So social attitudes begin to change as societies experience rising inequality and falling living standards. The average person begins to lose trust in institutions and systems, of all kinds, from government to media to education. They begin to rage at those very institutions. And soon enough, they turn to conspiracy theories peddled by demagogues, which scapegoat others — usually minorities — for the woes of the pure of blood and true of faith.
Sound Putinesque? It should. This is exactly what Putin did in Russia, because it’s exactly what happened to Russia