Timothy D Snyder Quotes

  • Fascism says what you and I experience as facts or what reporters experience as facts are irrelevant. All that matters are impressions and emotions and myths.
  • Very often, when leaders repeat things over and over, they are preparing you for when that meme actually emerges in reality.
  • Getting out to protest, this is something real and, I would say, something patriotic. Part of the new authoritarianism is to get people to prefer fiction and inaction to reality and action.
  • Mr. Trump is primarily a television personality. As such, he is judged by that standard. This means that a scandal does not call forth a response; it calls forth the desire for a bigger scandal.
  • Brittle masculinity, in the right setting, becomes political atrocity. Strength brings problems; weakness brings others, but weakness posing as strength is the most dangerous of all.
  • Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.
  • The 20th century shows that the form of government that we take for granted, a constitutional democratic republic with checks and balances and a rule of law - that form of government is usually temporary.
  • We can only see as much and we can only go as far as our languages take us.
  • Maybe I am naive, but I don't think talking about the Holocaust with total and complete cynicism is possible for Israeli politicians. It's inevitable that the Holocaust is part of Israeli politics.
  • The aspiring tyrants of today have not forgotten the lesson of 1933: that acts of terror - real or fake, provoked or accidental - can provide the occasion to deal a death blow to democracy.
  • Totalitarianism is not about some state that appears out of nowhere and suddenly is all-powerful. There can't be any such thing. Totalitarianism starts when the difference between your public life and your private life is effaced.
  • Every day you don't do something, it makes it less likely that you will ever do something. So you've got to get started right away.
  • I thought I was going to grow up and become a diplomat and negotiate nuclear arms.
  • When a terrorist attack comes, you will not necessarily know who did it. What you can know is that certain kinds of leaders will use that to suspend your rights.
  • In rhetoric and action, the Trump administration has aggrandized 'radical Islamic terror,' thus making what Madison called a 'favorable emergency' more likely.
  • If we can't have exchanges with our friends and family, with loved ones that won't at some point be made public, then we can't have private lives. And if we can't have private lives, then we're not really free people.
  • People who lived in the 1920s and '30s and '40s were not so different from us. In some ways, they were probably better citizens than we are. They had longer attention spans, for example. Educated people tended to read a bit more than we did.
  • What we ended up with, from Bill Clinton onward, is a status quo party and an 'undo the system' party, where the Democrats became the status quo party and the Republicans became the 'undo the system' party.
  • People in the West tend to identify with western victims. So even when they think about the Holocaust, they really think about the German or French victims; they're not thinking about the Polish, Hungarian, or Soviet victims.