K. Krishna Menon

I. A year has passed since liberal America and the liberal opinion class, in particular, went ecstatic over the Arab debut into the modern world. I know that my standing in that class is suspect. So, being a bit flummoxed myself by the not altogether dissimilar developments in the vast expanse from the Maghreb to Mesopotamia, I conquered my doubts and made a slight stab for hope. But I quickly realized that I was wrong and left the celebration.

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I don't know how many head-of-state nut cases arrived in New York for the annual meetings of the United Nations General Assembly. But surely there are many others besides Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Muamar Gaddafi. There is a class of rulers from Africa, for example, who govern recklessly in behalf of themselves but under the cover of one or another form of millenarianism. (The brutal clowns of South America are a bit different. They still believe that Fidel Castro is a model for building the good society.) This is, I suppose, the revenge of ideology over the London School of Economics.

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