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The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America

Tekijä: Timothy Snyder

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
8031827,834 (4.29)22
"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.… (lisätietoja)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 18) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
The content is interesting and describes connections many won’t be aware of. But the writing style is difficult and not very clearly organised.

The end chapters are a must read for a more than plausible explanation of the world of divisive influence. ( )
  yates9 | Feb 28, 2024 |
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. ( )
  Saturnin.Ksawery | Jan 12, 2024 |
When Hillary Clinton compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler after Russia occupied Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in early March 2014, I thought she had gone too far—and so did many of her critics. But Clinton’s analogy turned out to be far more prescient than hyperbolic. When, just weeks later, Putin boldly annexed Crimea following a mock referendum, and then sponsored puppet separatists to launch civil war in the Donbas in Ukraine’s east, she proved that her memory of European history—of Hitler’s annexation of the Sudetenland and the Austrian Anschluss—correctly detected echoes in Putin’s recourse to fake ballots and real bullets.
Like most Americans, I believed at the time that the economic sanctions the Obama Administration imposed upon Russia represented a sound, measured policy that sidestepped unnecessary overreaction, rather than what was in retrospect clearly a tepid, ineffective response, especially given that shortly thereafter Russian proxies shot down a commercial airliner over Ukraine that killed nearly three hundred innocents. Hardly as blatant as Munich in 1938, the lack of meaningful repercussions here certainly emboldened Putin on the path to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine that came in 2022—an act of unprovoked aggression not seen in Europe since World War II. It has hardly gone as planned, of course, but then it is not over yet, either.
Along the way, some have suggested that Putin’s fantasies of himself as a kind of latter-day Peter the Great have instead degenerated into a Putin-as-Stalin motif, but that strikes as somewhat inelegant. Rather, while Clinton was pilloried for flashing that “Hitler card” back when, she was indeed on to something. There is far more than mimicry in the Russian president’s seizure of a neighbor’s territory and denial of its very sovereignty, most significantly in the pretext and justification for his acts. Because when you deconstruct Putin, you find him not only glancing backward over his shoulder at der Führer, but working with quiet determination over the last two decades to reinvent that brand of fascism for the twenty-first century.
That Putin turns out to be the driving force behind the neofascism that has had the Western world increasingly in its sway since the turn of millennium is just one of the insights to emerge in The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America [2018], the at-turns brilliant and chilling work by Yale professor and acclaimed historian Timothy Snyder, which traces the roots and more recent rise of the forces of the undemocratic right, along with its sometimes Byzantine web of connections that stretch to Viktor Orban’s Hungary, Britain’s Brexit, and Trump’s MAGA—and all too many strands lead back to the Kremlin, some crisscrossing Ukraine on the way. In a narrative that is engaging and well-written, if often somewhat complex, Snyder channels the philosophical, psychological, and ideological to reveal the dangerous resurrection of principles that were fundamental to 1930s fascism, retooled and even transmogrified to suit new generations, new audiences. What’s especially striking about Snyder’s analysis is that this book, published in 2018, anticipates so much of what is to follow.
Fascism, born in Mussolini’s Italy almost a century ago, takes on many forms that have been catalogued by a number of scholars and writers, including—famously—Umberto Eco. Laurence W. Britt compiled perhaps the most comprehensive list of its known characteristics, although the specific expression can vary widely. Central to all is ultranationalism, typically coupled with a yearning for a mythical, bygone era of greatness that has been lost to liberal decadence. Mussolini looked to the glory of ancient Rome; Hitler to the more recent past of Imperial Germany. Contemporary neofascism is no different. Putin mourns the collapse of the Soviet Union and its larger sphere of influence that encompassed Eastern Europe. In the United States, it simmers beneath the ultrapatriotic flag-waving surface of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) movement as a dog-whistle that fondly looks back on a “whiter” America when blacks were more complacent and “brown” immigrants were not threatening our borders. (Trump himself recently and unrepentantly paraphrased Hitler with talk of immigrants "poisoning the blood" of America.) Racism is always a part of the equation. Hitler’s hatred of the Jews stood out in stark underscore, but antisemitism ever lurks. In the U.S., it is masked in the thinly veiled contempt spewed upon billionaire George Soros, who acts as a convenient placeholder for “liberal Jews.”
But targets of racism are not alone: they share space with a crowded field of “enemies” who threaten the harmony of the state and serve as scapegoats for society’s alleged ailments, including: communists, foreigners, lawbreakers, intellectual elites, nonconformist artists, members of the media, organized labor, minorities, feminists, homosexuals, etc. There’s always a list of grievances and national ills, real and imagined, for which the latter can be held responsible—and serve as a unifying force that must be opposed by those who seek to restore the nation’s greatness. Religion is often an ally in the combating of sin. There is an obsession with national security expressed by rampant militarism that on the domestic front translates to a hyperbolic law-and-order fixation on crime and punishment. Individuals and institutions alike are demonized. Since fascists have no respect for human rights, opponents are dehumanized, transformed into “the other,” deserving of persecution for both their actions and their ideas. Violence and the threat of violence are ever present or looming. Among institutions, democracy itself is the foremost adversary, and an early casualty to authoritarianism. The fascist leader becomes the self-appointed savior: only he and his corrupt cronies can solve the disorders of the state, but only if he is granted the absolute authority to do so. Elections become a sham: if you lose, just declare victory anyway. Keep lying until the lie becomes the truth.
The Road to Unfreedom identifies the commonality of these elements in right-wing parties across Europe and in the United States. It turns out to be pretty shocking how closely each of these movements resemble one another—and how similar they are to the fascism once associated with Mussolini, Franco, and Hitler! But the real epiphany is not only the role Putin has played in inspiring and encouraging today’s brand of neofascism, but how frequently the contemporary manifestations originated with Putin himself. Snyder chronicles how Putin managed to dismantle democracy in Russia while maintaining its outward forms, and how that has served as a blueprint of sleight-of-hand authoritarianism for his imitators abroad. (Donald Trump is just one of them.) But, more critically still, he details how it is that Putin resurrected and reinvented fascism for the new century by returning to the philosophy and ideology of fascists of the past while embracing and encouraging the neofascist thinkers of the present.
A large piece of The Road to Unfreedom is given to events in Ukraine, to Putin’s focused attempt to recover for Russia what for him is the central component of what he calls the “near abroad,” the now independent successor states once incorporated into the USSR. For those who have read Serhii Plokhy’s landmark chronicle, The Gates of Europe , or his more recent book, The Russo-Ukrainian War, there is nothing new here. But, significantly, Snyder deftly locates Putin’s brand of revanchism in the fascist-friendly political philosophy of the right that thrived before he was born, and which has been reshaped, with Putin’s patronage, for our own times. He identifies Ivan Ilyin (1883-1954), a White Russian émigré who admired both Mussolini and Hitler, as a major influence on Putin. Ilyin was a key proponent for the socio-political “Eurasianism” that Putin holds dear, an antidemocratic imperialism that claims for Russia a distinct civilization that transcends geography and ethnicity to command a vast territory ruled by the Russian state. Perhaps today’s most prominent Eurasianist is Aleksandr Dugin, said to be close to the Kremlin. The point is that political philosophy serves as underpinning to Putin’s opportunism. It is not simply about seizing territory. There is a long-term blueprint.
