Monday, August 13, 2018

Quote of the Day

Sometimes institutions are deprived of vitality and function, turned into a simulacrum of what they once were, so that they gird the new order rather than resisting it.  This is what the Nazis called Gleichschaltung.

-- Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny, p. 24

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Quote of the Day

Like the great thinkers and leaders who preceded him -- from Du Bois, to Anna Julia Cooper, to Ida B. Wells-Barnett, to Paul Robeson, to Pauli Murray, and to King and Malcolm -- Ali's embrace of the world's beleaguered and downtrodden masses forced the nation to come to grips with its foul treatment of its own citizens of color.  Thus, like those figures, Ali's insistence that America do the right thing was far more loyal to the nation's ideals than those figures who savaged the once-deposed champ in the name of American patriotism.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, What Truth Sounds Like, p. 242-243

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Quote of the Day

The mistake is to assume that rulers who came to power through institutions cannot change or destroy those very institutions -- even when that is exactly what they have announced that they will do.

-- Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny, p. 24

Friday, August 10, 2018

Quote of the Day

James Baldwin argued that until black heroes became the heroes of white America, a bitterness would rage that would destroy the ghetto and the larger city.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, What Truth Sounds Like, p. 230

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Quote of the Day

Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram grasped that people are remarkably receptive to new rules in a new setting.  They are surprisingly willing to harm and kill others in the service of some new purpose if they are so instructed by a new authority.

-- Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny, p. 21

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Quote of the Day

The unfortunate surrender of the black left to ideological purity has lessened its use to the black masses, forgetting a lesson that James Baldwin and his fellow thinkers and activists never forgot: the point of witness, and the policy that it informs, is, always, the achievement of justice for the black folk witnesses claim to speak for.  Anything less than that, any idea other than that, is but a roadblock to genuine change.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, What Truth Sounds Like, p. 228

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Quote of the Day

After the German elections of 1932, which permitted Adolf Hitler to form a government, or the Czechoslovak elections of 1946, where communists were victorious, the next crucial step was anticipatory obedience.  Because enough people in both cases voluntarily extended their services to the new leaders, Nazis and communists alike realized that they could move quickly toward a full regime change.  The first heedless acts of conformity could not then be reversed.

-- Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny, p. 18