I wonder what the Hitch would have had to say about recent events. Shame he's not around to comment and offer up the occasional (intellectual) "Hitchslap". Although, right or wrong, I suspect that Hitch would have been the kind of person that the Brexit and Trump mobs would have placed "first against the wall". I find it amazing that so many people have ended up voting against their interests; how Women and ethnic minorities in the USA could have voted for someone like Trump beggars belief. Many people are saying that these two political upsets were precipitated by a general desire by the oppressed underclasses to "stick it to the man" and to hell with the consequences. I suppose this may have a grain of truth to it but I'm not entirely convinced. The more I listen to people who hold these positions the more I think the real problem is a lack of critical thinking ability, or perhaps the lack of an ability to weigh evidence or even an understanding of what actual evidence for something is. Couple this with a general (media-stoked) distaste for "the expert" and encouragement of "the unconsidered life" then you have a dramatically volatile mix, a landscape full of people ripe for exploitation and incapable of seeing beyond their own short-term emotional gratification.
This societal Balkanisation that seems to be ever more in-vogue these days is a very worrying trend, I sense it happening everywhere, at the national level in the sentiments behind Brexit down to seemingly local matters such as faith schools wanting to discriminate against "the other" (and the Government supporting them!) Paste this blatant narcissism onto a cultural backdrop which informs our children that to acquire the most important job in the world you don't need to be qualified in any way, you just need to have a successful reality TV show, hate women, hate foreigners and lie, lie, lie for all you are worth, with sufficient confidence and what could possibly go wrong?