It’s Time for the U.S. to Manifest Humility

America's Political Crack-Up Is an Opportunity to Learn More From the Rest of the World

Political hysteria has conquered America—and made the United States much more like the rest of the world.

So argued the London-based essayist and novelist Pankaj Mishra during a fast-paced and wide-ranging Zócalo/Noēma Magazine online event yesterday, titled “Has Hysteria Conquered America?”

Mishra and The Atlantic senior editor Ronald Brownstein, who served as discussion moderator, spent over an hour discussing how international trends and intellectual history might explain today’s American politics.

Those politics, Mishra and Brownstein agreed, are full of conspiracy theories, xenophobia, over-the-top rhetoric, and questionable thinking. Over the course of the event, …