Category Archives: democracy

Fact-checking the president:  A study in post-truth

“What is truth?” Pontius Pilate asked, and famously did not hang around for an answer.  Lately I have been asking, Pilate-like, about “post-truth” – and the answers, if they exist, are also hard to get at. Post-truth is an old … Continue reading

Posted in democracy, new media | 5 Comments

The revolt of the public in 10 minutes

The following video was my participation in the virtual class “Politics and Populism,” taught by one of my favorite contemporary thinkers, Yascha Mounk, at Johns Hopkins University.  

Posted in democracy, elites, the public | 3 Comments

Who is an elite?

“So, who’s an elite?”  “Am I an elite?”  “Are you an elite?”  “Isn’t Trump an elite?”  “Don’t you just call ‘elite’ anyone you don’t like?” Fair questions all, which I am I often asked. If I write a lot about … Continue reading

Posted in democracy, elites | Tagged | 11 Comments

A tale of two elites

The Great Reaction America’s elites are a house divided.  Ranged on one side are the people who rule the mighty institutions of modern life:  I mean government, politics, bureaucracy, media, the university, the scientific establishment.  They represent the forces of … Continue reading

Posted in democracy, web | 10 Comments

AOC explained: A digital performer enters the political stage

From one perspective, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the second coming of Donald Trump.  By this I mean that she surfed the same structural forces to Congress that swept Trump into the White House.  These forces can be characterized, very roughly, as … Continue reading

Posted in democracy, influence | 5 Comments

Populism and the trauma of history

Populism Is a Door That Swings Both Ways Let me introduce you to Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who became president of Mexico in January of this year.  He’s a populist of the left.  I bring him up because there’s a … Continue reading

Posted in democracy, narratives, the public | 1 Comment

The revolt of the Yellow Vests: My interview with Atlantico.fr

[The following is my interview with Nicolas Goetzmann, chief economics editor of Atlantico.fr, a French online publication.  It was translated into French and published Saturday, March 23.  Francophones who wish to read it can link to it here. The interview … Continue reading

Posted in democracy, geopolitics, the public | 2 Comments

Has modern government failed?

I want to point readers of this blog to Noah Smith’s generous review of The Revolt of the Public (ROTP), posted a couple of weeks ago.  I would characterize the piece as “critical engagement” – for an analyst, the ideal … Continue reading

Posted in democracy, the public | 4 Comments

Europe: Populism and the agony of the elites

Over the past month, protests have swept across France.  What began as an objection to the fuel tax became violent displays of general outrage.  These are the surface symptoms of a deeper crisis of authority in Europe’s political order.  The … Continue reading

Posted in democracy, geopolitics, the public | 9 Comments

The schizoid presidency of Donald Trump

The Curious Schism Between Trump and Trump How is one to think of a president who is unfit for office in his rhetoric and presentation yet mainstream in his policies and actions? I speak, of course, of Donald Trump.  Who … Continue reading

Posted in democracy, the public | 10 Comments