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The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe,…
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The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America (edició 2018)

de Timothy Snyder (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
413946,054 (4.22)17
"From the author of On Tyranny comes a stunning new chronicle of the rise of authoritarianism from Russia to Europe and America. With the end of the Cold War, the victory of liberal democracy was thought to be final. Observers declared the end of history, confident in a peaceful, globalized future. This faith was misplaced. Authoritarianism returned to Russia, as Putin found fascist ideas that could be used to justify rule by the wealthy. In the 2010s, it has spread from east to west, aided by Russian warfare in Ukraine and cyberwar and information war in Europe and the United States. Russia found allies among nationalists, oligarchs, and radicals everywhere, and its drive to dissolve Western institutions, states, and values found resonance within the West itself. The rise of populism, the British vote against the EU, and the election of Donald Trump were all Russian goals, but their achievement reveals the vulnerability of Western societies and the uncertain character of Western political order. This fundamental challenge to democracy presents an opportunity to better understand the pillars of our own political order. In this forceful and unsparing work of contemporary history, based on vast research as well as personal reporting, Snyder goes beyond the headlines to expose the true nature of the threat to democracy and law. By revealing the stark choices before us--between equality 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 uncertainty"--Provided by publisher.… (més)
Membre:CKHarwood
Títol:The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America
Autors:Timothy Snyder (Autor)
Informació:Tim Duggan Books (2018), 368 pages
Col·leccions:Per llegir
Valoració:
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America de Timothy Snyder

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Es mostren 1-5 de 9 (següent | mostra-les totes)
This book makes the case that many or most of the declines in openness and freedom over the last three decades in Western Europe and in the United States can be traced by a consistent effort by Vladimir Putin's Russia to spread strife to other nations which are seen as perpetual enemies. The author goes back to the first half of the twentieth century where a man I'd never heard of before, Ivan Alexandrovich Ilyin, put together the right-wing counterpart of the Russian Communist philosophies. Ilyin died in the 1950s but was brought back in the 1990s as someone who explained the misfortunes experienced by that country as a kind of contagion by the decadent and evil west which was determined to frustrate the realization of a united Eurasian empire inspired by the kingdom of Kievan Rus in the early Middle Ages centered. The rise of the class of oligarchs found themes in this philosophy which suited the kinds of things they were doing to enhance their personal wealth, much of it revolving around a narrative of endless struggle with outside nations which parallels the class struggle emphasized by the left.

The author then focuses on the years between 2010 and 2016 when Putin had consolidated his power as lifetime ruler and has gathered other oligarchical families in Russia and outside. The invasion of Ukraine is part military operation, part cyberwar, and a good deal psyops to the population of Russia. The presentation is not scholarly and there are no guides to primary sources here, so the careful reader would have to do a good deal of fact-checking on their own to verify the dozens or hundreds of incidents covered. There are a few names which recur over and over as fellow travelers with fascistic tendencies hoping to emulate the successes in their own governments. Towards the end of this section come the more or less direct attacks against the political systems of Poland, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. I got the impression that they must have been pleased with the amount of success they have had beyond their wildest dreams in foisting a kleptocratic structure modeled on the Russian oligarchy on America as punishment for our attempts to meddle in their affairs over the past century.

It is a horror story for a person who believes in the old myths about liberal democracy and about its inevitable spread among all nations. It made me angry and outraged that this whole scheme played out so perfectly to Putin's advantage and still somehow left him as something other than an utter pariah in public opinion. Of course the other world leaders do not have the freedom to shun such a dangerous character, and of course there are thousands of Ukrainians who know how the actions on the ground and the embrace of alternative facts came so close to dismembering their entire country, and yet it doesn't seem like there's an enormous reservoir of loathing among Western European and North American citizens at what he has orchestrated over all this time. There have been dangerous strongmen in the past which weren't greeted with a collective shrug. There have been sanctions, but beyond that, it seems like there has been no way to register the kind of revulsion these kinds of authoritarian moves cause in people who still believe in Enlightenment ideals.

