As stated in the last blog, I do not endorse all of that which Snyder promotes (ON TYRANNY by Timothy Snyder) but I respect his thinking process and especially his attempt to put words to the feelings I think we all have to some extent. I have a few more suggestions, actually. And I might delete a few of his on my own list. But the point is: there is something we can all do in an effort to limit the increasing tyranny in our lives.
“Dave! WHAT Tyranny? I am feeling no sense of being controlled, manipulated or lied to. I don’t see bogeymen or tyrants around every corner. I feel free. I feel happy. I do not see any reason whatsoever for getting off Facebook or NOT watching TV. I love pizza delivery, man! In fact, I applaud the government’s attempts at keeping me safe by monitoring and restricting some of the freedoms that are being exploited by terrorists.”
I understand. You may be right. Snyder doesn’t think so. I don’t think so. He and I think it is prudent to resist at least at a passive, civil, legal level. But, maybe it is all OK. Maybe the government is nothing but good and maybe they will not ever err or sweep you up in some police-action or control net. Maybe the real threat is somewhere else.
But that kind of thing has happened before. It is happening now in the USA to people-with-foreign-sounding names or darker skin and many other countries as well. If you feel really free and safe, why not run a short test. Get a tan, call yourself Ishmael and say Allahu Akbar as your standard greeting when dealing with the authorities. Yell it in airports. Leave bail money with your loved ones and buy life insurance before you do this.
Snyder further advises:
11. Investigate. Figure things out for yourself. Take responsibility for what you communicate. Make the news your own (search out your own sources). Snyder is attempting to dissuade the reader from the spoon-fed news sources and, by implication, spoon-fed, so-called education. Learning is personal. Make it so.
12.Make eye contact and small talk. Lessen the emailing. Intimate and personal is good. It provides the fabric of real society and breaks down the fears of the unknown.
13. Practice corporeal politics. Get your bum out of the chair. Put yourself in unfamiliar places. Seek out new life forms and boldly go where no one has gone before. The corrupt power-holders prefer you to eat and sit and get fat while watching a screen. Do the opposite.
14. Consciously create a private life. Avoid the same institutions you otherwise support because they are used by power to KNOW you and how to find you. Minimize internet use. Be less Facebook and more ‘personal journal’, preferably in handwriting.
15. Contribute to good causes. Support organizations that reflect your values.
16. Learn from peers in other countries. Keep up your friendships abroad. Make sure you have a valid passport. Maybe get a bug-out bag?
17. Listen for dangerous words. Be alert to the increasing use of ‘dramatic’ words like: threat, extremist, terror, restricted, security check, emergency, warning, danger, etc.). They are the word-tools of corruption and tyranny. Resist the treachery of dire warnings and patriotic rhetoric. Write to BC Ferries and tell ’em to drop that stupid Mar-sec designation. I always ask them if they ever experienced a change from Mar-sec 1 to Mar-sec 2. The answer: “Never.” So why have it? When a Mar-sec (marine security) event happens, there will be no time to change the signs at the ticket counter and, even if there was, who is going to buy a ticket on a ferry sitting in a Mar-sec 5 situation? It’s just fear mongering and providing a false sense of them providing security. Just another institutional lie.
18. Know that real threats and terrorism will be used to escalate and concentrate power. Be calm during such events because uniformed tyranny will be present and ready to ‘control’ you!
19. BE a good patriot (presumably without resorting to rhetoric) and set a good example for your fellow citizens by exercising your Constitutional rights. Without good patriots, patriotism will be exploited and corrupted by tyranny.
20. Be as courageous as you can be speaking truth to power and ACTING freely.
I would add to his list:
A. pay cash whenever possible. The digital money trail will always find you.
B. Consider moving away from the city.
C. Consider having a place to go to in an emergency. It does not have to be a better-homes-and-garden fortress in Idaho or the Rockies. Just identify a place you can go to…..? Why not?
D. Develop a skill. Get in shape. Buy some tools. Do more of your own work. Grow some food. Fill your pantry. In small increments, become more independent.
The list could go on forever and, sadly, it would include increasingly dramatic suggestions like stockpiling, bug-out vehicles, arms and such nonsense. I do NOT think that the threat has increased to that level and I hope it never does. But Snyder’s list and my own four additions are NOT extreme in any way. They are simply ‘positioning’ and ‘attitudinal’ suggestions that, at the very least, would make you a better and more powerful citizen. No bullets or camo required.