Visual Statement

Birds of a Feather

By Pep Montserrat

“Not so long ago, extremists in Europe seized power violently. In Spain, my country, Francisco Franco ushered in his dictatorship with a war; Adolf Hitler, long before he started conquering other countries, employed racist propaganda and intimidation tactics to become Germany’s chancellor. Today, though, wolves don sheep’s clothing to enter the flock: Far-right politicians climb to power using the trappings and tools of democracy. They camouflage themselves as mere ‘conservatives’ and espouse platforms that imply progress but in reality are retrograde. They garner votes by promising employment that would come at the poor’s expense, national unity based on dominance and submission, and security that overrides freedom. They exist beyond Europe, too, yet Western countries seem not to see the Trojan horses rolling in. We live in a time of populism and pretenders. Democracy, the best of all possible regimes, is serving those who want to destroy it.”

Pep Montserrat is an illustrator living and working in Barcelona. His work has appeared in newspapers all over the world and in children’s books. He also teaches illustration at the Massana School in Barcelona. A version of this article originally appeared in the July/August 2016 issue of FP magazine.

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Global Thinkers 2015 Issue Cover