Timothy Snyder has written a short but instructive parable “On Tyranny.” His references are American but many of them translate well into Present-Day Alberta.
He outlines 20 key headings that citizens need to read, heed, and begin to lead as we al Press for Change the broken Alberta Political Culture. Moderate Pragmatic Albertans, who love Alberta, need to wake up, grow up, and clean up our politics. Then we need to take responsibility to shake up the out-moded political power structures that are corroding and destroying our Democracy and rapidly replacing it with a Fascist Authoritarian regime.
Snyder notes even the Ancients anticipated the demise of Democracy and foresaw it’s collapse into Oligarchy and Empire. For example, he says “Aristotle warned that inequality brought instability.” Alberta has been identified as having a seriously bad Gini Coefficient that measures income distribution inequality.
“Plato believed that demagogues exploited free speech to install themselves as tyrants” who are intent on usurping democratic power to an individual or a group. Misinformation, Disinformation, Deceit, Delay, and Diversions are all active propaganda efforts in the UCP version of the Republican and Trump Playbook.
It is all a well-orchestrated rapidly executed, devastating gameplan to take over power and use free speech to evade accountability, avoid transparency, and establish a post-truth lack of honesty as normal in the UCP way of doing politics and policy.
Snyder cautions us to avoid being “…tempted to think that our democratic heritage automatically protects us from such threats.” To understand where people are and how we got here, there is some 1810 wisdom attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler that has traveled well for over 200 years. What he said aligns well with present-day Trumpist America and the current situation in the Kenney-controlled Alberta.
“Great nations (and provinces) rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.”
It requires another blog post to adequately explore and relate this progression to the Alberta situation but I am sure readers can come up with their own examples of Kenney UCP policies that illustrate our situation and how we got here.
In closing, I want to highlight the first focused advice form Snyder in On Tyranny because it set up a chance for each of us to do a reality check about our attitudes toward Power. He says “Do Not Obey In Advance.” He notes most power of “…authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then offer themselves without being asked. A citizen who adapts to this way is teaching power what it can do.”
He says Anticipatory Obedience is a political tragedy. We see this with the secret deal on the UCP adoption, payment,, and promotion of the Telus Babylon on-line “dial-a-doctor. This is promoted as an attractive alternative for more “timely and convenient medical services. This is a very “sketchy” set up to provide quality professional health care, there are serious concerns over collecting and the control of personal privacy and health data. It is also a cynical Kenney-UCP undermining of Alberta’s physicians and eroding the public and single-payer health care system for pure far-right political-ideological reasons.
This App and political program is currently under investigation by the Alberta Privacy Commissioner. That is reason enough not to mindlessly Obey the Political Tyranny in Advance of adequate transparency, integrity, accountability, and honesty
If you download and use that computer App you are volunteering as an Anticipatory Obedient Citizen and teaching the Kenney Authoritarian government about how much more they can take away your rights. How much apathy and complacency are you prepared to become obedient towards Kenney’s moves towards more and more authoritarian abuse of political power?
There is a lot more to explore in the On Tyranny advice of Mr. Snyder, but I hope this post stirs up your curiosity. I hope it stirs up your desire to join the Reboot Alberta Citizen Initiative and learn more about becoming an effective activated Citizen.