Trapped in False Antitheses: Timothy Snyder’s Analyses of the Global Authoritarian Turn Are Crippled by His Anti-totalitarian Framework
A Discussion Article on the topic of Timothy Snyder’s book The Road to Unfreedom. Russia, Europe, America, The Bodley Head, Vintage, London 2018, ISBN 978-1-84792-527-5.
This paper critically scrutinizes Timothy Snyder’s book The Road to Unfreedom. Russia, Europe, America (The Bodley Head, Vintage, London 2018). It claims that the main reason for his failure to present a convincing account of the current neo-nationalist and authoritarian turn and outline an adequate intellectual and political response to it is his clinging to an anti-totalitarian framework which he had applied to Eastern Europe in some of his previous historical works (Snyder 2003, 2010). The framework reduces three main ideological alternatives that fought with each other in the last century into two: liberalism was supposedly challenged by totalitarianism. Since Snyder reduces the present crisis to the threat of the return of totalitarianism, he sees an appropriate response in the revival of the human and civic solidarity associated with the anti-totalitarian movements of the last century. The essay outlines an alternative view: it links the present crisis of democracy to the ravaging effects of neo-liberal globalization and, accordingly, suggests combining anti-authoritarianism with anti-capitalism – or human and civic solidarity with social solidarity.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Mezinárodní vztahy / Czech Journal of International Relations publishes under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication. Anyone is allowed to use, share, copy, distribute, or display the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. The journal allows others to copy, distribute and display only original copies of our publications.