History repeats itself, we are told. It would be wise to heed those words. Perhaps we believed that, the war won, peace would reign eternally. But time rolls on, and each new generation needs to learn the lessons of the past or pay the consequences.
The world is slipping back into familiarly dangerous habits. Nationalism has once more raised its shaven head and is gaining ground. Trump and his America First, the Mexican Wall, his trade wars and isolationism. Putin, trying to revive the expansionist glory of the Soviet Union, to make Russians proud to be Russians by intimidation and shows of strength. Xi Jinnping in China, the new emperor with dreams of world domination. Tory Britain and its infamous Brexit campaign, voluntarily cutting itself off from Europe and wrapping itself up in the by now very faded Union Jack.
Even within Europe itself, the great defender of internationalism, there are governments and movements stoking the nationalist fire. In Italy, France, Austria, Holland, Poland. The list is growing. Extreme right wing members are regularly voted into local, national and European parliaments.
Such is democracy, you may well argue. But beware the propaganda of the nationalist parties. Their arguments are spurious and full of venom. The foreigner, the outsider, will always be to blame. Their will be ethnical and genetic discrimination, their will be the iron fist of the law, there will be only black or white, with us or against us.
We have seen all of this before. We have seen to what kind of society it leads. We have seen the injustice, the abuse of power, the slow descent towards war. And it is in our hands to stop this morbid fascination with neo fascism. If we look the other way History will not forgive us. We have the power, we have the vote, let us decide not to repeat the errors of the pass at the polls.
Such is democracy.