Tag Archives: resistance

Obedience and Dictatorship

As plutocracy gradually transitions into the full-blown tyrannical kleptocracy which Trump both signifies and embodies, we have been reflecting on an essay by Hannah Arendt written in 1964, shortly after her witnessing of the Eichmann trial. Images are from a 2014 installation by Wilfried Gerstel.

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NOBODY HAS THE RIGHT TO OBEY

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On Tyranny

Today we relay excerpts from an exceptionally good Democracy Now interview with Yale historian Timothy Snyder regarding both his important recent book On Tyranny and his related social media posts following the election of Donald Trump.

On resisting complacency:

 

On the long failure of profit-driven globalization, and its consequences:

 

On his first “lesson” for resistance:

The above resonates strong with Jeffrey Rosen’s prescient 2004 book, The Naked Crowd, discussed in our 2012 post Nothing to Hide.

 

On being kind to language:

See also Below the Dead Language, with Solmaz Sharif discussing the role of the poet as caretaker of the language.

 

On everyday connection and civility:

Our coarse and degraded social reality, of which Donald Trump is nothing but a malignant symptom, gains vital sustenance from rage, aggression, rudeness, abusive language, fear and paranoia. Thus simple acts of kindness, civil engagement and calm conversations become essential acts of deep resistance, refusing to let the prevailing ethos take hold of our own souls.


Written in the Night

Now comes the gentle yet fierce voice of John Berger, who died this past Monday, in excerpts from a 2003 essay written for Le Monde Diplomatique. The image is from the Rothko Chapel.

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For all his literary gifts, Berger was most at home in conversation, his thoughts closely tied to his limitless capacity for dialogue, and to his vigilant ears. The below conversation with Susan Sontag highly recommended.

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The Forest Wanderer

Now comes Ernst Jünger, with a brief except from his extraordinary (and for the most part forgotten) 1951 essay Der Waldgang. The images are taken from our own forest wanderings, in search of a language for resistance to the twitching automatisms of our nihilistic epoch.

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