TIME

How the Enlightenment predicted modern populism

The Enlightenment romanticized the pursuit of scientific knowledge (as depicted in this 1766 Joseph Wright painting of a philosopher giving a lecture), which was disruptive for those accustomed to tradition and religion

BY NEARLY ALL OBJECTIVE SIGNS, THE 2016 election should have been a cakewalk for a mainstream candidate. The economy had mostly recovered from the 2008–2009 recession. Unemployment was low, and despite the occasional small bump, so was violent crime. The Middle East may have been in bloody chaos, but few U.S. soldiers were dying there, as they so recently had by the hundreds in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yet it was the

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from TIME

TIME12 min readSociety
The Vaccine Battlegrounds
EVEN AS U.S. MEASLES CASES HIT RECORD NUMBERS, A GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT IS DETERMINED TO KEEP STATES FROM REQUIRING KIDS TO GET THEIR SHOTS
TIME1 min read
Inside Arturo Castro
Arturo Castro has range. That much has been clear since he started juggling roles in Broad City, as Ilana’s sweet gay roommate Jaime, and Narcos—where he played a cartel prince critics compared to Game of Thrones’ evil Joffrey. He can do comedy and d
TIME2 min read
A Heroine Lifts Up An Ancient Hero’s Tale
THE PORPOISE OPENS WITH ACTION. THE NEW NOVEL FROM Mark Haddon, whose 2003 hit The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was the basis for a Tony-winning play, begins with Maja, pregnant wife of the superwealthy Philippe, going down in a smal