April 30th to May 6th, 2017

Historian Timothy Snyder is promoting his new book, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century. His interview at Salon is well worth a read, but I think his answer to the first question is particularly useful:

The election of Donald Trump is a crisis for American democracy. How did this happen?

We asked for it by saying that history was over in 1989 [with the end of the Cold War]. By saying that nothing bad could [ever] happen again, we were basically inviting something bad to happen.

Our story about how nothing could [ever] go wrong was a story about how human nature is the free market and the free market brings democracy, so everything is hunky-dory — and of course every part of that story is nonsense. The Greeks understood that democracy is likely to produce oligarchy because if you don’t have some mechanism to get inequality under control then people with the most money will likely take full control.

As someone born after the Cold War, I did grow up with the sense that everything bad was in the past; that the track we were on was one of exponential progress. It’s been a process getting to grips with the idea that period of relative, privileged peace may very well have been just a breather.

These all count as one link because they’re all on the same topic: House Republicans finally making their health-care CliffNotes cruel enough to pass in the House.

Drawing a clear line between the helplessness of the Handmaids and the fantasy of work that Ivanka Trump pushes—and where American women are gravitating on that spectrum.

But let’s end on a kinder note: a gentleman and his wife loved collecting unique candles. After she passed, he gathered together nine candles they hadn’t finished and, with their son, layered them into one candle as a tribute.

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