Despite his serious theological problems and their promulgation, Emil Brunner offered a remarkably insightful (even prophetically spoken into our current politico-historical context!) observation in his inaugural address at the founding of that specious ecumenical World Council of Church in 1948 in Amsterdam. Hear Brunner speaking of our own experience today.
“The problem by which our age is dominated is the emerging of the totalitarian state – the new Leviathan begotten by economic materialism and by the deliberate negation of personal freedom and responsibility. The danger of totalitarianism would not be so overwhelming if it were merely a matter of political dictatorship as opposed to democratic forms of government. Totalitarianism is something more pernicious than dictatorship. It is the attempt to direct and mould the entire life of the community and of its individual members in accordance with the dictate of an omnipotent state, using for this purpose all the powerful methods of mass-suggestion and police-control provided by modern technics.
“The disquieting feature of our situation is that totalitarianism—in the sense indicated—is in ascendency everywhere, even in those countries which are regarded as traditionally democratic.”
As cited by Von Meyenfeldt, F.H. in “The Meaning of Ethos,” which is available here and highly, highly recommended.