of Peace from Webster
Etymology: Middle English pees, from Old French
pais, from Latin pac-, pax; akin to Latin pacisci
to agree -- more at PACT
Date: 12th century
1 : a state of tranquillity or quiet: as a : freedom
from civil disturbance b : a state of security or
order within a community provided for by law or
custom <a breach of the peace>
2 : freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts
3 : harmony in personal relations
4 a : a state or period of mutual concord between
governments b : a pact or agreement to end hostilities
between those who have been at war or in a state
5 -- used interjectionally to ask for silence or
calm or as a greeting or farewell
- at peace : in a state of concord or tranquillity
to Green Dove!
inscribed on our Statue of Liberty proclaim
what we say makes this a special nation:
"Give me your tired, your poor, your
huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,the
wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these the homeless, tempest-tossed
to me I lift my lamp beside the golden
by Rob Kall, via Flickr Commons
from the 20th Century About How to Defend Democracy
from Authoritarianism, According to Yale Historian
in History | January 20th, 2017 - 1.3k SHARES -
Image by Rob Kall, via Flickr Commons
Timothy Snyder, Housum Professor of History
at Yale University, is one of the foremost scholars
in the U.S. and Europe on the rise and fall
of totalitarianism during the 1930s and 40s.
Among his long list of appointments and publications,
he has won multiple awards for his recent international
bestsellers Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler
and Stalin and last year's Black Earth: The
Holocaust as History and Warning. That book
in part makes the argument that Nazism wasn't
only a German nationalist movement but had global
colonialist origins-in Russia, Africa, and in
the U.S., the nation that pioneered so many
methods of human extermination, racist dehumanization,
and ideologically-justified land grabs.
The hyper-capitalism portrayed in the U.S.-even
during the Depression-Snyder writes, fueled
Hitler's imagination, such that he promised
Germans "a life comparable to that of the
American people," whose "racially
pure and uncorrupted" German population
he described as "world class." Snyder
describes Hitler's ideology as a myth of racialist
struggle in which "there are really no
values in the world except for the stark reality
that we are born in order to take things from
other people." Or as we often hear these
days, that acting in accordance with this principle
is the "smart" thing to do. Like many
far right figures before and after, Hitler aimed
to restore a state of nature that for him was
a perpetual state of race war for imperial dominance.
After the November election, Snyder wrote a profile
of Hitler, a short piece
that made no direct comparisons to any contemporary
figure. But reading the facts of the historical case
alarmed most readers. A few days later, the historian
appeared on a Slate podcast to discuss the article,
saying that after he submitted it, "I realized
there was more
. there are an awful lot of echoes."
Snyder admits that history doesn't actually repeat
itself. But we're far too quick, he says, to dismiss
that idea as a cliché "and not think about
history at all. History shows a range of possibilities."
Similar events occur across time under similar kinds
of conditions. And it is, of course, possible to learn
from the past.
If you've heard other informed analysis but haven't
read Snyder's New York Review of Books columns on
fascism in Putin's Russia or the former Yanukovich's
Ukraine, or his long article "Hitler's World
May Not Be So Far Away," you may have seen his
widely-shared Facebook post making the rounds. As
he argued in The Guardian last September, today we
may be "too certain we are ethically superior
to the Europeans of the 1940s." On November,
15, Snyder wrote on Facebook that "Americans
are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy
yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism." Snyder
has been criticized for conflating these regimes,
and rising "into the top rungs of punditdom,"
but when it comes to body counts and levels of suppressive
malignancy, it's hard to argue that Stalinist Russia,
any more than Tsarist Russia, was anyone's idea of
Rather than making a historical case for viewing the
U.S. as exactly like one of the totalitarian regimes
of WWII Europe, Snyder presents 20 lessons we might
learn from those times and use creatively in our own
where they apply. In my view, following his suggestions
would make us wiser, more self-aware, proactive, responsible
citizens, whatever lies ahead. Read Snyder's lessons
from his Facebook post below and consider pre-ordering
his latest book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the
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
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
6. Be kind to our language. Avoid pronouncing the
phrases everyone else does. Think up your own way
of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you
think everyone is saying. (Don't use the internet
before bed. Charge your gadgets away from your bedroom,
and read.) What to read? Perhaps "The Power of
the Powerless" by Václav Havel, 1984 by
George Orwell, The Captive Mind by Czeslaw Milosz,
The Rebel by Albert Camus, The Origins of Totalitarianism
by Hannah Arendt, or Nothing is True and Everything
is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev.
