A demagogue’s power is in knowing how to change a gathering from a crowd to a mob. Then, to give the mob an enemy. We ask why a people would willingly give an autocrat untrammelled power over their lives. Because when the people become a mob, they do not want good government, all they want, to quote Greenblatt, is “permission to break the rules”, to destroy, to slake their thirst for blood.
In 2023, that permission was given.
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