"Polarization. Conspiracy theories. Attacks on the free press. Recent events in the US follow a pattern Europeans know all too well; the argument about who gets to rule is never over, particularly in an era when people have rejected aristocracy, and no longer believe that leadership is inherited at birth. Some of us, have settled on the idea that various forms of democratic and economic competition are the fairest alternative to inherited or ordained power. But don't be surprised "when the principles of meritocracy and competition are challenged. Democracy and free markets can produce unsatisfying outcomes, after all, especially when badly regulated, or when nobody trusts the regulators, or when people are entering the contest from very different starting points. Sooner or later, the losers of the competition were always going to challenge the value of the competition itself."