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Geopolitics

The AMLO Brand Of Populism Puts Mexico's Future At Risk

Mexico's socialist president is fanning class resentments and threatening Mexico's fragile social peace, while delivering little of the welfare he promised in 2018.

The end for Obrador ?
The end for Obrador ?
Luis Rubio

MEXICO CITY — Resentment, especially of the poor toward the rich, is nothing new. Nor is there any novelty in politicians exploiting grievances, both real and imagined. Isocrates, a great orator of the 4th century BC, deplored hostility but recognized it as a typical emotion in democracy. Jeremy Engels, author of The Politics of Resentment, notes that while citizens aired their own views in the "direct" democracy of a Greek city state, today their grievances are handled by politicians. As a tool for governing, however, the political use of public demands has both limits and risks.

The ancient Greeks saw democracy as a fraternity aimed at preventing tyranny, though their ideas barely influenced the 18th century Federalists who molded the U.S. political system. They were determined to avoid the tyranny not of a citizen but of the majority: A democracy, they believed, must protect minorities. Their particular concern was to keep the violent mob in check.

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Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Sveiki!*

Welcome to Thursday, where more Ukrainian soldiers surrender in Mariupol, Sri Lanka defaults on its debt,and George W. Bush offers an epic geopolitical gaffe. Meanwhile, Lili Bai in Chinese-language digital media The Initium looks at what’s driving the current “expat exodus” at play in Shanghai.

[*Latvian]

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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