Viejos gruñones

LONDRES – Al haber alcanzado una edad digna de jubilarse, califico para ser un viejo gruñón. Debería estar aburriendo a mis nietos, y a los alumnos de la Universidad de Oxford de la que soy rector, con rezongos sobre cómo todo se va a la ruina. Pero no es así precisamente cómo yo veo las cosas.

Ingresé a la universidad en 1962. Mi primer ciclo coincidió con la crisis de los misiles de Cuba. El mundo parecía estar tambaleándose al borde de una catástrofe nuclear. Aquellos eran los días en que la paz global estaba sostenida por un concepto convenientemente conocido por el acrónimo MAD (término que significa LOCO en inglés y se traduce como Destrucción Mutua Asegurada). ¿Ese mundo era peor y más peligroso que el de hoy, donde nuestra principal preocupación nuclear es cómo impedir la proliferación y afianzar el tratado que la disuadió durante la generación pasada?

Al final de mis años en Oxford, fui como alumno a Estados Unidos y visité Alabama. Tal vez ustedes recuerden la historia de Richard Nixon cuando asistió a los festejos por la independencia en Ghana. En una recepción de gala, se acercó a un invitado, confundiéndolo con un lugareño, y le preguntó qué sentía al poder votar y gozar de libertad bajo el régimen de derecho. "No sabría decirle", respondió el hombre. "Soy de Alabama".

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