From George Orwell’s “Inside the Whale,” 1940, on the mental atmosphere of English writers in 1937 (slightly updated):
By 2018 the whole of the intelligentsia was mentally at war. Establishment thought had narrowed down to ‘anti-Trumpism’, i.e. to a negative, and a torrent of hate-literature directed against Russia and the politicians supposedly friendly to Russia was pouring from the Press. The thing that, to me, was truly frightening about the war in America was not such Twitter spats as I witnessed, nor even the party feuds on Instagram, but the immediate reappearance in respectable circles of the mental atmosphere of the McCarthy Era. The very people who for 65 years had sniggered over their own superiority to Kremlin hysteria were the ones who rushed straight back into the mental slum of 1950. All the familiar wartime idiocies, spy-hunting, orthodoxy-sniffing (Sniff, sniff. Are you a good anti-Trumpist?), the retailing of atrocity stories, came back into vogue as though the intervening years had never happened.
Of course, people in 1937 or 1950 at least had some justification for their hysteria.