The revolt of the public in 10 minutes

The following video was my participation in the virtual class “Politics and Populism,” taught by one of my favorite contemporary thinkers, Yascha Mounk, at Johns Hopkins University.


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4 Responses to The revolt of the public in 10 minutes

  1. Reminds me of Ortega Y Gasset. Thought provoking. Thank you. Trump and Johnson are of a populist bent, but they are not demagogues. I share your wonder about how the elites and “experts” seem to be missing what is going on.

  2. mbsrrs says:

    Thank you again, Martin Gurri. You have sent me back (at age 95+) to learn more about what has been written of “Authority,” by such scholars as Hannah Arrant, Robert Nisbet and others.
    The “derivations” of authority from information, (mostly gained from human experience, and however transmitted) the openness of access to the sources of information, the efforts of various groups to constrain that access (to “wage influence”?) do seem to be major factors in the “Revolt” you are portraying.
    Another factor of equal, if not greater, though subtle, impact is that the broad, amorphous populous has developed an acute awareness that the postures of authority are used to camouflage aggregations and exercises of constraining powers by those who – would be – but are not “Elites.” They are no more than the people (of individual motivations) holding the exercises of the powers of those social instruments that have become institutions.
    The impetus of “Revolt” may not be the destruction of institutions (nihilism) but against the exercises of power to maintain and continue institutions that have come to points of failure in meeting the needs of their societies.
    Back in 1961, Carroll Quigley pointed out how societies create “instruments” to meet their basic needs, he wrote:
    “These organizations, consisting largely of personal relationships, we shall call ‘instruments’ as long as they achieve the purpose of the level [need] with relative effectiveness. But every such social instrument tends to become an ‘institution.’ This means that it takes on a meaning and life of its own distinct from the purpose of the level [need]; in consequence, the purpose of that level [need] is achieved with decreasing effectiveness. In fact, it can be stated as a rule of history that ‘all social instruments tend to become institutions.’ ”
    He goes on to explain:
    “Every instrument consists of people organized in relationships to one another. As the instrument becomes an institution, these relationships become ends in themselves to the detriment of the whole organization.”
    “The Evolution of Civilizations” pp. 101-102
    The hierarchies and oligarchies, composed from those relationships, right down to the little bureaucratic “office cliques,” because of their impacts on the instruments and on the needs that gave rise to their purposes, are faced with and give rise to “Revolt.”

  3. Gaston Alamachère says:

    Thank you. Personnally I enjoy Fox News a lot. Like this here.

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