On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From the Twentieth Century - Epilogue Summary & Analysis

Timothy Snyder
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Summary

The Epilogue, unlike previous chapters, does not offer specific advice, but rather explores two “ahistorical ways of considering the past,” the politics of inevitably and the politics of eternity. The politics of inevitability are the idea that history advances in a constant, forward motion. Standards of living will continually improve; liberal democracy will strengthen and spread; human rights will flourish. This view convinces us that “the present (is) simply...a step toward a future that we already know” (118). It leads to complacency as we come to believe that only one outcome is possible; even if disruptive events do occur, they will eventually be absorbed into the constant and inevitable structure of society. The politics of eternity, by contrast, rely on a distorted view of a mythical past. Snyder suggests that Trump’s “Make America great again” slogan captures this idea. “Again” vaguely refers to...

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This section contains 626 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From the Twentieth Century Study Guide
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