The spectacle of fascist and leftist mobs was given an extraterrestrial twist in the 1967 British film Quartermass and the Pit (US title: Five Million Years to Earth), in which scientists investigate a mysterious object and nearby hominids buried in an extension of the London Underground. They originally believe the probe might be one of Hitler’s rockets but ultimately discover in the object the remains of horned locust-like creatures: Martians who came to Earth five million years ago and shaped human evolution.
The spacecraft has a mind of its own and begins to possess Londoners with ancient memories of a race war in which the Martians cleanse the hives of weaker members of the race to make Mars great again. The possessed Brits riot and attack those who do not share their racial memory. The Martian psyche takes the form of a towering specter, which is ultimately “grounded” and destroyed by the iron in a construction crane.
As allegory, the film suggests that humans have an ancient instinct to attack “the other” that comes to the surface when a human locust raises its ugly head. Only a leader with an iron will can defeat the towering Trump.
Today, the human locusts are winning, devouring the grains of democracy across the globe. In Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, major democracies are now backsliding toward authoritarianism. — The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Western liberal democracy is not yet dead but it is far closer to collapse than we may wish to believe. — Edward Luce, The Financial Times.
Perhaps our best hope is that the locust metaphor will hold true: The feasting fascists will eventually die out and their dormant progeny will remain buried for many years or many generations.