Snyder traces the roots of “the road to unfreedom” to the naivety of a West swelling with triumphalism in the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union, blinded by what he brands the “politics of inevitability:” individuals and ideas were seen as obsolete, supplanted instead by an unyielding optimism in the conviction that the marriage of capitalism and democracy guaranteed ineluctable progress to a favorable future. The opposite of the “politics of inevitability,” Snyder argues, is “the politics of eternity,” that offers instead a cyclical tale of victimhood inflicted upon the state by age-old threats and enemies that ever reappear and must be vanquished. In the politics of eternity, only one man—and misogyny dictates that it must be a man—can save the nation, and because at root it is decidedly antidemocratic there can be no thought of succession. The “dear leader” is the only hope. The politics of eternity governs Putin’s Russia. It also, most certainly, governs Donald Trump’s MAGA vision for the United States.
Snyder is unforgiving towards Trump in The Road to Unfreedom, but hardly unfair, although he goes further than many dare in positioning Trump in Putin’s orbit. In a famous 2016 debate exchange, Hillary Clinton accused Trump of being Putin’s puppet, and the Trump that emerges here is not unlike a more malevolent (if less bright) incarnation of Pinocchio fashioned with the fingers of a Geppetto-like Putin. The reader may be forgiven for an eyeroll or two when Snyder posits that it was Putin who crafted the fictional character “Donald Trump successful businessman” who was then marketed to the American public as a political candidate. But that hardly seems an exaggeration when you learn that it was actually Putin who first floated the canard of Obama’s forged birth certificate, the banner of Trump’s political rise. That policies that opposed NATO, decried the EU, championed Brexit, demonized Islam, the LGBTQ community, and immigrants—all central to the MAGA machine—almost perfectly aligned and still align with Putin propaganda. To channel The Godfather, it turns out that it was not Barzini all along, but Vladimir Putin.
And again, so many of the “roads to unfreedom” lead through Ukraine. Snyder reminds us that the last advisor to the last pro-Russian president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia when he was deposed, was none other than Paul Manafort, who then became the campaign manager to fictional candidate “Donald Trump successful businessman.” It was then, Snyder goes on, that Manafort “oversaw the import of Russian-style political fiction … It was also on Manafort's watch that Trump publicly requested that Russia find and release Hillary Clinton’s emails. Manafort had to resign as Trump's campaign manager after it emerged that he had been paid $12.7 million in off-the-books cash by Yanukovych … In 2018, Manafort was convicted of eight counts of federal crimes and pled guilty to two more, conspiracy and obstruction of justice, in a deal made with federal prosecutors.” [p236]
It is remarkable that Snyder’s book, published in 2018, anticipates so much of what is to come, and not only the Russian tanks that rolled into Ukraine. The so-called “Mueller Report” that investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election may not have found a smoking gun with Putin fingering the grip, but it did deem Donald Trump guilty of obstruction, even if that outcome was mischaracterized by then Attorney General William Barr. Throughout Trump’s presidency and beyond, Putin has remained his loudest public advocate. And then there was Trump’s “perfect phone call” that attempted to extort Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy for political purposes—the subject of Trump’s first impeachment trial. Also, on December 23, 2020, just weeks before the end of his presidency and the insurrection he sponsored in a crude attempt to extend his tenure, Trump issued Manafort a full pardon. As this review goes to press, just shortly after the third anniversary of that insurrection, Trump is in the news every day exploiting neofascist themes, threatening dictatorship, declaring the last election stolen, and running for president once more as Vladimir Putin cheers him on from the platform of Russian state TV, while Trump returns the favor at every opportunity. Perhaps the greatest gift comes via his allies in Congress, who are blocking desperately needed American military aid to Ukraine.
There is much more to give us all pause. One common feature of fascism is a celebration of hypermasculinity that also hosts a distinct antifeminism and asserts traditional roles for men and women in society. As Putin’s grip on authoritarianism in Russia grew, so too did scorn for feminists and for those who identified as LGBTQ, as he proclaimed a focus on “traditional family values,” supported by the Russian Orthodox Church, a reliable ally for his one-man rule as well as his war on Ukraine. Fascists poke fun at the soft, decadent underbelly of effeminate liberalism, hurling the expletive “cuck” at the male who does not live up to their patriarchal ideal of the man’s man. Today, sadly, that curse is no less likely to be heard on the avenues of Atlanta than it is on the streets of Moscow. Putin, who reportedly enjoys the sympathetic coverage he has come to expect from FOX News, likely chuckled to himself watching a 2021 episode when former FOX host Tucker Carlson mocked the “maternity flight suits” of pregnant women serving in the armed forces, lecturing that our military had become soft and feminine, in contrast to those of our adversaries that were tough and masculine. Of course, Putin is likely not laughing as hard these days as young Ukrainian women, some former fashion models, are at the front gunning down Russian soldiers daily.
Donald Trump is known to frequently employ projection as a defense mechanism. When Hillary dubbed him a Putin puppet, he shot back with “You’re the puppet!” When in a speech to mark the anniversary of the January 6th insurrection President Biden branded Trump a “threat to democracy,” Trump countered that it was Biden instead who was the threat to democracy. Putin is an expert at this craft, although naturally he is more articulate and his phrasing more elegant than Trump’s. Snyder notes that Putin is the master of what he calls “schizo-fascism,” that has fascists re-branding their enemies as fascists, as when Putin has styled has invasion of Ukraine as an effort to combat resurgent Nazis—despite the fact that Ukrainian president Zelensky is Jewish. Just lie, and then keep recycling the same lie. Rinse and repeat.
It's hard to find a real flaw in The Road to Unfreedom, other than that some of it strays to the arcane and may challenge the attention span of the popular audience that would most benefit from reading it. There is, however, terrain left unexplored. Putin gets his due as the brilliant villain he turned out to be, but the author overlooks how his rise could have been forestalled by a post-Soviet Russia given to prosperity and stability. The West, basking in the glow of Snyder’s “politics of inevitability,” failed to act consequentially when it could have, in that narrow window between Gorbachev and Putin. I would have liked to see Snyder probe those missed opportunities for economic aid and support for fledgling democratic institutions in Russia, a topic of adept analysis in Peter Conradi’s Who Lost Russia? Also, unlike Conradi, Snyder is unsympathetic to Russian fears stoked by NATO expansion and US withdrawal from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty. These anxieties were certainly opportunistically exaggerated and exploited by Putin, but they nevertheless were and would remain legitimate concerns—even to a democratic Russia. But these are quibbles. In this election year, with the very future of our fragile Republic at stake, read The Road to Unfreedom. It may be too late for Russia, but our vehicle of democracy, if a bit clunky, is still roadworthy, and there’s still time to save America. Let’s step on the gas.

