Author Archives: thefifthwave

The web as school of manners: a beatific vision

What is the school of manners of the rising generation?  There can be no doubt about that.  It’s the web.  Physically, we are still encased in the formalities of the industrial age.  But these are empty gestures:  meaningless rituals muttered … Continue reading

Posted in web | 2 Comments

The revolt of the public and the “age of post-truth”

With Elites and With the Truth, It’s Complicated Three years ago I remarked that the public was engaged in a messy divorce from the elites who run the great institutions of the industrial age.  That bit of scandal is by … Continue reading

Posted in democracy, the public | 15 Comments

Cui bono, Donald Trump edition

I am a Donald Trump profiteer.  His baffling rise to high office sold a lot of copies of my book, The Revolt of the Public.  People were desperate for explanations, and I, as always, had several in hand.  Mind you, … Continue reading

Posted in democracy | 4 Comments

2016: A hard rain

The Tipping-point of Revolt In 2016, a furious political tempest ravaged the democratic world.  Popular politicians – presidents and prime ministers – were toppled from on high and hurled into oblivion.  Exotic creatures, originating far from the old mainstream, were … Continue reading

Posted in cataclysm, democracy, the public | 7 Comments

The news media: Surveying the wreckage

The Pretense of Objectivity The ideology of news makes two moral claims:  that it is complete, and that it is objective.  News, in other words, provides consumers with just the right amount of information necessary to function as citizens, and … Continue reading

Posted in death of news, democracy, influence, newspaperss, the public, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

After the elections: The great unraveling

Candidates From the Lab We already know the most significant truth about the 2016 presidential elections:  that it is yet another brawl in the running global conflict between an alienated public and the institutions and elites that manage the established … Continue reading

Posted in democracy, the public, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Brief reflections on the Brexit vote

That the British vote to leave the European Union is a textbook example of the revolt of the public I take to be beyond dispute.  The Conservative prime minister strongly opposed the exit initiative, as did the Labour and Social … Continue reading

Posted in democracy, the public | 1 Comment