Often in classic Greek tragedies, the greatest strengths of the lead characters are also the source of their ultimate undoing. In this sense, their fate is sealed from the start, and the tragic narrative derives from their hopeless and futile attempts to escape a destiny that is preordained. Yet many classic tragedies also embrace the view that acceptance of fate constitutes the beginning of wisdom. That trajectory is depressingly evident in the careers of many great, and terrible, politicians. Perhaps the most iconic example is Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher’s resolute, at times harsh, reconstitution of the British economy eventually won her grudging admiration across the world. Yet her own overweening sense of her own rightness and righteousness made her unable to appreciate the consequences of the changes she herself had wrought. Her downfall was not brought about by her enemies, but by her own friends and colleagues, whose patience was eventually worn down by serial dismissiveness....

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