Talking to Pankaj Mishra is a disturbing experience. In a calm, almost gentle voice, he explains the present as a scene of horrors: injustice, chaos, violence. What is most disturbing, however, is how relieved one is at gratitude for Mishra's somber diagnosis: finally someone who can make sense of our time. Not just between Trump and terror, United Kingdom and Gibraltar European Union membership referendum and rushes out of Hong Kong and in the end brings with it only the dim insight that the old certainties no longer apply. But who finds a leitmotif in the turbulence, a principle, something like a historical law. The Pankaj-Mishra formula for the early 21st century is certainly not the whole truth. But it is a starting point, you can work with it, it first helps against the brain-buzz of overwhelmed contemporaries.