If it’s any consolation the entire world is being torn asunder by an unstoppable tsunami of populism. As most people are rather dim-witted and ignorant, the easiest way to achieve political power is by repeating a few content-free but emotion-rich soundbites that reliably stir the atavistic mob.

Plato pointed out more than 2,500 years ago that democracies always end in tyranny for this very reason. Athens, for example, went from democracy to tyranny in less than a century and Rome fared little better. Of course tyrants like to call their fiefdoms “democracy” because this sounds so much better than totalitarian regime. Hence the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea as merely one amusing example among many.

So as the USA sinks beneath the waves we can take some slender comfort from the fact the entire ship is going down, not just the star-spangles deckchairs sliding madly across the sundeck.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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