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Chapter Three: How Populism Shaped Today's America


Published July 9, 2020

Though many attribute the rise of populism to Russian interference in the 2016 election, a better answer to this question may be the prevalence of social media platforms, specifically Facebook and Twitter. The Trump campaign’s use of social media platforms to spread conservative ideals signified the rising importance of the internet in American life. Populism may be followed by progressivism in the next election as politicians on the left begin to adopt the social media strategies used by the Trump campaign.

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Video Recorded August 22, 2019

Discussion Questions:

  1. What role has technology played in the development of nationalism in America and throughout the world?
  2. How might the populist revival in America influence the future of American politics?

Additional Resources:

  • Listen to “Niall Ferguson Talks About The Square and the Tower: Network, Hierarchies, and the Struggle for Global Power from the Freemasons to Facebook,” available here.
  • Watch Niall Ferguson’s interview at the 2019 New Enlightenment Conference in Edinburgh, available here.
  • Listen to “De-Globalization and the Cold War” with Niall Ferguson on The John Batchelor Show, available here.