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Fri May 29, 2020, 10:33 AM

Now's a good time to reread Timothy Snyder's "On Tyranny -- "20 Lessons from the 20th Century."

Last edited Fri Jun 5, 2020, 02:47 PM - Edit history (1)

Lesson # 6 -- Be Wary of Paramilitaries -- is relevant.

Most governments, most of the time, seek to monopolize violence. If only the government can legitimately use force, and this use is constrained by law, then the forms of politics that we take for granted become possible.... For just this reason, people and parties who wish to undermine democracy and the rule of law create and fund violent organizations that involve themselves in politics...Armed groups first degrade a political order, and then transform it...

Because the American federal government uses mercenaries in warfare and American state governments pay corporations to run prisons, the use of violence in the United States is already highly privatized. What is novel is a president who wishes to maintain, while in office, a personal security force which during his campaign used force against dissenters...ordered a private security detail to clear opponents from rallies...encouraged the audience itself to remove people...

For violence to transform not just the atmosphere but also the system, the emotions of rallies and the ideology of exclusion have to be incorporated into the training of armed guards. They first challenge the police and military, then penetrate the police and military, and finally transform the police and military.

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Reply Now's a good time to reread Timothy Snyder's "On Tyranny -- "20 Lessons from the 20th Century." (Original post)
ancianita May 2020 OP
underpants May 2020 #1

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Fri May 29, 2020, 10:35 AM

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