The World Is Heading Back to the Future—to Another Volatile, Roaring ‘20s

The retiring 28th president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, rides with his successor, Warren G. Harding, to the latter’s inauguration, in Washington, March 4, 1921 (AP photo).
The retiring 28th president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, rides with his successor, Warren G. Harding, to the latter’s inauguration, in Washington, March 4, 1921 (AP photo).

Given the magnitude of the shared global challenges humanity confronts today, from climate change to nuclear proliferation, the world desperately needs a quiet phase of international comity, enlightened leadership and steady cooperation. Alas, the Boring ‘20s are not on the cards. The new decade seems poised to be as volatile and divisive as the Roaring ‘20s a century ago. Indeed, the historical parallels are dramatic and disturbing. Now, as then, the forces of chaos and division include populist nationalism, authoritarian politics, nativist intolerance, political extremism, technological disruption, economic inequality, geopolitical competition and American solipsism. In the 1920s, the leading world […]

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