[313] Believe In Truth

Completion Date: 05 March 2020
Medium: Paint on MDF
Dimensions: 72 X 36 inches

Lesson 10 in Timothy Snyder’s 2017 book Twenty Lessons on Fighting Tyranny from the Twentieth Century.

[10] Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.

Snyder is an American author and historian specialising in the history of Central and Eastern Europe, and the Holocaust. He is the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University and a Permanent Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.

1. Do not obey in advance

2. Defend institutions

3. Beware the one-party state

4. Take responsibility for the face of the world

5. Remember professional ethics

6. Be wary of paramilitaries

7. Be reflective if you must be armed

8. Stand out

9. Be kind to our language

10. Believe in truth

11. Investigate

12. Make eye contact and small talk

13. Practice corporeal politics

14. Establish a private life

15. Contribute to good causes

16. Learn from peers in other countries

17. Listen for dangerous words

18. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives

19. Be a patriot

20. Be as courageous as you can