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Revolt of the Masses

Is the Revolt of the Masses an Accurate Picture of Society

  • Yes

    Votes: 5 23.8%
  • No

    Votes: 9 42.9%
  • Other/In Between

    Votes: 4 19.0%
  • I don't know

    Votes: 3 14.3%

  • Total voters
    21

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I just finished reading Jose Ortega y Gasset's book, The Revolt of the Masses. He basically contends that there are two types of people in the world, the mass and the minority. The minority are the truly talented people who also put great demand on themselves to make advancements in science, philosophy, and politics. The mass are those without the talent or drive to do such. He's quick to point out that this has nothing to do with class, as there is minority and mass in both the upper and lower classes.

Ortega sees a growing problem among the masses due to the rise of democracy. With the growing belief that everyone is equal comes a belief among the masses that their unexamined opinions are inherently equal in many areas to the minority. Those who have spent little time thinking about or studying politics believe that their political opinions carry as much intellectual weight as those who have been doing so for thirty years. They don't recognize that there are people in some areas who know better than they do. The problem that Ortega sees with this is that because the masses greatly outnumber the minority, politicians wanting power will begin to appeal to these unexamined opinions of the minority, leading to people who don't really know what they're doing to direct the political conversation. Writing in the 1930's Ortega sees this as the reason behind the rise of power of fascism in Italy and Bolshevism in Russia, condemning both movements. He definitely does not reject democracy and is a strong proponent of that political system over all others, but he does see this as a serious problem with it that needs to be addressed.

Especially a problem for Ortega are those that he calls the specialists. These are the people who are legitimately knowledgeable in one area. They are usually college educated people who really are experts in their narrow field. However, this knowledge generally leads to them believing they are experts in other fields, not usually deferring to those who are actually experts in them. Ortega sees them as often more stubborn and more arrogant than the regular masses in projecting their opinions in fields they are clearly ignorant of. Ortega writes the book specifically to challenge these people to examine their political ideals the same way they examine knowledge in their own narrow field of work.

So my question is, do you think that Ortega's work is a generally accurate view of society? Is he correct about the categories of mass and minority and the relationship between them? Do most people stubbornly view their opinions as inherently equal to those who know better than them?
 

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With the growing belief that everyone is equal...

Equal before the law. Not equal to everyone else.
 

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Which is not how some people see it, according to Ortega.

Anyone who believes democracy demands equal outcome or value is a moron.
 

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Anyone who believes democracy demands equal outcome or value is a moron.

Well I don't think he's saying that people believe there should be equal outcome. But he does think that people are beginning to believe that opinions are automatically equal no matter who proposes them. I think today he'd probably say that there are those who believe that reading a few wikipedia articles makes them qualified to debate economics with Paul Krugman or Alan Greenspan and that nobody could tell them otherwise or that they are wrong because all opinions are equal.
 

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But he does think that people are beginning to believe that opinions are automatically equal no matter who proposes them. I think today he'd probably say that there are those who believe that reading a few wikipedia articles makes them qualified to debate economics with Paul Krugman or Alan Greenspan and that nobody could tell them otherwise or that they are wrong because all opinions are equal.

There is and always has been morons. Such morons are not, however, a majority (except in conspiracy theory forums).
 

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I just finished reading Jose Ortega y Gasset's book, The Revolt of the Masses. He basically contends that there are two types of people in the world, the mass and the minority. The minority are the truly talented people who also put great demand on themselves to make advancements in science, philosophy, and politics. The mass are those without the talent or drive to do such. He's quick to point out that this has nothing to do with class, as there is minority and mass in both the upper and lower classes.

Ortega sees a growing problem among the masses due to the rise of democracy. With the growing belief that everyone is equal comes a belief among the masses that their unexamined opinions are inherently equal in many areas to the minority. Those who have spent little time thinking about or studying politics believe that their political opinions carry as much intellectual weight as those who have been doing so for thirty years. They don't recognize that there are people in some areas who know better than they do. The problem that Ortega sees with this is that because the masses greatly outnumber the minority, politicians wanting power will begin to appeal to these unexamined opinions of the minority, leading to people who don't really know what they're doing to direct the political conversation. Writing in the 1930's Ortega sees this as the reason behind the rise of power of fascism in Italy and Bolshevism in Russia, condemning both movements. He definitely does not reject democracy and is a strong proponent of that political system over all others, but he does see this as a serious problem with it that needs to be addressed.

