Professor Timothy Snyder
Lecture and question and answer session.
"Contemporary modern authoritarianism... doesn't have its own idea of truth...its opposition to the idea of truth is radical in its own way. What modern authoritarians tend to do...they tend to create deliberate uncertainty. If you look at the way the televised media in Russia... the way that it functions is to cast doubt on all media including itself. The claim of the Russian media, to be honest, is to claim that we are the only ones who are not telling the truth, and, therefore, we are the only ones who are honest because we're honest about the one truth which is that there is no truth. Therefore, we're not hypocritical, everyone else is a hypocrite because they pretend there is a truth, but we know there is no truth. We accept that there is no truth, therefore, we're not hypocritical. On the one hand there is an attempt to overwhelm everyone and disable politics by making everyone uncertain about what is in fact true because without a sense of factuality it's very hard to organize a civil society, very hard to organize an opposition."
" ... if you're an authoritarian and don't have a game plan to offer... you have a foreign policy which is essentially disintegrative... you want to encourage those who want to weaken it or bring it down [other countries that are more functional] to show that democracy and prosperity and the rule of law are not really possible and to show that they're not possible they have to break down countries as well."
[So rather than build up their own country and make it more functional, they (Russia) interfered in the U.S. election to get Trump elected and further breakdown the U.S.]
" ...Mr Trump knows perfectly well down to his bones that Hillary Clinton would be a better president than he is...and Mr Putin knows that if had Hillary Clinton became president of the United States, she would become a more powerful president than he could ever be."