Four ways Autocrats Assault Truth

In his timely little book, On Tyranny, historian Tim Snyder lists the four ways in which autocrats assault, debase, and vitiate truth:

1. Contradict verifiable reality: e.g. “Biden “hurt the Bible. Hurt God.” “He’s against God.” “He’s against religion.”

2. Shamanistic incantations: e,g, drumming negative phrases into people’s minds; e.g. “Lock her up.” “Shifty (Adam} Schiff.} “{name of political opponent} is a “dangerous, left-wing, extremist socialist.”  (Note the repetitiveness in example 1, which also qualifies as an incantation.)

3. Magical thinking; e.g. “The virus will go away.”

4. Misplaced (misdirected) faith: “I understand the system better than anyone. I alone can fix it.”

One might think that the dishonesty of such techniques would be manifest, but when employed on a sustained basis by a naturally talented demagogue abetted by powerful and influential factions, they can become normalized. They can take on a life of their own. They can produce a collective numbness of mind. They must be relentlessly called out, discredited, and scorned.