History doesn’t repeat, but it does instruct

On Tyranny

Today I finally read this book, On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder - and quite frankly, it is a paralysing read within our current political landscape.

Clearly and factually analysing the terrifying likeness of Trump’s path to power, with that of the Third Reich, this book is the written equivalent of ten hungry lions roaring “hey guys, let’s go kill something!” in unison. How’s your coffee, Janice? We good?

“We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism in the last century,” Synder says. “Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.” Okay great! So, if we just stay on course and stop electing ego-maniacs, we’ll be okay?!? Right? Great . . .

<Camera 1 to reality> Sooooo shit . . . Boris Johnson is now the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Chosen by the membership of the Conservative party, Johnson’s appointment means that 99.8% of the UK did not have a say on their new PM. Yes that’s right, World! Britain's new leader is a paunchy, old white man with woeful hair, a dedicated band of white followers, a dodgy private life, and an ‘agree to disagree’ approach to telling the truth. We now have the ‘Dum’ to Trump’s ‘Tweedledee’ and fascism is getting the band back together!

Much like Trump, Johnson is a self-aggrandising populist who has made his main priority restoring his nation to its former (white, colonial etc) glory by attacking the “changing face” of Britain, i.e. minorities, refugees, immigrants.

Johnson has referred to Africans as “piccaninnies”, to Muslim women wearing burqas as “bank robbers” + “letter boxes”, to gay men as “tank-topped bumboys” + to female Labor MPs as “hot totties”. FFS Conservative party, this guy was the best option?!

Both Trump and Johnson are foot-stomping, tactless brats. Both with a history of adultery and scandal. Both homophobic, racist and sexist. Both in their current roles because of their ruthless white privilege and their relentless self-promotion. Both Pathological Narcissists.

"He’s tough and he’s smart,” Trump said of Johnson. "They call him ‘Britain Trump’, and it’s people saying that’s a good thing. They like me over there. That’s what they wanted. That’s what they need." Excuse me a sec . . . <vomits>.

Throughout history, so many people have fallen for the faux-draw of the delusional Pathological Narcissist. It is easy to get caught up in their web, thinking they will fulfil a longing to feel more significant, important and more alive. Yet, it is all a false and warped fantasy - and an exorbitant one which will eventually come with a huge price to pay.

Empires rise and fall - and both fascism and communism are the responses to the real and and perceived inequalities created from political volatility. “History doesn’t repeat, but it does instruct” says Timothy Snyder. So are we ready to be instructed yet?