One Cheer for Democracy

Communism in Eastern Europe collapsed and died at the end of the 1980s because the third generation of leaders lost the religion.  Ivan Twelve-Pack had been disillusioned for decades; only the intellectuals were still on board. Similarly, if the Wehrmacht had triumphed, the disenchanted grandchildren of Himmler, Göring, Goebbels, and Co. might eventually have "liberalized" Nazi Europe.  The Jews and millions of Slavs would be gone, but we might have seen die Offenheit (glasnost) and die Zusammensetzung (perestroika) in the German Empire of the 1980s.  But a Wahhabist Europe may last more than three generations, and there won't likely be any more Arab Springs in the Middle East. The leaders of one African country had no illusions about political Islam.  Algeria in December 1991 was the scene of a one-off election of a different kind.  An Islamacist party won nearly 50% of the vote and took over 80% of the seats in the legislature.  The military...(Read Full Article)