Almost one hundred years
ago (1919) the great Irish poet William Butler Yeats composed his immortal
poem, "The Second Coming." He wrote it
at a time when the Western world was in chaos.
World War I, known then as "the Great War" because it was the worst conflict
in world history to that point, had been concluded the year before, and the
Irish War of Independence was just beginning.
Although Yeats's mind was on those two wars, his poem speaks presciently to our current condition. I repeat it here, with footnotes indicating how I personally reinterpret it for today. (You may want to make your own interpretation.)
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon  cannot hear the falconer  ;
Things fall apart; the centre  cannot hold;
Mere anarchy  is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide  is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence  is drowned;
The best  lack all conviction, while the worst 
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man, 
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. 
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, 
And what rough beast,  its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
 The discontented masses rising up
 The Establishment
 Political orthodoxy
 The angry white working class and fellow travelers
 Business as usual, esp. in politics
 Thoughtful, conscientious citizens
 Steve Bannon, Breitbart News, Levin, other rightwing rabble rousers
 Donald Trump
 The majority of Americans
 White evangelicals, AM hate radio jocks, etc.
 Trumpian nativism, neofascism