Research shows that American distrust in government, scientists, and media has reached new
heights, and this distrust in institutions is reflected in much of the world.
In his play, Orestes, Euripides opines, “When one with honeyed words but evil mind persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.” Might we still overcome this onslaught of misinformation and preserve our trust in the very institutions that have governed and enriched us, in some form or another, for centuries?
On today’s episode of The Oxford Comment, we spoke with
- Brian Levack, author of Distrust of Institutions in Early Modern Britain and America,
- Robert Faris, co-author of Network Propaganda: Manipulation, Disinformation, andRadicalization in American Politics, and
- Tom Nichols, author of Our Own Worst Enemy: The Assault from within on ModernDemocracy and The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters,to discuss the past, present, and future of institutional distrust, with a particular focus on the contentious 2016 and 2020 US presidential elections.