Thread on how authoritarians use the power of threat. A few testimonies, from my 2020 book #Strongmen:…
A culture of threat fosters silence & self-policing. Non-action from political opponents & critics gives appearance of consent for illegal action.
Franco’s Spain: the philosopher José Ortega y Gasset reflected on how “the threat in my mind of an eventual violence, coercion, or sanction that other people are going to exercise against me” bred conformity. 2/
Hitler's Germany: the historian George Mosse, who fled the Nazis, never forgot the low-level “terror” and hyper-vigilance. “You sit in bed, listen to the night/…Will they come today to get me?” the German leftist Eugen Nerdinger wrote, after receiving death threats. 3/
Television & video are highly effective, like forced confessionals of "traitors." Lukashenko is in tradition of Gaddafi in staging shows that need "a live body – ideally one already half dead - to instill maximum fear." Everyone watching knows they could be next.

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30 Mar
Some Personal News: Today I'm launching Lucid, a newsletter about abuses of power and how to counter them. It provides clear analysis about the consequences of democratic erosion, and the costs of disinformation and corruption in government, boardrooms, and institutions. 1/
Lucid also covers the global resistance to tyranny. Today's activism manifests in Black Lives Matter marches around the world, in the global youth climate movement, and in the attention to civic and religious faith in struggles against oppression. 2/
Three times a week, Lucid delivers essays, live chats, and interviews with people working on the front lines of anti-corruption, human rights, social justice and healing. Sign up for free. If you like what you read, consider becoming a paid subscriber.…
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