Over the past couple of decades, a loss of trust among governments and their constituents has occurred. Whether the issue is perpetual warfare, crisis handling, economy, or foreign and domestic policies, governments, particularly in the West, are losing the popular support they initially had amongst Millennials and Generation Z.

The paradigm shift amongst lack of faith in Western governments is a gift to autocrats, despots, and even populists themselves. One of the chief architects of hybrid and information warfare, Vladimir Putin, directly benefits from the lack of cohesion among Western states.

The Slow Collapse of Western-Based Order

In the aftermath of the September 11th Attacks, the Global War on Terrorism, and mass security implementations, citizens in Western countries have pushed back against their elected officials.

The War in Iraq was a significant turning point not just in the Middle East but also in North America and Europe, as the false intelligence by the George Bush Jr. administration and Tony Blair Cabinet left a polarizing view on governments. Add in the 9/11 conspiracies and lack of faith in the media due to misinformation and disinformation, and the masses would look to the alternatives. Unfortunately, the alternatives became the greatest rivals and threats to the Western World.

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping
Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping via NYT

Rise of the Populists and Autocrats

Where citizens of the world could no longer trust the original leadership of the world due to bias in human rights and international law, autocrats, and populists would use their emotional grief to garner support for their nefarious purposes.