Especially a problem for Ortega are those that he calls the specialists. These are the people who are legitimately knowledgeable in one area. They are usually college educated people who really are experts in their narrow field. However, this knowledge generally leads to them believing they are experts in other fields, not usually deferring to those who are actually experts in them. Ortega sees them as often more stubborn and more arrogant than the regular masses in projecting their opinions in fields they are clearly ignorant of. Ortega writes the book specifically to challenge these people to examine their political ideals the same way they examine knowledge in their own narrow field of work.

So my question is, do you think that Ortega's work is a generally accurate view of society? Is he correct about the categories of mass and minority and the relationship between them? Do most people stubbornly view their opinions as inherently equal to those who know better than them?

Without reading it, I am basing alot of this on guessing in terms of what he specifically said, but based on your description, I see one big problem with his thesis: we do not mostly directly vote on policy. I am not an expert on any subject that has any real value in political discussion, though I am interested enough that I am moderately well read on a number of policy issues. When I look at political candidates(who are the ones who will be voting directly on policy issues), I am looking at their positions on issues in terms of philosophy and ideology. Based on this candidates stated positions, will he likely vote from an ideology and based on a philosophy I agree with most likely? I do not think most people view the process in those terms, but that is essentially what it boils down to.

There are times when populist candidates base their stances on the will of the ignorant, but those are fleeting. The Tea Party is already waning in terms of political power for example and the candidates who actually do directly represent their views are not having any success getting those views past those with a longer, more informed view of issues. Compromises will be reached, damage mitigated, and the country will carry on. Mostly though people vote for those who closest match their ideology and trust to an extent that those candidates will gather the information and make the best informed decision based on ideological slant that they can, and usually it works.

I am always wary of those warning against the great unwashed masses. The problem is that too often they define the (in this case) minority as those who agree with them, and the great unwashed masses those who think otherwise. It strikes me as a way to attempt to marginalize those who think differently that the speaker.
 

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Which is not how some people see it, according to Ortega.

At least in the modern world, that is how it is, but not how it is represented. Some like to spout the meme that liberals want a utopian equity of outcome, when all we really want is equity opportunity in terms of government policy.
 

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Without reading it, I am basing alot of this on guessing in terms of what he specifically said, but based on your description, I see one big problem with his thesis: we do not mostly directly vote on policy. I am not an expert on any subject that has any real value in political discussion, though I am interested enough that I am moderately well read on a number of policy issues. When I look at political candidates(who are the ones who will be voting directly on policy issues), I am looking at their positions on issues in terms of philosophy and ideology. Based on this candidates stated positions, will he likely vote from an ideology and based on a philosophy I agree with most likely? I do not think most people view the process in those terms, but that is essentially what it boils down to.

That's true that we elect the politicians rather than vote directly on policy, at least mostly. But Ortega's ultimate goal is to have the minority put in charge. He believes that representative democracy is the best system for this, but so far it has failed in electing them. Rather than electing the minority, they are bringing to power mass people such as Mussolini who were not qualified. It's so easy to appeal to the mass peoples base appetites, that ones who should be in power aren't.

There are times when populist candidates base their stances on the will of the ignorant, but those are fleeting. The Tea Party is already waning in terms of political power for example and the candidates who actually do directly represent their views are not having any success getting those views past those with a longer, more informed view of issues. Compromises will be reached, damage mitigated, and the country will carry on. Mostly though people vote for those who closest match their ideology and trust to an extent that those candidates will gather the information and make the best informed decision based on ideological slant that they can, and usually it works.

I agree with this for the mostly. Liberal Democracy was new when Ortega wrote this, and I think for the most part it has worked out better than he predicted it would. The people like Hitler, Mussolini, and the Bolsheviks coming to power in Ortega's time have not been coming to power in democracies often since the end of the second World War.

I am always wary of those warning against the great unwashed masses. The problem is that too often they define the (in this case) minority as those who agree with them, and the great unwashed masses those who think otherwise. It strikes me as a way to attempt to marginalize those who think differently that the speaker.

