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The Revolt of the Masses by José Ortega y…

The Revolt of the Masses (1930)

by José Ortega y Gasset

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Surprisingly, and causing disappointment among ideologues of political parties, OyG does not spend much time analyzing "liberal" and "conservative" conflicts, but perceives a rising lay and expert divide. In fact, this 1929 work flatly states that the masses hate experts.

OyG predicts what we see now in the world -- opera companies going bankrupt but pop stars who cannot compose (can you even say Bieber with a straight face) making millions (Beiber made $80 million in 2013). Consumers look at Yelp reviews rather than journalist specialists or experts. Popular Science turned off "comments" because they added so little to the science.

This short book contains many speculations and there is repetition of the points he is making -- perhaps to make certain of the "historicity" he teaches. But I find that OyG addresses issues that still resonate today. For example, the rise of consumerism; the possibility for barbarism to flourish among the wealthy or in tandem with technology; specialization which favors science over the humanities; “the loss of prestige of legislative assemblies.” Disrespect for academic achievement.

OyG looks at and describes dysfunctional society, not from Left and Right, or even rich and poor, but from the perspective of the uninformed social "mass" and the informed scientific elite. A kind of ‘up’ versus ‘down’, individual reasoning vs herd instinct.
4 vote keylawk | Jan 6, 2014 |
Teen flashback FTW!
  beabatllori | Apr 2, 2013 |
Major Phisophical statement. ( )
  jphughessr | Nov 26, 2009 |
Ortega is an elitist, first and foremost. There are some good insights into Europe in the early 20th century. The book is only 190 pages, but it could be reduced to about 80 if he did not keep repeating himself.

See also my thoughts posted on my blog. ( )
  w_bishop | Feb 25, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (32 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
José Ortega y Gassetprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brouwer, JohanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carey, J. R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garagorri, PaulinoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goyena, José-LuisPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marias, JulianIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parrot, LouisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weyl, HeleneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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