Moreover, just as political power appears to be centralising, globalisation is increasing the magnitude and vicissitude of market forces.
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.
Far-right parties have also secured significant gains in Italy, the Netherlands and France.
And no matter how the British National Party fare in this week’s election, it is obvious that the dominant mood among today’s British electorate is one of hostility towards the political class.
These are just a small slice of the conspiracy theories floating around the global ether of rumour and innuendo.
Such theories are hardly a new phenomenon in world politics.He is always manning the barricades of civilisation.’ The paranoid style obsesses about power, but is profoundly hostile to those who currently occupy the commanding heights of the power structure.Hofstadter formulated his argument to describe the movement behind the Republican candidate Barry Goldwater.Such frustration and anger with authority is a transatlantic phenomenon.In the US, the latest Pew survey finds that 22 per cent of Americans say they can trust the government in Washington always or most of the time, which is one of the lowest levels in the last half-century.The economic crises have forced the highest levels of government to act.Since, however, this is also the level of government most removed from the average citizen, it is hardly surprising to see a growing sense of frustration and powerlessness have begun to well up.Another obvious explanation for the rise in global paranoia is the advent of the internet.In recent weeks, online political commentators in the United States have been debating whether the conservative movement in America is suffering from ‘epistemic closure’.Athens fell victim to the politics of rumour and conspiracy during the Peloponnesian war.A century ago, Russian elites published The Protocols of the Elders of Zion to suggest that Jews were trying to take over the world — making it easier to label them as the root of all evil in Europe.