So what is driving this new climate of distrust, bordering on outright hostility, towards people who think?
History shows us that populist surges generally follow periods of economic hardship, war, or both. We all know what happened in the 1930s after the Great Depression, but a similar pattern of events can be seen in the rise of Andrew Jackson after the downturn of the 1820s and in the aftermath of World War Two.
As discontent grows, so does anger towards those in charge – whether they are responsible or not – and clever folk are usually part of that establishment. The time is ripe for other interest groups, usually those who have been sidelined from power, to step in and widen the cracks.