No one must, however, underrate the power and efficiency of a totalitarian state… The rulers for the time being can exercise a
power for the purposes of war and external domination before which the ordinary free parliamentary societies are at a grievous practical disadvantage…We must recognize that the Parliamentary democracies and liberal, peaceful forces have everywhere sustained a defeat which leaves them weaker, morally and physically, to cope with dangers which have vastly grown.
Winston S. Churchill, Into Battle, (London: Cassell, 1941), 83–91.
It is good to keep in mind that in the end, said “weak” democracies trumped not one, but two totalitarian systems. Do not underestimate the forces that can be mobilised in open societies. And do not underestimate the brittleness of authoritarian systems.