The outcome of the 2016 presidential election was such a shocking event that for people of a certain cast of mind, Donald Trump is less a politician than a force of history.

To this class of observer, Trump is something like the world spirit made flesh, where the “world spirit” is a global tide of reactionary populism. He may not have ushered in the furious effort to defend existing hierarchies of status and personhood, but he seems to represent its essential qualities, from the farcical…


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