“The easiest way to block communism from gaining power is to make sure there are few truly poor people, as communism normaly requires popular desperation igniting revolution, or military power in order to gain control.
The easiest way to implement fascism is to make sure the middle class majority feels disillusioned, lost, displeased and deserving of more, and then just play on fear, nostalgia and need for hope, while tweaking the current political system towards ‘temporary’ infractions of rights, adding restrictions and limitations on rights to choice, privacy and integrity for the people.
Consequently, to hinder fascism to grow, the middle-class needs to be made to feel safe and satisfied, with hope for the future. And neglecting this can nurture both communism and fascism, but the latter more and quicker than the former.
This also means that for some on the radical left, it lies in their interest to provoke the government and the powers that be to blatant oppression and a more divised, unequal society, leading to despair, so a broad support for revolt can be built. This is one of the motivations behind the 70’s left-wing terrorism, like the RAF.
It also means that, as a society moves from despair and poverty towards a good, decent standard, it becomes more vulnerable to be exploited by hard authoritarian powers. It is an inbuilt natural process.
Likewise, it means that the same authoritarian powers can choose to inflate ideas about the many problems with the current state of things to gain power, and that the only way of stopping that is education and awareness. Therefore those two will also be the first targets, attacking academia and press.”
“We humans really have a fantastic reluctance to see uncomfortable things for what they are and often do not until some cataclysmic event happens, and often not until it is too late. It is a blessing and a curse both, and it has kept us together, but has also brought us deep into brutality and cruelty so many times before.”
“If you plan on heading off to war, knowing your enemy is not enough. You also have to clearly see your own weaknesses well, so you avoid overestimating the strength of your own position. In the end, the victor isn’t necessarily the one who is right, but the one who has the strongest support, and it is his words that will be noted down in history as true. Failing to understand this can lead you to hurt the very thing you fight for.”
“I have no doubt, too, they may be very helpful to the uninitiated and those who are still novices, for individual aphorisms in a small compass, rounded off in units rather like lines of verse, become fixed more readily in the mind. It is for this reason that we give children proverbs and what the Greeks call chriae to learn by heart, a child’s mind being able to take these in at a stage when anything more would be beyond its capacity. But in the case of a grown man who has made incontestable progress it is disgraceful to go hunting after gems of wisdom, and prop himself up with a minute number of the best known sayings, and be dependent on his memory as well, it is time he was standing on his own feet. He should be delivering himself of such sayings, not memorizing them.
Assume authority yourself and utter something that may be handed down to posterity. Produce something from your own resources. This is why I look on people like this as a spiritless lot – the people who are forever lurking in someone else’s shadow. They never venture to do for themselves the things they have spent such a long time learning. They exercise their memory on things that are not their own. It is one thing, however, to remember, another to know.”
– Seneca, letters to the boy who would become Emperor Nero
In these times of a never ending stream of memes and quotes, a quote worth considering.
“Always be particularly careful and sceptical with things that appear to confirm your beliefs.”