I do think this is somewhat true for Ortega. He goes on later in the book to argue that a United Europe is destiny. That naturally if someone has an examined opinion he will accept this, and he implies that those who don't are simply mass. However, I do think there is at least some truth to what he's saying. I do know people who do vote almost literally without knowing what they're voting for or why they believe what they do. Some people who don't know anything about policy and even very little of whatever ideology they consistently vote for every election. I don't hang around with a group of people representative of the entire country, so I don't actually know how prevalent that is in our voters. I also think that politicians sometimes cater to the lowest common denominator of person when they give speeches or participate in debates.
 

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At least in the modern world, that is how it is, but not how it is represented. Some like to spout the meme that liberals want a utopian equity of outcome, when all we really want is equity opportunity in terms of government policy.

I don't think there are very many people who believe we should have equal outcomes, and I don't really think that was what Ortega was talking about. More like equality of opinion. And I have seen some people use this to justify whatever they believe. For example when discussing what a certain policy should be, even if they don't use any facts to back up their interpretation of what the policy would bring, they say something like "you can't tell me I'm wrong, its just an opinion and it's as good as anyone else's." Again though, I'm not sure how prevalent this is.
 

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I just finished reading Jose Ortega y Gasset's book, The Revolt of the Masses. He basically contends that there are two types of people in the world, the mass and the minority. The minority are the truly talented people who also put great demand on themselves to make advancements in science, philosophy, and politics. The mass are those without the talent or drive to do such. He's quick to point out that this has nothing to do with class, as there is minority and mass in both the upper and lower classes.

Ortega sees a growing problem among the masses due to the rise of democracy. With the growing belief that everyone is equal comes a belief among the masses that their unexamined opinions are inherently equal in many areas to the minority. Those who have spent little time thinking about or studying politics believe that their political opinions carry as much intellectual weight as those who have been doing so for thirty years. They don't recognize that there are people in some areas who know better than they do. The problem that Ortega sees with this is that because the masses greatly outnumber the minority, politicians wanting power will begin to appeal to these unexamined opinions of the minority, leading to people who don't really know what they're doing to direct the political conversation. Writing in the 1930's Ortega sees this as the reason behind the rise of power of fascism in Italy and Bolshevism in Russia, condemning both movements. He definitely does not reject democracy and is a strong proponent of that political system over all others, but he does see this as a serious problem with it that needs to be addressed.

Especially a problem for Ortega are those that he calls the specialists. These are the people who are legitimately knowledgeable in one area. They are usually college educated people who really are experts in their narrow field. However, this knowledge generally leads to them believing they are experts in other fields, not usually deferring to those who are actually experts in them. Ortega sees them as often more stubborn and more arrogant than the regular masses in projecting their opinions in fields they are clearly ignorant of. Ortega writes the book specifically to challenge these people to examine their political ideals the same way they examine knowledge in their own narrow field of work.

So my question is, do you think that Ortega's work is a generally accurate view of society? Is he correct about the categories of mass and minority and the relationship between them? Do most people stubbornly view their opinions as inherently equal to those who know better than them?

A thought-provoking post, very interesting and I thank you for providing it.

Having not read the book, I'm basing my thoughts on your summary. Certainly the fear that politicians will direct their appeal to the largest voting block, regardless of whether that position is good for society as a whole, is a relevant concern. I think political pandering cheapens the process, but see no way to stop it at this point. I personally choose candidates based on their positions on issues I believe most important to the country as a whole, and I think most people do this as well. Even those who vote a straight party ticket with unquestioning resolve believe that to be most important to the country as a whole. The biggest problem voters in a democracy have is actually knowing who supports the same issues and values, and who is merely pretending to support those issues and values in order to gain the power of polical office.

This may have little to do with Ortega's main thrust, and I do understand his concept of a superior minority and a less-knowledgeable majority. However, I see danger between the lines of having contempt for people who dare to believe that their own opinions are equal to the opinions of others. Knowledge is a broad, encompassing word; I, as one of the masses, may have in-depth knowledge of certain areas that the "specialist" minorities do not have. Does that make my knowledge equal to the specialist? No, actually, it makes my knowledge superior to the specialist in certain areas, and his knowledge superior in other areas.

When we come together as a society, our knowledge in all areas is blended, enhanced, transformed. Dissecting society into "elites" based on specialized knowledge, and "masses" who do not possess that specialized knowledge but many of whom may excel in other areas of knowledge is a dangerous endeavor, because who decides which knowledge is the most worthy, and which is less worthy? The fact is that society needs a broad base of all knowledge to flourish.

