The End Of The Illusions

“The success of totalitarian movements among the masses meant the end of two illusions of democratically ruled countries in general and of European nation states and their party systems in particular. The first was at the people in it’s majority had taken an active part in the government and that each individual was in sympathy with one’s own or somebody else’s party. On the contrary, the movement showed that the politically neutral and the indifferent masses could easily be the majority in a democratically ruled country, that therefore a democracy could function according to rules which are actively recognized by only a minority. The second democratic illusion exploded by the totalitarian movements was that these politically and different masses did not matter, that they were truly neutral and constituted no more than the inarticulate backward setting for the political life of the nation. Now they made apparent what no other organ of public opinion had ever been able to show, namely, that democratic government had rested as much on the silent approbation and tolerance of the indifferent and in inarticulate sections of the people as on the articulate and visible institutions and organizations of the country. Thus when totalitarian movements invaded Parliament with their contempt for parliamentary government, they merely appeared inconsistent: actually, they succeeded in convincing the people at large that parliamentary majorities were spurious and did not necessarily correspond to the realities of the country, thereby undermining the self-respect and the confidence of governments which also believed in majority rule rather than in their constitutions.”

Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism, A Classless Society (bold text from worstwriter)

Rant on.