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We Need to Talk About Totalitarianism, Again

Who are those hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
Ringed by the flat horizon
What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Falling towers…

from ‘V. What the Thunder Said’
T.S. Eliot,
The Waste Land, 1922

— from Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium — Chapter I

Who Goes Nazi Now? — Russia, China, America …

During my first trip to New York in the northern autumn of 1986, my then-partner Linda Jaivin and I picked up a copy of Hans Askenasy’s Are We All Nazis? at the Strand Bookstore in the East Village. The book was related to the Milgram experiments conducted by the psychologist Stanley Milgram at Yale University in the 1906s, the findings of which had caused something of a sensation when they were published in 1974 (see Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View).

— from Xi Jinping’s Empire of Tedium — Appendix IX