I suspect I have wandered off into territory not covered by your original question, lol, so I shall end my ramble now. :)
 

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From what I read, this idea does not confront the idea of lobbying. In my opinion lobbying, or legal bribery, undermines democracy as well as this theory.
 

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I just finished reading Jose Ortega y Gasset's book, The Revolt of the Masses. He basically contends that there are two types of people in the world, the mass and the minority. The minority are the truly talented people who also put great demand on themselves to make advancements in science, philosophy, and politics. The mass are those without the talent or drive to do such. He's quick to point out that this has nothing to do with class, as there is minority and mass in both the upper and lower classes.

Ortega sees a growing problem among the masses due to the rise of democracy. With the growing belief that everyone is equal comes a belief among the masses that their unexamined opinions are inherently equal in many areas to the minority. Those who have spent little time thinking about or studying politics believe that their political opinions carry as much intellectual weight as those who have been doing so for thirty years. They don't recognize that there are people in some areas who know better than they do. The problem that Ortega sees with this is that because the masses greatly outnumber the minority, politicians wanting power will begin to appeal to these unexamined opinions of the minority, leading to people who don't really know what they're doing to direct the political conversation. Writing in the 1930's Ortega sees this as the reason behind the rise of power of fascism in Italy and Bolshevism in Russia, condemning both movements. He definitely does not reject democracy and is a strong proponent of that political system over all others, but he does see this as a serious problem with it that needs to be addressed.

Especially a problem for Ortega are those that he calls the specialists. These are the people who are legitimately knowledgeable in one area. They are usually college educated people who really are experts in their narrow field. However, this knowledge generally leads to them believing they are experts in other fields, not usually deferring to those who are actually experts in them. Ortega sees them as often more stubborn and more arrogant than the regular masses in projecting their opinions in fields they are clearly ignorant of. Ortega writes the book specifically to challenge these people to examine their political ideals the same way they examine knowledge in their own narrow field of work.

So my question is, do you think that Ortega's work is a generally accurate view of society? Is he correct about the categories of mass and minority and the relationship between them? Do most people stubbornly view their opinions as inherently equal to those who know better than them?

No. Ortega is mistaking the general lack of expertise on a narrow issue for its' inverse - that the expert must therefore be capable of making better decisions for the group. Everyone is an expert (relatively) in their own circumstances, and the diversity and peculiarity of those circumstances makes central control incapable of making net productive decisions.

The solution is to decrease the sphere of activity in which expert decision-making is required. Decentralization (as much as possible) of decision-making authority places the effects of each actors decisions more in-line with their level of expertise.
 

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At least in the modern world, that is how it is, but not how it is represented. Some like to spout the meme that liberals want a utopian equity of outcome, when all we really want is equity opportunity in terms of government policy.

That is precisely how liberals are viewed, and a lot of why I disagree with them. Frankly I think it's mostly true by the Left's support for income redistribution and the movement in schools to play to self-esteem instead of achievement. If you really support equal opportunity, then you have to put an end to the notion that everyone must have the same. Equal opportunity is not about having the same, but earning it. There's a big difference in my book.
 

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Ortega y Gasset is correct in some general sense, but the remedies are well-known (although in his days it was not clear that they are potent enough): the constitutional and structural restraints on the power of both masses and elites, like we have here in the States. And liberalism, of course (not the American "liberalism", but the real one, "classical").

Also, I think he makes a misdiagnosis of the totalitarian regimes' origin, at least in the case of Russia. As ignorant and as disoriented by the Great War as they were, the Russians never had chosen the Bolshevik rule. It was imposed by brute force, in direct defiance of the "will of masses": the Bolsheviks had lost the elections for the Russian Constituent Assembly of 1917 by a huge margin, even after waging an aggressive campaign of intimidation and fraud. So they did the "next logical thing": exterminated the winners.

From the beginning, their rule was a rule of a tiny group of intellectuals who took it upon themselves to speak for the masses, and later orchestrated "outpourings of public support" with considerable skill, but never had any legitimacy or "mandate".
 

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I just finished reading Jose Ortega y Gasset's book, The Revolt of the Masses. He basically contends that there are two types of people in the world, the mass and the minority. The minority are the truly talented people who also put great demand on themselves to make advancements in science, philosophy, and politics. The mass are those without the talent or drive to do such. He's quick to point out that this has nothing to do with class, as there is minority and mass in both the upper and lower classes.

