This is a reposting of an earlier post. Mussolini and fascism were very popular in the US in the 1930s. Criticism of Mussolini was not acceptable then. Now people are flocking to Amazon to purchase 1984. The message in 1984 is universal, but it is set in London. For an American version, I suggest It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis.
“No, I like it here. There’s symptoms of possible future democracy. But–but–what burns me up–it isn’t that old soap-boxer’s chestnut about how one tenth of 1 per cent of the population at the top have an aggregate income equal to 42 per cent at the bottom. Figures like that are too astronomical. Don’t mean a thing in the world to a fellow with his eyes–and nose–down in a transmission box–fellow that doesn’t see the stars except after 9 P.M. on odd Wednesdays. But what burns me up is the fact that even before this depression, in what you folks called prosperous times, 7 per cent of all families in the country earned $500 a year or less–remember, those weren’t the unemployed, on relief; those were the guys that had the honor of still doing honest labor.”
In the next paragraph, Lewis explained how little $10 per week bought for a family of four in those times. Only pennies per person were available for food. How little has changed in 78 years since the book was written.