Thursday, May 19, 2005

Canada is dead but we live

One cannot maintain with certitude that it would be impossible for a Hitler or Stalin to rise in a country with an established tradition of freedom. What can be asserted with plausibility is that in a traditionally free country a Hitler or Stalin might not find it too difficult to gain power but extremely hard to maintain himself indefinitely. [..] In Russia, [..] the inividual who pits himself against Stalin has nothing to identify himself with, and his capacity to resist coercion is nil. But in a traditionally free country the individual who pits himself against coercion does not feel an isolated human atom but one of a mighty race -- his rebellious ancestors.

-- Eric Hoffer, The True Believer, Time-Life Books 1980, p.169