About 10 years ago, Peter Turchin, a scientist at the University of Connecticut, predicted a decade of political instability over the following decade in Western Europe and the United States. His argument, made in the journal Nature, was that one underlying source of this instability was the “overproduction of young graduates with advanced degrees.”
Looking back now to the meteoric rise of Donald Trump and Trumpism, Brexit, and the resurgence of nationalist protest movements elsewhere, Turchin was onto something. The “overproduction of elites” and the inability to meet their demands has been at the heart of revolutionary fervour for centuries. It is as true then as it is now.