“Twenty lessons from the twentieth century”


“Democracy is precious and exceptional. Democracy is undone from within rather than from without. The occasion to undo democracy is often an election. The mechanism to undo democracy is usually a fake emergency, a claim that internal enemies have done something outrageous. A tyrant cares about his person, not the Republic. Coups are defeated quickly or not at all. While they take place we are meant to look away… When they are complete we are powerless. In an authoritarian situation, the election is only round one. You don’t win by winning round one. It is up to civil society, organized citizens, to defend the vote and to peacefully defend democracy.”