Today they are trendy, perhaps more than before, their influence on power has great practical importance, so a nation or group of fanatics has odds of success in war, this is a major impediment to democracy and democratic peoples in general; it has more success than a nation where there is a large population of wise men.
Consider this in the light of history.
It is possible to note that cases in which fanaticism led to success are much more known than those in which they failed, because these events remained in the dark.
Certainly a too quickly examination can mislead; it is obvious that if we stay on our guard is easy to avoid it.
A classic example of the fanatic power was that of Hitler's national socialism, but today we have to remember that the maximum fanatic power example is represented by the history of Islam.
Muhammad did not ever add anything to the knowledge and material resources of the Arabs, yet few years after his death they had acquired a vast empire by defeating the powerful neighbours; the religion founded by the Prophet was material and essential element to the success of the nation.
Fanaticism during Muhammad's life and for some years after his death, joined the Arab nation, called force at battle with the promise of paradise to those who died fighting against the infidels.
Very soon, sooner than any religion, fanaticism was ousted from the Government, as always when a fanatical doctrine governs.
But wars are caused, they exist, and in all fanatic doctrines their leaders, must have done wrong calculations.
Reasons are manifold: pride and vanity, ignorance, contagious excitement.
When a people is kept in a confident ignorance its belief, its bellicose feeling can easily pass by rulers to those who manifests as such.
The hysteria and megalomania do the rest and are very contagious, and governments are not protected by any special immunity.
The attitude of complete obedience imposed to subordinate individuals is the enemy of intelligence, where members of a people must accept a doctrine obviously absurd, even the best become dumb or aloof.
So there will be an intellectual lowering level that quickly become counter-productive.
And here is the time to summarize the situation of fanaticism.
Cohesion requires a faith, a complex of habits, a fundamental feeling, or even better a merge of all three; without something like this the community disintegrates and ends up falling into the hands of a tyrant, who inevitably will be destroyed.
If the world in a near future gives birth to people of fanatics against the democratic peoples, final victory will not go certainly to the first, but to those who support democracy and equality among peoples.
The ultimate power of limit demeaned is that of boredom and disintegration, of attrition and not least the desire for convenience.
"If your knife has a short handle
stretch it with a stick.
Make the drop become Ocean.
A rock, a mountain range
the whole world your master.”
( free movement Sufi Muslim maximum)