This distrust has played out in national elections this year; far-right nativist parties have done very well this year.
The most prominent example is Hungary’s anti-Semitic and anti-gypsy Jobbik party, which finished third in parliamentary elections last month.
In the aftermath of the Great Recession, national governments like Greece are finding themselves at the mercy of unforgiving capital markets.
In this kind of economic environment, individual perceptions of powerlessness inevitably rise, making conspiracy theories more appealing.
Barack Obama was born in Kenya and is a secret Muslim who hates the United States and wants to institute ‘death panels’ to govern the healthcare system.
The United States triggered the earthquake in Haiti to expand America’s imperial reach.
In Europe, the financial crisis has had a dramatic and negative effect.
European Commission polls showed that by last year, public trust in all major European institutions had nosedived; indeed, for the first time ever, more Europeans distrusted the European Central Bank than trusted it.
Moreover, just as political power appears to be centralising, globalisation is increasing the magnitude and vicissitude of market forces.
This is not a novel phenomenon, but its volatile effects on the developed world are new.