Monday, January 16, 2017

"Do Not Obey in Advance"

"Do not obey in advance.
Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked.  [If] you've already done this... Stop.

"Stand out. Someone has to.
It is easy in words and deeds, to follow along. It can feel strange to do or say something different. But without that unease, there is no freedom. And the moment you set an example, the spell of the status quo is broken, and others will follow.

"Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom."

"As one personality on state-run television puts it, 'We all know there will be no real politics. But we still have to give our viewers the sense something is happening. . . . Politics has got to feel like … like a movie!'"

--From Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible, 2014, by Peter Pomerantsev 

This book's subtitle is The Surreal Heart of the New Russia. Weird that it feels so apt here in the USA now...
The author is a British journalist.

From NYT review:
"Pomerantsev focuses on a group of apparent outliers, using them to tell the story of today’s Russia. Among these figures are a gangster who loves movies, a model who committed suicide and a lawyer whose death in prison epitomizes the Kafkaesque nature of the country’s pretense of a justice system. Yet in Pomerantsev’s telling, they aren’t outliers at all; they’re characters playing parts in the Kremlin’s script." 

Round-up of images that felt pertinent to me on Tumblr this morning:


ArtSparker said...

Rain forecast in DC for Friday, BTW

Michael Leddy said...

I was all set to post a link to this item:

But I think the logic of the anonymous blue card might be better. Can I keep the television on without watching? :)

Michael Leddy said...

Yikes -- Snopes is already discrediting the change-the-channel approach:

Maybe the best thing (for anyone who can't go to DC) is to sign on to one of the marches/gatherings scheduled for the 21st.

Fresca said...

Yes, or, actually WATCH the Animal Channel! (Not that I have cable.)

Too bad that adorable idea of changing channels won't actually work.

I'll see how I feel on the day: on Friday afternoon, a protest march will pass a few blocks from my place--I'll probably at least go stand and watch.

Big protest at the State Capitol on Saturday--I probably won't go to that--don't like the mob energy unless it's a celebration.

Frex said...

P.S. MICHAEL: Anyway, though it won't affect the ratings, it still is great advice not to watch the inauguration (I didn't even consider it)--
from the "Don't Watch" article you linked to:

"Trump wants the White House to be another prop. It’s up to us to make sure his presidency is not another act in the show.
The first step: Walk out of the theater."

ArtSparker said...

Plus, weather for January 21 shows only a 10% chance of precipitation. Bonus!