Ortega sees a growing problem among the masses due to the rise of democracy. With the growing belief that everyone is equal comes a belief among the masses that their unexamined opinions are inherently equal in many areas to the minority. Those who have spent little time thinking about or studying politics believe that their political opinions carry as much intellectual weight as those who have been doing so for thirty years. They don't recognize that there are people in some areas who know better than they do. The problem that Ortega sees with this is that because the masses greatly outnumber the minority, politicians wanting power will begin to appeal to these unexamined opinions of the minority, leading to people who don't really know what they're doing to direct the political conversation. Writing in the 1930's Ortega sees this as the reason behind the rise of power of fascism in Italy and Bolshevism in Russia, condemning both movements. He definitely does not reject democracy and is a strong proponent of that political system over all others, but he does see this as a serious problem with it that needs to be addressed.

Especially a problem for Ortega are those that he calls the specialists. These are the people who are legitimately knowledgeable in one area. They are usually college educated people who really are experts in their narrow field. However, this knowledge generally leads to them believing they are experts in other fields, not usually deferring to those who are actually experts in them. Ortega sees them as often more stubborn and more arrogant than the regular masses in projecting their opinions in fields they are clearly ignorant of. Ortega writes the book specifically to challenge these people to examine their political ideals the same way they examine knowledge in their own narrow field of work.

So my question is, do you think that Ortega's work is a generally accurate view of society? Is he correct about the categories of mass and minority and the relationship between them? Do most people stubbornly view their opinions as inherently equal to those who know better than them?

I think this is already happening.
 

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Isnt Athenian democracy a ready made example of the failure of elitist democracy he's arguing for?
 

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I just finished reading Jose Ortega y Gasset's book, The Revolt of the Masses. He basically contends that there are two types of people in the world, the mass and the minority. The minority are the truly talented people who also put great demand on themselves to make advancements in science, philosophy, and politics. The mass are those without the talent or drive to do such. He's quick to point out that this has nothing to do with class, as there is minority and mass in both the upper and lower classes.

Ortega sees a growing problem among the masses due to the rise of democracy. With the growing belief that everyone is equal comes a belief among the masses that their unexamined opinions are inherently equal in many areas to the minority. Those who have spent little time thinking about or studying politics believe that their political opinions carry as much intellectual weight as those who have been doing so for thirty years. They don't recognize that there are people in some areas who know better than they do. The problem that Ortega sees with this is that because the masses greatly outnumber the minority, politicians wanting power will begin to appeal to these unexamined opinions of the minority, leading to people who don't really know what they're doing to direct the political conversation. Writing in the 1930's Ortega sees this as the reason behind the rise of power of fascism in Italy and Bolshevism in Russia, condemning both movements. He definitely does not reject democracy and is a strong proponent of that political system over all others, but he does see this as a serious problem with it that needs to be addressed.

Especially a problem for Ortega are those that he calls the specialists. These are the people who are legitimately knowledgeable in one area. They are usually college educated people who really are experts in their narrow field. However, this knowledge generally leads to them believing they are experts in other fields, not usually deferring to those who are actually experts in them. Ortega sees them as often more stubborn and more arrogant than the regular masses in projecting their opinions in fields they are clearly ignorant of. Ortega writes the book specifically to challenge these people to examine their political ideals the same way they examine knowledge in their own narrow field of work.

So my question is, do you think that Ortega's work is a generally accurate view of society? Is he correct about the categories of mass and minority and the relationship between them? Do most people stubbornly view their opinions as inherently equal to those who know better than them?

This is very interesting. I'm going to have to check this book out now. Thanks! :)

I think it seems he was right on with a lot of points. Of course, any "system" is going to have its problem. I don't think there could ever be perfection, but democracy seems the best way to go. Actually, leaving the power to the people (even if some are ignorant) is the only way to go IMO.
 

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I fear those who believe that they and the rest of the minority should have more input into government than the masses.
 

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I fear those who believe that they and the rest of the minority should have more input into government than the masses.

Ortega wasn't arguing for that. He was a firm believer that liberal democracy was the best political system.
 

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Ortega wasn't arguing for that. He was a firm believer that liberal democracy was the best political system.

So does he just basically argue the Dunning Kruger Effect, as Charles Darwin and Bertrand Russell did before him?

Is it merely an observation or does he suggest a remedy?
 

