Showing posts from February 14, 2011

In The American Conservative: Don't Play Like It's 1989 Don’t Party Like It’s 1989 Today’s turmoil in the Middle East looks more like the stillborn revolutions of 1848. By Leon Hadar The uprising in Egypt and challenge to the Middle East’s autocratic rulers could have produced a sense of déjà vu for the late German-Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt. Notwithstanding her reputation as a progressive thinker, Arendt believed that the erosion in the power of Europe’s conservative ruling elites and the strong national states they controlled helped set the stage for rise of totalitarianism and the horrific wars that engulfed Europe in the first part of the 20th century. As Arendt pointed out in her classic study The Origins of Totalitarianism, the inability of these ruling elites in France, Germany, Austro-Hungary, and the Slavic states to retain their legitimacy in the face of waves of nationalist convulsions ignited by “the people”—the opening chapter being the uprisings of 1848—led to the