This fantastic state of mind, of a humanity that has outrun its ideas, is matched by a political scene in the grotesque style, with Salvation Army methods, hallelujahs and bell-ringing and dervish-like repetition of monotonous catchwords, until everybody foams at the mouth. Fanaticism turns into a means of salvation, enthusiasm into epileptic ecstasy, politics becomes an opiate for the masses, a proletarian eschatology; and reason veils her face.
Thomas Mann (1930)
Mann was writing at the very beginning of the decade. He had no idea, at the time, how truly bad things were to become, everywhere, within the next two and three years. France, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, the U.S.: all devolved into insanity.
Britain stood apart. For the first half of the decade, Britain had sane policies and sane leadership. By early 1936, however, it had become unmistakably clear that Britain no longer wished to deal with reality.