America Abroad

A Wealth Of Nations

In an important respect, the 20th century has come full circle. Once again national groups are asserting themselves as nation-states; provinces are declaring themselves countries. Balkanization is back in fashion, and not just in the Balkans.

This atavistic trend is a direct result of the Soviet capitulation in the cold war. The core of communism was a strong center: it was from there that the orders and the troops came. A single ruler could intimidate or punish the farthest corner of his domain. The Yugoslavs used to say, "We have six republics, five ethnic groups, four languages, three religions, two alphabets...

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