Monday, April 27, 2020

Douglas speaks of tyranny; and yes, it can happen here

While viewing a video a few day ago, I learned of this quote on tyranny from Frederick Douglas; here it is:
Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.
Once power is acquired, whether willingly or by force, it seldom is given back. Thinking of a slogan or tenant that my 12th grade history teacher repeated; 
Two steps forward, one step back.

How much will folks take, "submit to"? 

I'm thinking of that relevant quote attributed to Martin Niemoller, a German Lutheran pastor, his poem in 1946:  

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a socialist.Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a trade unionist.Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew.Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

And in keeping with the above, a novel by Sinclair Lewis in 1935,  It Couldn't Happen Here
People will think they're electing him to create more economic security. Then watch the Terror!
God knows there's been enough indication that we can have tyranny in America--the fix of the southern sharecroppers, the working conditions of the miners and garment-makers, and our keeping Mooney [apparently a political dissident] in prison for so many years. But wait till Windrip [the tyrant perhaps] shows us how to say it with machine guns!
Timothy Snyder - On Tyranny

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