Failure after failure — of economic, political, and social institutions. Fascism can’t rise all the way to power if strong, functioning, institutions work. Let’s review Germany again. Hitler never won a majority — power was given to him. Really: just handed over. The central bank gave up on managing the currency. Really: just gave up. Then there was Chamberlain, and so on. The media across the world was spellbound, and failed to warn properly of the horrors to come. If none of these things had come to pass, neither, maybe, would have World War II. But they did: institutional failures sow the seeds of fascism — and those institutions can’t then save societies from the very fascism they’ve helped create. What did Germany have to do after World War II? It had to build new institutions, write a new constitution, restructure the government, have war crimes tribunals, and so on. Scared? You should be! Intellectuals today aren’t taking any of this seriously, and this is what why they get it wrong, over and over again.