LIBERALISM made the modern world, but the modern world is turning against it. Europe and America are in the throes of a popular rebellion against liberal elites, who are seen as self-serving and unable, or unwilling, to solve the problems of ordinary people. Elsewhere a 25-year shift towards freedom and open markets has gone into reverse, even as China, soon to be the world’s largest economy, shows that dictatorships can thrive.

In their different ways Rousseau, Marx and Nietzsche rejected all these ideas. Rousseau doubted that progress takes place at all. Marx thought progress is ordained, but that it is generated by class struggle and revolution. Nietzsche feared that society was descending into nihilism, but appealed to the heroic übermensch in each person as its saviour. Those coming after them did terrible things in their name

Populists are dividers,…….Stylistically, populists often use short, simple slogans and direct language, and engage in “boorish behavior, which makes [them] appear like the real people,” said Pippa Norris, a professor at Harvard University who is working on a book on the rise of “populist-authoritarian” politicians around the world, especially in Europe. They are typically “transgressive on all the rules of the game

ERITREA, one of Africa’s newest countries, was born in battle. First it fought for 30 years to break away from Ethiopia, its bigger neighbour to the south, achieving that goal in 1993. In 1998 it was embroiled in another bloody war that cost perhaps 70,000 lives after it invaded Ethiopia over a trifling border dispute. A decade later it invaded tiny Djibouti over an argument about whether the border ran along the top or sides of some hills in the desert