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Freedom Demands Civic Courage - We Must Take Responsibility

Lesson 20: Be as courageous as you can: Stand up for your convictions even in the face of fear and intimidation.

We face a dangerous moment when the future of freedom is in doubt. It's easy to grow cynical or paralyzed. But as Snyder argues, the lesson of the 20th century is that individual citizens have more power than they realize.

Ultimately, tyranny prevails only when the people acquiesce to it. So we all share responsibility to muster our courage and fight for democracy. This takes many forms - participating in politics, defending dissent, standing up to oppression in our daily lives. As Snyder poignantly observes, "If none of us is prepared to die for freedom, then all of us will die under tyranny." The stakes are high, but so is our duty. We must practice the "corporeal politics" of showing up in person and putting our bodies on the line when called to do so.

Section: 1, Chapter: 20

Book: On Tyranny

Author: Timothy Snyder

Books about Human Rights

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