Totalitarianism begins in contempt for what you have. The second step is the notion: “Things must change no matter how, Anything is better than what we have.” Totalitarian rulers organize this kind of mass sentiment, and by organizing it articulate it, and by articulating it make the people somehow love it. They were told before, thou shalt not kill; and they didn’t kill. Now they are told, thou shalt kill; and although they think it’s very difficult to kill, they do it because it's now part of the code of behavior. They learn whom to kill and how to kill and how to do it together. This is the much talked about Gleichschaltung the coordination process. You are coordinated not with the powers that be, but with your neighbor coordinated with the majority. But instead of communicating with the other you are now glued to him. And you feel of course marvelous. Totalitarianism appeals to the very dangerous emotional needs of people who live in complete isolation and in fear of one another.
When we were told that by freedom we understood free enterprise, we did very little to dispel this monstrous falsehood. Wealth and economic well being, we have asserted, are the fruits of freedom, while we should have been the first to know that this kind of happiness has been an unmixed blessing only in this country, and it is a minor blessing compared with the truly political freedoms, such as freedom of speech and thought, of assembly and association, even under the best conditions.
If you ask a member of this generation two simple questions: How do you want the world to be in fifty years? and What do you want your life to be like five years from now? the answers are quite often preceded by Provided there is still a world and Provided I am still alive. To the often heard question, Who are they, this new generation? one is tempted to answer, Those who hear the ticking. And to the other question, Who are they who utterly deny them? the answer may well be, Those who do not know, or refuse to face, things as they really are.