Review of: The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America, by Timothy Snyder – Regarp Book Blog https://regarp.com/2024/01/11/review-of-the-road-to-unfreedom-russia-europe-amer... ( )
  Garp83 | Jan 11, 2024 |
Very good. Central point was the succession issue. Fascism does not provide a mechanism for succession unlike democracy or monarchies and so within its own philosophy is its destruction. Russia through Putin is interested in a politics of eternity whereby there is a turn back to the pure world before the world, before facts—only god. Russia is the only country to bring about this return to god. Uhg. The whole Christian fascist, Eurasian racist and homophobic project is deeply disturbing and now being played out in America where a year ago we had a very serious challenge to a legitimate succession of power and now every day have challenges to gay rights, voters rights, and a world of facts. A brilliant history of how this all came to be.
  BookyMaven | Dec 6, 2023 |
Russland, eine Oligarchie, eine Neo-Diktatur, eine Kleptokratie, das Land mit der größten wirtschaftlichen Ungleichheit der Welt, hat längst erkannt, dass es wirtschaftlich und gesellschaftlich den Anschluss an den "Westen" nicht geschafft hat und nicht schaffen wird. Daher hat es sich zur Aufgabe gemacht, die EU und die USA auf das russische Niveau "per Ansteckung" hinunterzuziehen.
Ziel ist es, mittels der Rechten die Demokratie zu unterwandern. Die EU soll dabei zerstört und in neofaschistische Nationalstaaten umgewandelt werden. Daher unterstützte Russland zahlreiche Rechtsparteien in Europa, wie Le Pen, die FPÖ, Zeman und Nigel Farage mit dem Brexit. Die Technik dabei ist immer dieselbe: mittels (Millionen Twitter und Facebook) Bots, Fakeaccounts und Trollfabriken soll die EU als schwul, dekadent und schwach dargestellt werden.
Das russische System soll auch auf die USA adaptiert werden. Die Herrschaft russicher Clans soll als Vorbild für eine Herrschaft der Reichen in den USA dienen, die es mit den Trumps, Kochs und Mercers schon beinahe gibt. Russland hackte daher den Clinton Wahlkampf und unterstützte offen Trump mit Propaganda und Lügen. Russland hackte Clinton Emailaccounts und US-Wahlcomputer.

