The great Thomas Mann wrote an account of his distinguished forebear, the German writer Goethe in old age. He makes Goethe reflect on the German people, in particular their susceptibility to “any mad scoundrel who appeals to their lowest instincts, who confirms them in their vices and teaches them to conceive nationalism as isolation and brutality.” Extra points for successfully identifying the mad scoundrel.
Writing in 20l0, the English spymaster John le Carre, who served in Military Intelligence, Section 5 and MI6, thinks Britain might be sliding toward fascism. He says “Mussolini’s definition of fascism was that when you can’t distinguish corporate power from governmental power, you are on the way to a fascist state. If you throw in God power and media power, that’s where we are now.” How about us? Does it strike you we live in a democracy?
Stanley Poss, Fresno