Quantum physics is the science that describes nature at its smallest atomic levels. But tiny subatomic happenings can have huge effects: Quantum theory describes the universe as one giant entangled system, where what happens in one corner of the world can simultaneously effect something else across the globe. While physically separate, humans and the world they live in are fundamentally inseparable, according to a quantum model of the universe.
It is therefore both unsurprising and yet paradoxical that populism—a political movement that supports the rights and power of ordinary citizens against a ruling elite—has sprung up across the globe. Unsurprising because a quantum perspective would tell us that a populist movement in one country could directly impact, even cause, one in another. And paradoxical because today’s populism is dividing peoples and states with an “us” versus “them” mentality, even though the basis of quantum physics—the very phenomenon that allows us to explain this current wave of populism—supports a holistic vision of the world.
Over the past decade, populist political parties have gained power in very different countries: the United States, with the surprise election of president Donald Trump; the UK, where the Independence Party campaigned successfully for pulling the country out of the European Union; Italy, where two anti-establishment groups, the Five Star Movement and the League, are now trying to form a coalition government; and Venezuela, with president Nicolás Maduro continuing to cling to power even though his country’s economy is failing.