put out numerous stories in the aftermath including that this was a Ukrainian plot to assassinate Putin Finally this book delves into the many connections between Trump and Russia and how Trump willingly accepted Putin’s help in the 2016 election It talks about how Russian money helped create the fictional character of Donald Trump “successful businessman” and how Trump’s associates participated in Russian influence operations on social media and Trump himself lied calling these events a “hoax” Snyder also analyzes some of the deeper socio economic issues in the United States that made all of this possible His theories of “the politics of inevitability” versus “the politics of eternity” are nothing short of brilliant Importantly impeaching Trump alone does not solve the problem Putin and similar leaders will return and unless the US addresses its racial and economic ineualities it will remain vulnerableI want to be clear that I have nothing against the Russian people They are victims in this as well and they deserve a functioning democracy just like everyone else As world citizens we are all in this together and must all resist fascismI also enjoyed Snyder’s On Tyranny Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century review here It’s much shorter and reads like a “how to guide” for resisting fascism in the age of Trump Anyone who likes that book will love this one


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *