A very interesting book entitled The Revolt of the Public has generated a lot of buzz, especially with the events surrounding Donald Trump and the left’s Maoist Cultural Revolution who’s latest victim is Dr. Seuss. Interestingly enough, the author, Martin Gurri, wrote an op-ed in the Daily Caller when the First Edition of his book was published 7 years ago.
However, the events described in Martin Gurri’s book were discussed years before by Spanish statesman and philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset in his 1929 book The Revolt of the Masses. Though more theoretical than Gurri’s work, Ortega’s prescient tract isn’t just a defense of liberal democracy, but even compliments Thomas Sowell’s writings on intellectuals. That people resent an elite that seeks to rule, rather than govern (there is a difference) and the masses will revolt against the elites if they become too overbearing (sound familiar?).
Essentially, Ortega describes a kind of reactionary libertarianism and the setting of his book was the social upheavals going on in Europe during Ortega’s time. Though the two authors cover similar territory, The Revolt of the Public is a needed way to make sense of contemporary political events. Despite Gurri’s book being absent of what happened with the politicization of the coronavirus, readers can look to Ortega’s wisdom to make sense of that too.
PHOTO CREDIT: “Liberty Leading the People.” By Eugène Delacroix – Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives via artsy.net, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27539198