Friday, April 13, 2018

“Demagogues and charlatans”

Rob Riemen:

The institutions that should protect us exist only by grace of the trust that people have in them. Put demagogues and charlatans in charge, use the mass media to cultivate the belief that this leader, the antipolitical politician, is the only person who can save the country — and the constitutional, democratic institutions will disappear just as quickly as the authorities become impotent because no one believes in them anymore.

“The Eternal Return of Fascism,” in To Fight Against This Age: On Fascism and Humanism (New York: W.W. Norton, 2018).
The essay in which this passage appears was first published in Dutch in 2010.

You can watch and listen to a short conversation with Riemen at Salon. I’ll have something to say about this book soon.

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