Russland bombardierte 2015 Kinderkliniken und Schulen in Syrien um damit eine Flüchtlingswelle in die EU auszulösen, um der EU-hassenden Rechten Rückenwind zu verleihen. Schaut man sie die Situation in Österreich an, mit großem Erfolg.

Die nach der EU-schielende Ukraine war Russland ein Dorn im Auge, worauf Russland einfach dort einmarschierte, die Ukraine von Russland aus beschoss, ein Linienflugzeug abschoss, die Krim Völkerrechtswidrig annektierte und das alles offen leugnete.

Ich frage mich nach dieser Lektüre und unglaublicher Faktenlage: Wie kann das alles möglich sein? Es ist neuer Kalter-(Cyber)-Krieg im Gange und niemand scheint es bemerken. Wo ist der Aufschrei? Wo wird es in den westlichen Medien thematisiert? Wo von den demokratischen Parteien aufgegriffen, offen bekämpft? Traut sich niemand Russland ob der Erdöl-abhängigkeit und seinem Nuklearsenal zu kritisieren? Wie kann die Aussenministerin vor Putin auf die Knie fallen? Die FPÖ einen Kooperationsvertrag mit dem Kreml schliessen?
Es steht viel auf dem Spiel. Die Errungenschaften von Wohlstand und liberaler, demokratischer Werte werden offen angegriffen. ( )
  chepedaja3527 | Aug 23, 2022 |
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» Lisää muita tekijöitä (6 mahdollista)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Snyder, TimothyTekijäensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Dauzat, Pierre-EmmanuelKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Eklöf, MargaretaKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Grande, JohnKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Höber, UllaÜbersetzermuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Paassen, Catalien vanKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Pokorný, MartinKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Rodríguez Tapia, María LuisaKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Roller, WernerÜbersetzermuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Saint-Loup, Aude deKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Slobodník, IgorKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu

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(1. Individualisme ou totalitarisme (2011))

C'est par les lois qu'on édifiera notre pays, mais c'est par l'illégalité qu'on le détruira.
Saga de Njáll le Brûlé, c. 1280
(1. Individualisme ou totalitarisme (2011))

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Avant-propos à l'édition française

La démocratie est contestée en Amérique, la Russie est en guerre, et l'Europe pourrait être la solution. Cela nécessitera de remettre en cause des mythes confortables et de regarder sérieusement l'histoire récente : tel est le sujet de ce livre.
[...]
Prologue (2010)

Mon fils est né à Vienne. Ce fut un accouchement difficile et le premier souci de l'obstétricien autrichien et de la sage-femme polonaise fut le bébé. [...]
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Individualisme ou totalitarisme (2011)

La politique d'inévitabilité est l'idée qu'il n'existe pas d'idées. Ceux qui en subissent l'emprise nient que les idées importent, prouvant simplement ainsi qu'ils sont sous l'empire d'une idée puissante. [...]
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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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