The above phrase is associated with the Russian revolutionary and writer Victor Serge. A dedicated anti stalinist he coined the term in the mid 1930s, a time when the left opposition had been extinguished in the Soviet Union the purges and the show trials had begun in earnest and the rest of Europe quivered in the shadow of fascism and the rise of Hitler. So all in all it was a very grim time and one which Serge's phrase brilliantly captured.
In 2016 we've recently seen a vote for Brexit in the UK - a vote almost entirely based on lies on xenophobia and a nascent and ugly British chauvinism. And now we're seeing a President elected in America on a platform based almost entirely on lies on xenophobia and statements from the candidate which on times have bordered on fascism. So all in all this a very grim time for those of us with a world view based on tolerance, compassion and a commitment to social and economic justice.
There's no way of ameliorating what has taken place or softening the blow - make no mistake this is our Midnight in the Century. We know what horrors were unleashed on the world in the decade after Victor Serge penned those famous words in 1935 - i dread to think what horrors await us in the next few years!
PS. the French National Front leader Marine le Pen was quick to congratulate Trump - ominously tweeting "their world is collapsing - ours is being built". You shudder to think what kind of world she wants to build.