How long is this going to last? Ever since the twin political upheavals of 2016 — Britain’s vote for Brexit and America’s election of Donald Trump — analysts have argued about whether this is a temporary aberration, or the beginning of a new era. It is still early days. But it already seems likely that future historians will look upon the events of 2016 as marking the beginning of a new cycle in international history. The bad news for anguished liberals is that these cycles can last quite a long time — 30 years seems to be about average. In the years since “Brexit-and-Trump”, a global populist movement has gathered momentum. The fact that Trump is despised by much of the western establishment and media can obscure this point. But the US president has many admirers, some of them running governments around the world. Jair Bolsonaro, the new president of Brazil, Latin America’s largest country, is an avowed Trump fan. In the Middle East, the Saudi and Israeli governments much prefer Tr...

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