Monday, 21 January 2013

the paranoid style

What is the distinguishing thing about the paranoid style, wrote Richard Hofstadter, is not that its exponents see conspiracies or plots here and there in history, but that they regard a 'vast' or 'gigantic' conspiracy as the motive force of historical events. History is a conspiracy, set in motion by demonic forces of almost transcendent power, and what is felt to be needed to defeat it is not the usual methods of political give and take, but an all-out crusade.

Friedlander /The Years of Persecution / 84

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