I listened to the audiobook version of this and found it maybe even more gripping than it would have been in print. This is a case where the voice of the author add something to the experience of the work; it makes it easier to hear the alarm bells he's ringing, in my opinion. I found it an absorbing work that scared me out of my wits that I would recommend to anyone who would want to be shaken in the same way. ( )
  rmagahiz | Jul 9, 2020 |
Snyder makes a compelling and well-supported case that the US, as a country of increasing inequality, has made itself ripe for oligarchy and vulnerable to foreign influence toward the destabilization of our democracy, as seen by the ongoing cyberattacks by Russia and the complicity and complacency of US elected officials who stand to gain from such attacks. This book puts into context the history we're living right now and provides a general roadmap towards recovering our democracy.

Hopefully this perspective will help inoculate me against misinformation and obfuscation, especially in the realm of memes, trolls, and bots, and give me the courage to point out such attempts at manipulation when I see them. The courage to connect with others and to not lose hope in democracy would also be welcome. ( )
1 vota ImperfectCJ | Jun 28, 2020 |
In suffering contrasts, in deprivation we truly recognize what is responsible freedom, when we lose love, we know what was love, when we lose liberty and fairness, svoboda of choice, chance and Will, then we recognize the iron grip of unfreedom. A new battleground for hearts and minds, unity, trust and cooperation. And as Sufis once called jihad the "inner battle of heart for goodness" so neoplatonics seen Gigantomachy of the soul in inner warfare of people. Dont let them sell the remnants of beautiful ideas to the thieves of Reality, words, symbols in an ongoing substitution of the humane for the corrupt and ugly. ( )
  vucjipastir | Jun 7, 2020 |
In suffering contrasts, in deprivation we truly recognize what is responsible freedom, when we lose love, we know what was love, when we lose liberty and fairness, svoboda of choice, chance and Will, then we recognize the iron grip of unfreedom. A new battleground for hearts and minds, unity, trust and cooperation. And as Sufis once called jihad the "inner battle of heart for goodness" so neoplatonics seen Gigantomachy of the soul in inner warfare of people. Dont let them sell the remnants of beautiful ideas to the thieves of Reality, words, symbols in an ongoing substitution of the humane for the corrupt and ugly. ( )
  vucjipastir | Jun 7, 2020 |
This is a very focused investigation centered solely on Russia's more recent history since the fall of the Berlin Wall, it's becoming a pure Oligarchy, or rather: a Kleptocracy. What's more, we get some rather startling and almost unbelievable details into the nature of Putin's aim.

Let me be more 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 with.

What'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 S**t.

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 s**t, 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 them.

This 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 you.

Let me steal this from another review of this book (and btw, thank you!):
Methods 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 more
--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 assertion}

His 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 does.

The 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 here.

When 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 up.

Please 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 grabs.

Look. 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 again.

Where 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!
( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
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"From the author of On Tyranny comes a stunning new chronicle of the rise of authoritarianism from Russia to Europe and America. With the end of the Cold War, the victory of liberal democracy was thought to be final. Observers declared the end of history, confident in a peaceful, globalized future. This faith was misplaced. Authoritarianism returned to Russia, as Putin found fascist ideas that could be used to justify rule by the wealthy. In the 2010s, it has spread from east to west, aided by Russian warfare in Ukraine and cyberwar and information war in Europe and the United States. Russia found allies among nationalists, oligarchs, and radicals everywhere, and its drive to dissolve Western institutions, states, and values found resonance within the West itself. The rise of populism, the British vote against the EU, and the election of Donald Trump were all Russian goals, but their achievement reveals the vulnerability of Western societies and the uncertain character of Western political order. This fundamental challenge to democracy presents an opportunity to better understand the pillars of our own political order. In this forceful and unsparing work of contemporary history, based on vast research as well as personal reporting, Snyder goes beyond the headlines to expose the true nature of the threat to democracy and law. By revealing the stark choices before us--between equality 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 uncertainty"--Provided by publisher.

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