Canadians, having just weathered our federal election and watching the United States revving up for its own, may wonder at the polarized moods on both sides of the border. Albertans angrily applaud a premier who blames nefarious outsiders for thwarting the oil affluence to which they are entitled. A third of Americans salute Donald Trump’s populism that scapegoats immigrants for why their lives aren’t yet “great again.”
All to be expected, concludes Peter Turchin, a Russian-born scientist now based at the University of Connecticut, Vienna’s Complexity Science Hub, and Oxford. After publishing several other books, Turchin brought out Ages of Discord in 2016, as the U.S. election was about to deliver Trump to the White House.