"Moral paralysis" is a term that has been used to describe the inaction of France, England and other European democracies in the 1930s, as they watched Hitler build up the military forces that he later used to attack them.
It is a term that may be painfully relevant to our own times.
Back in the 1930s, the governments of the democratic countries knew what Hitler was doing — and they knew that they had enough military superiority at that point to stop his military buildup in its tracks. But they did nothing to stop him.
Instead, they turned to what is still the magic mantra today — "negotiations."
No leader of a democratic nation was ever more popular than British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain — wildly cheered in the House of Commons by opposition parties as well as his own — when he returned from negotiations in Munich in 1938, waving an agreement and declaring that it meant "peace in our time."
We know now how short that time was.