The first signs of this phenomena could be detected in Barak Obama's campaign. He won despite all the odds on a slogan of "Yes we can!". Eight years of grinding economic and military reality later and he was replaced by Donald Trump claiming that "It is going to be beautiful". A lot of Americans voted for both of them. In the Primaries astonishing numbers of US voters backed Bernie Saunders. In Italy we saw the rise of the Five Star movement, in Spain Podemos, and in France Macron.
The only consistent element in all these political forces is that they tapped successfully into hope. Which is exactly what happened with the Brexit vote. One side offered people extreme threats of what would happen if they didn't vote to back the status quo. The other side offered us hope that we could return to the glory days if only we could break free. The side offering hope won.
The latest person to tap into all this hope stuff is Jeremy Corbyn and he is making some very inspirational speeches about how life could be very different if we can only get rid of the Tories.
It is astonishing how quickly we have moved in the last few weeks. After the Conservatives achieved a major victory in the local elections and stood 25% percentage points ahead in the polls the received wisdom was that the right was permanently in the ascendency and the Labour Party was finished. After May lost her majority in the General Election people like Michael Gove and Boris Johnson have suddenly discovered that public sector workers might need a pay rise. All the analysis is now about how the Conservatives can avoid a downward spiral as their voters die off and the young chant Corbyn's name at rock concerts.
There is, however, one rather important thing to remember about inspiring hope. You need to deliver on it or you end up like Obama - being replaced by an extremely unpleasant populist getting into power by telling people how badly you have failed to deliver change.
So Brexit needs to start delivering on some of the hopes pretty quickly to remain popular. And that is exactly what I believe it cannot do. We are supposed to be breaking free with one wonderful leap and seeing our economy boom as we trade without restrictions with the rest of the world. Instead we are entering into month after month of messy and difficult negotiations led by a government that can't even agree with itself about what it wants to achieve. And that is just with the EU. The negotiators haven't even begun to think clearly about what kind of deal we want with the USA and which unelected body will police it.
Then there is the small problem of economic uncertainty and investment collapse as an economy that has run a huge balance of payments deficit for almost 30 years puts at risk its biggest export market. An economy that has been fuelled for ten years by unsustainable levels of state borrowing, personal debt and quantitative easing isn't exactly well equipped to cope with a negative shock.
I still believe Theresa May called the election mainly because she feared the economy would deteriorate. As it does her remaining shreds of popularity will go with it. Along with the confidence of her supporters. Ahead for the Conservatives lies two years of hard reality at the negotiating table, bad economic data and vicious internal splits as they fall to squabbling over whose fault it is. The best they can hope for is a mood of "backs to the wall" and "rally round the leader" as they try to convince themselves and the nation it will all be so much better once Brexit actually happens.
Can there be an easier target to attack? A Prime Minister who cannot connect with the British public leading a party that is confused, divided and desperately short of money. An opposition leader who tells us it can all be so very different really ought to be able to soar in the opinion polls and romp home in any election.
But then what? The important thing about hope is that you have to deliver on it. What if Labour comes to power and then lets us all down?
I think this is now the most important question that anyone who believes there is a better way to run our country needs to ask. I am old enough to have been told before that we must all unite behind the Labour Party so that it can overturn a mean spirited Conservative government. That's more or less what Tony Blair told us and look where that ended up.
Obviously Corbyn is a very different kind of politician to Blair. But the question remains: in office can the current Labour Party actually deliver on enough of what they are promising?
I have to be honest that I do not think they can. To survive Brexit, assuming against my best wishes that it happens, we are going to need two things. One is easy access to the EU's Single Market and the other is an effective strategy for transforming our economy.
Labour's policy on the Single Market is that we will pull out of it but somehow, magically, negotiate to maintain all of its benefits and more. If a Conservative said anything so stupid then every progressive Remainer would splutter with derision. There can never be an option on the table from the EU that offers access to the single market without obeying its rules and structures and making the required payments. If they allow that then they abolish the EU. This means that Labour's flagship policy on the biggest issue of the day is complete nonsense. Either they have to change their minds or they are leading us into huge mountains of customs paperwork every time we sell something to our main customers and that can only lead to an exodus of jobs to the continent.
Then we have the small issue of Labour's industrial strategy. I would love to believe that they fully understand the implications of the end of the era of fossil fuels and the need to invest in an economy of fast changing small businesses. Instead they favour subsidies for north sea oil, investment in clunky outdated nuclear power projects and nationalisation of the commanding heights of the economy.
Don't get me wrong. There is much to admire in Labour's economic strategy. There are some industries like rail where we really can benefit enormously from re-establishing a coherent nationalised industry. The strategy does contain some useful references to investment in renewable energy industries. There are some helpful noises about getting banks back to their core purpose.
Yet in essence they have an industrial strategy of the kind the left of Labour wanted in the 1970s. They haven't grasped the scale of the change that is taking place in technology or the intensity of the need for Britain to re-engineer the bulk of its economy. Our country relies on an over large and under regulated financial sector and drilling for ancient fossils. We have a few high tech industries which are over concentrated on military technology sectors. That isn't going to enable us to compete post Brexit.
Fortunately we also have a fantastic knowledge economy centred on creativity and cutting edge scientific research. It would be wonderful to see the Labour Party come into power and harnesses that creativity to help transform the UK into a future orientated economy that can compete across the world in a new era of fossil free industry and commerce. It would be depressing in the extreme to see all the hopes the Labour Party builds up over the coming months dissipated by a set of economic policies that belong in the 1970s not the 2020s and to see it fail badly as a consequence.
Hope comes at a price. If you don't deliver on it then you lose a lot of trust. I believe progressive people cannot just naively trust Corbyn's Labour Party to deliver if and when it gets into power. We honestly need to call out the weaknesses of its policies now so that we aren't all massively disappointed when they are put into practice.
Neither the country nor the progressive forces within it can survive another failure of the Labour party to deliver.