The effect of Hitler’s gaining of power in Germany was ‘revolutionary’ in its consequences. But unlike the French and Russian revolutions he gained power in a democracy. Much is written about the conditions in Germany at the time and Hitler playing them to his advantage, but the strategy behind this was simply to gather sufficient support and votes from those on the bottom rungs of society’s ladder – the poor, poorly educated, and politically naive. The strategy is then implemented making simplistic use of issues affecting such people.

Listening to Trump can you doubt he’s doing the same?

A government in power could counter the opportunities for such a power grab by ensuring that those at the bottom of society are properly educated and not disaffected. I live in South Africa and my government (and the previous one) has done rather poorly in this regard: hence we have Malema applying the strategy in his own (democratic) power grab. Any reader living in a democracy might question how well his own government is doing.

Tom Collinge
Jesus College, 1970