My reading of “On Tyranny” made me see this short novel as almost a culmination of the things we learned this semester, in particular his 9th suggestion regarding language. This course is heavily focused on helping us develop the blog form of writing, which in the modern age can have a large impact on the conception of democracy.
Snyder tells his readers to “think up their own ways of thinking”, which is a hallmark of democracy and what we know as freedom of speech. In the modern age, blogs such as this one are vital in broadcasting our opinions when the rest of the world doesn’t seem to listen.
This can be controversial as well though, because blogs, tweets, Facebook posts, and more can also be drowned out as informal or irrelevant. Due to the openness of social media everyone having a voice means that those with legitimate arguments can be drowned out or ignored due to the actions of those who de-legitimize blogs as a platform.
Language is historically what makes or breaks people in power. Hitler was known for how well-spoken and careful he was with his words. Trump is known for not being as well-spoken but uses language that will rally his demographic of followers. How we use language determines how we are remembered.
So in our modern age, what is the value in a personal opinion? If our voice gets lost in the masses, why should we try to be heard?
In my opinion what this book and this class has helped me develop the most is the value in making your voice heard. You might get lost, but you can never know if it will be you who starts a change. Democracy is not perfect, but the most valuable part of it is the ability to have a voice and not be just a face in the crowd.