The Participation Blog

We Have a Trust Crisis

Trust in expertise, academia, power and institutions of all kinds (particularly government) is at an all-time low. Research suggests that most people truly believe that business and government leaders are purposely misleading them. If that’s the case, how can a representative democracy function? This vacuum of trust opens the door to charlatans and scam artists of every stripe who are skilled at appealing to our base frustrations, dissatisfactions and, most of all, people’s innate fears. Enter the conspiracy theories.

Ironically, once people descend into that conspiracy hole, everything and everyone is suspect, including all the other conspiracy theorists