Sign of the times

Benito Mussolini’s granddaughter has won the highest number of votes in elections for Rome’s city council. Rachele Mussolini, who won over 8,200 votes, belongs to the far-right party Brothers of Italy. (The Guardian 7 Oct 2o21).

My comment: In several countries we can see a resurgence of extremism and a disillusionment with democracy. Yes, democracy is messy, but it’s a hugely preferable alternative to authoritarianism, intolerance of opposite opinions – and downright thuggery.

Epicurus advised us to avoid politics, but, for what it’s worth, he did have good reasons to steer clear of political involvement. We today have been lucky with systems of government that have been fairly responsive to electorates. Looks like a movement is gaining strength to undo what is imperfect, but better than cowering before autocrats and their thugs who threaten us if we raise our voices. Once we lose democracy it’s hard to get it back. I have a leather-thonged whip that my father took off a death camp guard in Northern Germany in 1945. “ Never forget”, he said as he handed it to me.

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