søndag 14. november 2021

Simon Tisdall: From Nicaragua to China, reckless autocrats betray the promises of revolution

Do revolutions always end in betrayal? Sudanese citizens are but the latest group to see a democratic dawn blotted out by the forces of reaction. It’s an age-old story. Napoleon subverted the French Revolution, imposing an imperium where freedom briefly reigned. Stalin purloined the power of the proletariat to build a totalitarian dictatorship.

From southern Africa to Cuba to Myanmar, today’s ruling heirs to revolutionary political struggle dishonour their inheritance. European peoples who joyfully cast off the Soviet yoke watch liberties erode anew. The Arab spring swiftly wilted. The 1776 “American revolution” was arguably no revolution at all – more a white middle-class taxpayers’ revolt dressed up in fancy language.