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Fri Sep 14, 2018, 10:21 AM

A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come

Yikes

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/10/poland-polarization/568324/

In a famous journal he kept from 1935 to 1944, the Romanian writer Mihail Sebastian chronicled an even more extreme shift in his own country. Like me, Sebastian was Jewish; like me, most of his friends were on the political right. In his journal, he described how, one by one, they were drawn to fascist ideology, like a flock of moths to an inescapable flame. He recounted the arrogance and confidence they acquired as they moved away from identifying themselves as Europeans—admirers of Proust, travelers to Paris—and instead began to call themselves blood-and-soil Romanians. He listened as they veered into conspiratorial thinking or became casually cruel. People he had known for years insulted him to his face and then acted as if nothing had happened. “Is friendship possible,” he wondered in 1937, “with people who have in common a whole series of alien ideas and feelings—so alien that I have only to walk in the door and they suddenly fall silent in shame and embarrassment?”

This is not 1937. Nevertheless, a parallel transformation is taking place in my own time, in the Europe that I inhabit and in Poland, a country whose citizenship I have acquired. And it is taking place without the excuse of an economic crisis of the kind Europe suffered in the 1930s. Poland’s economy has been the most consistently successful in Europe over the past quarter century. Even after the global financial collapse in 2008, the country saw no recession. What’s more, the refugee wave that has hit other European countries has not been felt here at all. There are no migrant camps, and there is no Islamist terrorism, or terrorism of any kind.

More important, though the people I am writing about here, the nativist ideologues, are perhaps not all as successful as they would like to be (about which more in a minute), they are not poor and rural, they are not in any sense victims of the political transition, and they are not an impoverished underclass. On the contrary, they are educated, they speak foreign languages, and they travel abroad—just like Sebastian’s friends in the 1930s.

What has caused this transformation? Were some of our friends always closet authoritarians? Or have the people with whom we clinked glasses in the first minutes of the new millennium somehow changed over the subsequent two decades? My answer is a complicated one, because I think the explanation is universal. Given the right conditions, any society can turn against democracy. Indeed, if history is anything to go by, all societies eventually will.


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Reply A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come (Original post)
Recursion Friday OP
Pachamama Friday #1
mahina Friday #2
dalton99a Friday #4
Pachamama Friday #5
California_Republic Friday #6
elleng Friday #3
appalachiablue Friday #7

Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 10:24 AM

1. Chilling and Great Read K&R



It can happen here

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 10:31 AM

2. It's the Stanford Prison Experiment scaled up. The capacity to become a monster is within each.

Some can fight it. Thanks for shining some light.

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Response to mahina (Reply #2)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 11:16 AM

4. +1

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Response to mahina (Reply #2)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 11:21 AM

5. "Who gets to define a nation? And who, therefore, gets to rule a nation?"

....."For a long time, we have imagined that these questions were settled—but why should they ever be?"



I agree with you Mahina - it is like a Macro Stanford Prison Experiment.....

And yes, the capacity to become a monster is within each of us, some can fight it.

It is however frightening when you see your friends and neighbors and family not be able to and to "change" before your very eyes.

Somewhere there is an analogy with these Zombie themed movies....they are the person, but transformed to something unknown...

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Response to mahina (Reply #2)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 11:29 AM

6. Take away from Stanford Prison experim


They were interviewing the lead antagonist and the end of the movie

‘Why did you do it?’

Paraphrasing : “ they just let me, they all just let me do it “

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 11:09 AM

3. U.S. Attack on I.C.C. Is Seen as Bolstering World's Despots.

THE HAGUE — In a city that symbolizes international peace and justice, the ambassador from Burundi has had a lonely job. As her government faces accusations of murder, rape and torture, she has made the unpopular argument that the International Criminal Court should butt out.

The ambassador, Vestine Nahimana, says the court is a politicized, unchecked intrusion on Burundi’s sovereignty. “It’s difficult,” Ms. Nahimana said in an interview here. “In a way, we’ve been isolated.”

No longer. Her critiques echo those of warlords and despots whose arguments have long been dismissed by the West. But Burundi’s position got a powerful voice of support this week from President Trump, whose national security adviser, John R. Bolton, declared the international court “ineffective, unaccountable, and indeed, outright dangerous,” and threatened sanctions against the court’s prosecutors and judges who pursued cases against Americans.

“We can only rejoice that another country has seen the same wrong,” Ms. Nahimana said. “Perhaps this will be a message that the sovereignty of a country must be respected, in the U.S. and in other countries. That’s also what the White House asks.”

For the Trump administration, Mr. Bolton’s speech was the latest example of disdain for global organizations and — in this case — taking the same side as strongmen and dictators. But for the International Criminal Court, a relatively young institution, the new White House policy of open hostility comes at a perilous time.'>>>

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/13/world/europe/icc-burundi-bolton.html?

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 11:57 AM

7. K & R. Warning from Europe is right, big time-

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