At some point I got the feeling The Economist had become a sort of Reader’s Digest written by Oxbridge PPE/SPS graduates. But low expectations multiply the chances for a positive surprise, like this:
Its [the Alt-Right’s] more cerebral fellow-travelers reheat criticisms of democracy that have been around since Plato. They argue that government of and by the people is flawed, and would prefer something more like the enlightened absolutism of Prussia under Frederick the Great.
Keenly observed. “Since Plato” sounds respectable. As one Russian author asked, would you rather live in non-democratic Prussia around 1870 or in democratic Egypt in 2012? Nowadays the rule of law is a rare exception; democracies are a dime a dozen. Large-scale immigration from outside the first and second worlds keeps pushing western democracies in the direction, not exactly of Egypt, but of Brazil and other fractured and disorderly societies.
Nonchalantly, The Economist concludes:
These people are not the ones to worry about.
In the sense that they won’t be looting stores or setting cars on fire – not even mugging liberals to convert them to alt-rightism – they won’t cause any bother. But ideas might still have consequences and there are times when settled arguments get re-argued.