Сварливые старики

ЛОНДОН – Достигнув пенсионного возраста, я имею полное право считаться сварливым стариком. По идее, я должен докучать своим детям и студентам в Оксфордском университете, ректором которого я являюсь, своим бурчанием о том, как все вокруг приходит в упадок. Однако, на самом деле, я вижу происходящее иначе.

Я сам учился в университете в 1962 году. Мой первый год обучения совпал с «Карибским кризисом». Казалось, что мир стоит на пороге ядерной катастрофы. Это были те дни, когда безопасность мира основывалась на концепции, известной под акронимом ВГУ – Взаимно Гарантированное Уничтожение. Был ли тот мир хуже и опаснее, чем сегодняшний, когда наши главные проблемы с ядерным оружием связаны с тем, чтобы предотвратить его быстрое распространение и укрепить соглашения, которые удерживали мир от войны на протяжении последнего поколения?

Когда я заканчивал Оксфорд, то в качестве студента поехал в США в штат Алабама. Если вы помните, как раз тогда Ричард Никсон посетил празднование независимости в Гане. На праздничном приеме он подошел к одному из гостей, приняв его за местного жителя, и спросил, каково это иметь право голоса и быть свободным в рамках правовых норм. «Я не знаю», ответил человек, - «я из Алабамы».

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