The Four Pillars of Freedom
by Nori Muster
Based on the principles described in the book, On Tyranny, by Timothy Snyder
Personal Code of Ethics
Under tyranny, people anticipate what the leaders will want, then they voluntarily comply. Voluntarily giving up power alerts the tyrants on how far they can go, and just makes them worse. Live by a personal standard of ethics and don't do things that feel wrong.
Under tyranny, a friendly smile or a few friendly words can provide reassurance to people who feel oppressed. On the other hand, looking away and offering only silence promotes fear. Therefore, smile, make eye contact, and small talk. It promotes trust and breaks down social barriers. Friendliness and helpfulness to strangers are signs of a free society.
Be as courageous as you can. Under tyranny people are hypnotized to conform. However, if even one person stands out as an individual, it can break the spell. To build up your courage, develop interests and seek people, places, activities, and beliefs to make you feel happy. Enrich your inner life so cruel people can no longer control you.
Live by Truth
Investigate truth and argue based on facts. Watch out for abuse of language and refuse to speak in clichés. Take the time to make up your own way of saying things. Timothy Snyder said, "Our integrity makes us who we are. Collective trust in common knowledge makes us a society."
To maintain freedom, act like a person who is free. Never let tyrants change your behavior, and never give in to tyranny or lies.
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