7. Stand out. Someone has to. It is easy, in words
and deeds, to follow along. It can feel strange to
do or say something different. But without that unease,
there is no freedom. And the moment you set an example,
the spell of the status quo is broken, and others
8. Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon
freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize
power, because there is no basis upon which to do
so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The
biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.
9. Investigate. Figure things out for yourself. Spend
more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative
journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize
that some of what is on your screen is there to harm
you. Learn about sites that investigate foreign propaganda
10. Practice corporeal politics. 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.
11. Make eye contact and small talk. This is not just
polite. It is a way to stay in touch with your surroundings,
break down unnecessary social barriers, and come to
understand whom you should and should not trust. If
we enter a culture of denunciation, you will want
to know the psychological landscape of your daily
12. Take responsibility for the face of the world.
Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate.
Do not look away and do not get used to them. Remove
them yourself and set an example for others to do
13. Hinder the one-party state. The parties that took
over states were once something else. They exploited
a historical moment to make political life impossible
for their rivals. Vote in local and state elections
while you can.
14. Give regularly to good causes, if you can. Pick
a charity and set up autopay. Then you will know that
you have made a free choice that is supporting civil
society helping others doing something good.
15. Establish a private life. Nastier rulers will
use what they know about you to push you around. Scrub
your computer of malware. Remember that email is skywriting.
Consider using alternative forms of the internet,
or simply using it less. Have personal exchanges in
person. For the same reason, resolve any legal trouble.
Authoritarianism works as a blackmail state, looking
for the hook on which to hang you. Try not to have
too many hooks.
16. Learn from others in other countries. Keep up
your friendships abroad, or make new friends abroad.
The present difficulties here are an element of a
general trend. And no country is going to find a solution
by itself. Make sure you and your family have passports.
17. Watch out for the paramilitaries. When the men
with guns who have always claimed to be against the
system start wearing uniforms and marching around
with torches and pictures of a Leader, the end is
nigh. When the pro-Leader paramilitary and the official
police and military intermingle, the game is over.
18. Be reflective if you must be armed. If you carry
a weapon in public service, God bless you and keep
you. But know that evils of the past involved policemen
and soldiers finding themselves, one day, doing irregular
things. Be ready to say no. (If you do not know what
this means, contact the United States Holocaust Memorial
Museum and ask about training in professional ethics.)
19. Be as courageous as you can. If none of us is
prepared to die for freedom, then all of us will die
20. Be a patriot. The incoming president is not. Set
a good example of what America means for the generations
to come. They will need it.
WORDS - E'tokmit e'k, rangimarie, hedd,
pace, tutquin, shanti, vrede, paquilisli,
MNP, Onai rahu, amani, kev sib haum
xeeb, salam, shaantiM, hedd, gutpela
taim, lalyi, pesca, damai, raha, fred,
eirni, pax, mir, peace, heiwa, amn,
nabad, rauha,paz, frid, paco, shAnti,
paqe, danh tu, ittimokla, rahu, paix,
beke, shalom, mnonestotse, kapayapaan
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any political party attempt to abolish
social security, unemployment insurance,
and eliminate labor laws and farm programs,
you would not hear of that party again
in our political history.
There is a tiny splinter group, of course,
that believes you can do these things.
Among them are...Texas oil millionaires
and an occasional politician or business
man from other areas. Their number is
negligible and they are stupid. - President
Dwight D. Eisenhower, November 8, 1954
world is possible. Where the choice
is between war or peace, between memory
or oblivion, between hope or despair,
between the grey on one side and the
whole rainbow on the other side. One
world where many worlds can exist. It
is possible for a "YES!" an
"YES!" to be born out of a
"NO!". A "YES!"
that gives humanity hope back, so that
we day by day can
rebuild the complex bridge that connects
thinking and feeling" ....
Marcos, from the mountains in Southeast
can look at war as a massing of arms
and matérial and troops, but
you can also see it as something else--as
a delicate web of interwoven choices
made by human beings, made out of a
certain consciousness. The decision
to order an attack, the choice to obey
or disobey an order, to fire or not
to fire a weapon. Armies and, indeed,
any culture that supports them must
convince the people that all the decisions
are made already, and they have no choice.
But that is never true."
Fifth Sacred Thing" by
we be seeds of peace, may we be seeds of justice, may
we be seeds of freedom .
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