Burma: Sharing the Shame

Candor in a military dictator is a rare quality, and self-criticism rarer still. But Burmese Strongman General Ne Win offered both in abundance at a recent Rangoon seminar of his Socialist Program Party. The topic: potholes in Ne Win's "Burmese road to socialism," launched soon after he took power in 1962 and began nationalizing every thing in sight. The economy, confessed the general, "is in a mess." So much so, he added, that "if Burma were not a country with an abundance of food, we would all be starving."

The reason that no one is starving is that farming...

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