There has always been a wariness among ruling elites on both sides of the Atlantic towards a genuine democratic order breaking out, as Noam Chomsky discusses in his book ‘Deterring Democracy’. Western elites have typically viewed the masses as “rabble rousers” who are deemed to be “incapable” of governing society in the “proper way” that benefits the elites, protects their profits and property, and safeguards their imperial war-making overseas.For another insightful analysis you might be interested in another article by the same author entitled "Trump Treats EU Like Bozos" from Sputnik.
This underlying tension about the control of political power in Western societies encapsulates the present historical juncture where the word “populist” is being increasingly deployed. It is a term of disparagement by a failing Western establishment. What the failed order is trying to do is divert genuine popular challenge by painting it as something uncouth, vulgar, noxious, or manipulated by foreign enemies like Russia.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up