Sunday, February 26, 2017

Are we better than Nazi Germany?

I hope so, but we may be tested. Timothy Snyder, distinguished historian of the Holocaust, has an article in the New York Review of Books noting that Hitler used a fire in the Reichstag  to suspend civil rights and later an attack on a German diplomat by an angry Jew to launch the kristallnacht pogrom. 

The 9/11 attacks led America to accept increased government surveillance and travel restrictions -- though I would note that Congress required the USA PATRIOT Act to be renewed every few years and did not adopt the Bush administration's open-ended authorization for wars on terrorists.

Nevertheless, Snyder's warning is valid. Even strong democracies can be turned authoritarian in the face of real or exaggerated threats.

1 comment:

  1. "Are we better than Nazi Germany?" Really? Yikes...