Into the Abyss

Re-reading Simon Leys, Dalrymple encounters a passage about China that might as well have been written about modern Britain, with some qualifications:

In a period of social and economic disintegration, it suffices for a tiny handful of men – less than 0.1 per cent of the population – to launch eloquent appeals to arouse popular indignation against brutal and corrupt authorities, to mobilise the generosity and idealism of youth, to rally the support of thousands of students, and finally to present a miniscule communist movement as the incarnation of the will of the entire nation.

With what result is now only too well-known.

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