Ross makes a shrewd point:

If the Western leadership class survives the current crisis....the lesson they're going to draw from it is relatively simple: We must never let this happen again. And while that impulse could be a spur to greater decentralization and democratization, it's more likely to be produce greater supranational regulation, more expansive bureaucracy, and a more hand-in-glove relationship between big government and big business than existed before the crisis. In theory, one way to respond to a "populist whirlwind" would be to make governments more accountable to the voting public. But in practice, I suspect, the more likely response will be to build stronger dikes and firewalls against the dangerous and unpredictable masses, producing post-crisis institutions that are even more insulated from democratic accountability than they were before.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.