Liberty and On Tyranny
When founding the United States, the founding fathers sought to avoid the tyrannical rule they thought Great Britain exemplified. In order to do this, the founding fathers looked to history, specifically, the failed democracies of Ancient Greece and Rome, to model their country after. Now, the United States is regarded as a nation being founded upon and one that upholds the principles of democracy and liberty. Due to the United States’ association with liberty and democracy, it has become the common assumption that tyrannical rule could never occur here. However, recent occurrences of authoritarianism in Europe throughout the twentieth century, show that there is not much of a difference between Americans today and…show more content… This was reminiscent of both Fascist and Communist denial of truths. By rejecting truth it is impossible to operate within a democracy. When people do not know what to believe it allows tyrants to manipulate the truth in their favor. Snyder also regards the other facets of the first amendment, such as freedom of speech, the right to assemble and petition as important to a democratic state. These rights limit the power of the government, and allow the people to influence it without fear of punishment.
Snyder also realizes the importance of establishing a private life. Throughout this lesson, Snyder references Hannah Arendt, a German-born American political theorist. Arendt believes that the beginning of totalitarianism is rather the blurring of public and private lives than the seizure of power by an all powerful dictatorial state. Snyder makes a point again to focus on the events in the 2016 election again, citing the hacking of Hillary Clinton and John Podesta’s emails as invasions of privacy and the coverage of these events served as warnings to the beginning of a totalitarian state. Arendt is referenced again stating that by indulging in this seizure of private information, individuals and society as a whole are being degenerated into a mob. This devolution, as Arendt calls it, lead to the rights of individuals being ignored and replaced with the wishes of