It’s a Mad, Mad World—but Another Utopia Isn’t the Answer

People Are Fed Up With Modernity's False Promises, Says Author Pankaj Mishra, and It's Time for a New Experiment

The writer Pankaj Mishra has a name for an era in which frustrated young men commit savage acts of violence, society is starkly split into economic winners and losers, and despotic leaders exploit the public’s bitter resentments. He calls it the “Age of Anger,” which is also the title of his 2017 book, subtitled “A History of the Present.”  But that history begins long before our own benighted century. A pervasive and alarming sense of uprootedness and spiritual dislocation began brewing in the late 18th century in Europe, Mishra believes, …