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Pankaj Mishra

A Counter-Revolution Is Brewing in the U.K. and Europe

Popular enthusiasm for government intervention is up-ending traditional distinctions between left and right.

Brothers in alms.

Brothers in alms.

Photographer: Kirsty Wigglesworth/WPA Pool/Getty Images Europe

Behind the headlines about Brexit, a counter-revolution has quietly occurred in Britain in recent years. Its reverberations seemed certain to reach beyond the English Channel when last week the guillotine unexpectedly came down on Sajid Javid, the Chancellor of the British Exchequer.

Javid, a devotee of the libertarian philosopher Ayn Rand and alumnus of Deutsche Bank, was edged out of Boris Johnson’s cabinet largely because he seemed too much a foot soldier of the ideological revolution that occurred in the 1980s in, first, Britain, and then, the United States.