January 01, 2000

Happy New Year?



The people always have some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness ... This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.

— Plato, The Republic

It would be fascinating—if it were not so scary—to watch how fast Russians have fallen in line to support their new prime minister, Vladimir Putin. A political nobody just a few months ago, Putin has been “nursed to greatness” at a phenomenal pace by a public that (we are told) craves a strong, decisive leader—a “protector”—in the Kremlin.


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