The best line about the recent elections in Italy, France, and Greece came from the excellent Daniel Finkelstein of The Times of London, who wrote that “voters went to the polls to see if they agreed that two plus two equals four and decided that they did not. Simple arithmetic ran for office, and lost.” This is only true, however, if you assume that people in apparently democratic countries continue to be, according to the classic assumptions of democracy, self-governing. Looked at another way, the real meaning of those elections is that majorities in these three countries—and growing numbers in other countries, including the United States—have become weary of the burdens and responsibilities of self-government. It wasn’t for such hardship and self-discipline that the Greeks joined the EU! They joined for the sake of the allowance they have been getting from rich Uncle Fritz in Berlin. Threatened, on account of their...


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