Education Reform

Masha Gessen: Rules for Surving Autocracy

Interesting essay samples and examples on: https://essays.io/dissertation-examples-samples/

 

Masha Gessen has written extensively about Putin and Russia for the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, and the New York Times, as well as books.

This is one of her best articles. 

Written immediately after the 2016 election, it contains rules for surviving autocracy.

She begins by reminding us that we should not normalize Trump.

“Trump will be only the fourth candidate in history and the second in more than a century to win the presidency after losing the popular vote. He is also probably the first candidate in history to win the presidency despite having been shown repeatedly by the national media to be a chronic liar, sexual predator, serial tax-avoider, and race-baiter who has attracted the likes of the Ku Klux Klan. Most important, Trump is the first candidate in memory who ran not for president but for autocrat—and won.

“I have lived in autocracies most of my life, and have spent much of my career writing about Vladimir Putin’s Russia. I have learned a few rules for surviving in an autocracy and salvaging your sanity and self-respect. It might be worth considering them now:

“Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says. Whenever you find yourself thinking, or hear others claiming, that he is exaggerating, that is our innate tendency to reach for a rationalization. This will happen often: humans seem to have evolved to practice denial when confronted publicly with the unacceptable. Back in the 1930s, The New York Times assured its readers that Hitler’s anti-Semitism was all posture. More recently, the same newspaper made a telling choice between two statements made by Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov following a police crackdown on protesters in Moscow: “The police acted mildly—I would have liked them to act more harshly” rather than those protesters’ “liver should have been spread all over the pavement.” Perhaps the journalists could not believe their ears. But they should—both in the Russian case, and in the American one. For all the admiration Trump has expressed for Putin, the two men are very different; if anything, there is even more reason to listen to everything Trump has said. He has no political establishment into which to fold himself following the campaign, and therefore no reason to shed his campaign rhetoric. On the contrary: it is now the establishment that is rushing to accommodate him—from the president, who met with him at the White House on Thursday, to the leaders of the Republican Party, who are discarding their long-held scruples to embrace his radical positions.”

Trump is not normal. We must not lose our bearings. He will destroy our values and our institutions unless we change the leadership in the Congrrss. There must be at least one brake on the ruinous delusions of this vain, ignorant and autocratic man.

 

 

Related posts

Texas: The Fight Against Vouchers Begins Again

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

Alabama: Larry Lee Wonders Why the State Board Chose a Chief with No Administrative Experience

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

ESSA Does Not Protect Opt Outs

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

DeVos to Conservative Conference: I Will Replace the Bush-Obama Failed Ideas with My Own Failed Ideas

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

Where Do Rightwing Governors Find People to Lead Education Departments?

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

North Carolina: “Innovative School Distrct” Has Zero Schools to Give to For-Profit Charters

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

The Washington Post Berates Unprincipled Rubio

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

Mike Klonsky: Layoffs, Mainly in Special Education at Central

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

Texas: “School Choice” Means Schools Choose

V4tgDpeDBhQGUBa7

Leave a Comment