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The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority

A decade of revolt

In 2014, a book called The Revolt of the Public was published without much fanfare. The author was Martin Gurri, a former CIA analyst who spent most of his career studying politics and the global information landscape. The book has since become a favorite of Silicon Valley types as well as people interested in technology and politics (an updated edition was republished last year).

From our perch at the end of the decade, Gurri's book reads like prophecy. He argued that the digital revolution would transform the information space and empower the public to participate more and more in politics. That empowerment would create an impulse to revolt against the dominant institutions of society -- government, media, the academy, etc. -- and the elites who run them.

He concluded that that would leave us in a state of perpetual rebellion in which an unhappy public would continually scream for the destruction of the established order without any sense of what comes next. The danger is political nihilism, where everyone knows what they're against and no one knows what they're for.

Trump and Brexit proved this book prophetic -- what calamity will bevall us next?

by Oui on Sat Jan 9th, 2021 at 11:31:31 AM EST

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