Discover more from Hopium Chronicles By Simon Rosenberg
Not Obeying in Advance
From Tel Aviv to Nashville to Disney to LaCrosse, folks are rising up against MAGA's extremism
As we do this work I keep finding myself coming back to the first lesson in “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century,” by Yale historian and fellow Substacker Dr. Timothy Snyder:
Lesson 1: Do Not Obey In Advance
Most of the 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 in this way is teaching power what it can do.
Anticipatory obedience is a political tragedy.
These simple but powerful words have deeply informed my work in recent years. I’ve come to believe that if we are to defeat MAGA we - all of us - need to learn how to not obey in advance. This thinking is behind the information warrior concept we talk about here. For by taking steps to extend our understanding to others, we are, each day, eroding the power of their narrative and understanding, their noise machine, their “red wave.” Part of what we are trying to do here at Hopium Chronicles is to help teach people how to become aware of the reach and power of their propaganda, to see it for what it is, to stare it down, and to participate in the strengthening of our truth, our understanding, our narrative, our story.
For not obeying in advance is not a passive step, it is an active one. It is a choice, an action, a postcard written, a protest joined, a candidate contribution given, a tweet tweeted, a Substack read, a call made to Wisconsin to turn out more voters for Judge Janet. It is about going on offense, telling our story, and getting to the point that we don’t feel that our politics is solely about responding to the daily torrent of horseshit they pump into our discourse every day. It is about getting loud. And there seems to be a lot of it going around these days…..
The people of Israeli are not obeying in advance
Young people in Tennessee are not obeying in advance
Political leaders in Florida are not obeying in advance
Joe Biden is not obeying in advance
Disney’s Bob Iger is not obeying in advance
All of you across the country are not obeying in advance
Alvin Bragg is not obeying in advance
Keep working hard all, and thanks for being part of the early days here at Hopium. We can do this - Simon