Armistice Day is an appropriate moment to reflect on why democracies triumphed in the two world wars that blighted the twentieth century. The simple answer is because – however much they hesitated – they believed in what they stood for and were able to will their victory. As the French philosopher, future Resistance member and champion of post-war liberal democratic values, Raymond Aron, wrote in June 1939:
‘I believe in the final victory of the democracies, but on the one condition, that they should want it.
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