Although in my view the most importantly relevant aspect for today of The Open Society and Its Enemies is its philosophy of social democracy, and although this was close to Popper's heart when he wrote the book, it was not his chief reason for writing it. One has to remember that for most of the period while he was working on it Hitler was meeting with success after success, conquering almost the whole of Europe, country by country, and driving deep into Russia. Western civilization was confronted with the immediate threat of a new Dark Age. In these circumstances what Popper was concerned to do was to understand and explain the appeal of totalitarian ideas, and do everything he could to undermine it, and also to promulgate the value and importance of liberty in the widest sense. This capacious programme places the philosophy of social democracy in the most unparochial of contexts, unparochial in time as well as in place.