Theodore Dalrymple reflects on the Shining Path after reading a book about the Peruvian Maoist guerrilla movement that terrorized Peru in the 1980s and 1990s.
The good doctor makes some incisive observations as he recalls his visit to Peru during the height of the Shining Path’s bloody insurrection. On politics:
It was a perfect lesson in politics: that the choice is not usually between the good and the bad, but the bad and the worse, in this case the far, far worse.
On the spread of tertiary education:
Until I went to Ayacucho, I had naively supposed that the spread of tertiary education was always and everywhere a sign of social progress: the more, the better. For the first time, I began to see that this was not necessarily the case. There is no class more dangerous than the tertiary-educated with no prospects that they consider worthy of themselves.