Thursday, February 03, 2011


In 1911, a popular uprising in Mexico threatened the corrupt, repressive 30-year rule of an octogenarian president. Eventually, Porfirio Díaz announced that he would not stand for reelection, but would serve out the remainder (5½ years) of his term. Then he said he would resign, but only “when, according to the dictates of my conscience, I am sure that my resignation will not be followed by anarchy.” Compare and contrast. (Mubarak two days ago: “I am now absolutely determined to finish my work for the nation in a way that ensures its safekeeping.”)

Díaz, of course, fled the country and lived out the last four years of his life in luxury in France.

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