Note — Nov 04, 2018

The Enduring Fantasy of the Modernizing Autocrat

Seen in → No.55

The Enduring Fantasy of the Modernizing Autocrat

Why do Western elites succumb again and again to this fantasy of a youthful reformer and top-down modernizer in the East? […]

Doubtless, quasi-Westernized men and women from the exotic Orient flatter white self-images. These silver-tongued inheritors of wealth and power appear reassuringly familiar — suavely cosmopolitan folks who are au fait with the codes of bourgeois liberalism, unlike coarse nativists like Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.