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So does he just basically argue the Dunning Kruger Effect, as Charles Darwin and Bertrand Russell did before him?

Is it merely an observation or does he suggest a remedy?

Not particularly, other than that bringing widespread attention to it, might help dissipate it somewhat.
 

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Ortega wasn't arguing for that. He was a firm believer that liberal democracy was the best political system.

I can see that:

Ortega sees a growing problem among the masses due to the rise of democracy. With the growing belief that everyone is equal comes a belief among the masses that their unexamined opinions are inherently equal in many areas to the minority.

That the masses should be led by those "qualified" is a long standing opinion.
 

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I just finished reading Jose Ortega y Gasset's book, The Revolt of the Masses. He basically contends that there are two types of people in the world, the mass and the minority. The minority are the truly talented people who also put great demand on themselves to make advancements in science, philosophy, and politics. The mass are those without the talent or drive to do such. He's quick to point out that this has nothing to do with class, as there is minority and mass in both the upper and lower classes.

Ortega sees a growing problem among the masses due to the rise of democracy. With the growing belief that everyone is equal comes a belief among the masses that their unexamined opinions are inherently equal in many areas to the minority. Those who have spent little time thinking about or studying politics believe that their political opinions carry as much intellectual weight as those who have been doing so for thirty years. They don't recognize that there are people in some areas who know better than they do. The problem that Ortega sees with this is that because the masses greatly outnumber the minority, politicians wanting power will begin to appeal to these unexamined opinions of the minority, leading to people who don't really know what they're doing to direct the political conversation. Writing in the 1930's Ortega sees this as the reason behind the rise of power of fascism in Italy and Bolshevism in Russia, condemning both movements. He definitely does not reject democracy and is a strong proponent of that political system over all others, but he does see this as a serious problem with it that needs to be addressed.

Especially a problem for Ortega are those that he calls the specialists. These are the people who are legitimately knowledgeable in one area. They are usually college educated people who really are experts in their narrow field. However, this knowledge generally leads to them believing they are experts in other fields, not usually deferring to those who are actually experts in them. Ortega sees them as often more stubborn and more arrogant than the regular masses in projecting their opinions in fields they are clearly ignorant of. Ortega writes the book specifically to challenge these people to examine their political ideals the same way they examine knowledge in their own narrow field of work.

So my question is, do you think that Ortega's work is a generally accurate view of society? Is he correct about the categories of mass and minority and the relationship between them? Do most people stubbornly view their opinions as inherently equal to those who know better than them?

Generally any theory that starts, "There are two types of people in the world," should be taken with a grain of skepticism. The problem with people isn't that they think all opinions are equal, but that such equality is only arbitrarily applied to prop up those opinions that feed into their ideology.
 

Gathomas88

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I just finished reading Jose Ortega y Gasset's book, The Revolt of the Masses. He basically contends that there are two types of people in the world, the mass and the minority. The minority are the truly talented people who also put great demand on themselves to make advancements in science, philosophy, and politics. The mass are those without the talent or drive to do such. He's quick to point out that this has nothing to do with class, as there is minority and mass in both the upper and lower classes.

Ortega sees a growing problem among the masses due to the rise of democracy. With the growing belief that everyone is equal comes a belief among the masses that their unexamined opinions are inherently equal in many areas to the minority. Those who have spent little time thinking about or studying politics believe that their political opinions carry as much intellectual weight as those who have been doing so for thirty years. They don't recognize that there are people in some areas who know better than they do. The problem that Ortega sees with this is that because the masses greatly outnumber the minority, politicians wanting power will begin to appeal to these unexamined opinions of the minority, leading to people who don't really know what they're doing to direct the political conversation. Writing in the 1930's Ortega sees this as the reason behind the rise of power of fascism in Italy and Bolshevism in Russia, condemning both movements. He definitely does not reject democracy and is a strong proponent of that political system over all others, but he does see this as a serious problem with it that needs to be addressed.

Especially a problem for Ortega are those that he calls the specialists. These are the people who are legitimately knowledgeable in one area. They are usually college educated people who really are experts in their narrow field. However, this knowledge generally leads to them believing they are experts in other fields, not usually deferring to those who are actually experts in them. Ortega sees them as often more stubborn and more arrogant than the regular masses in projecting their opinions in fields they are clearly ignorant of. Ortega writes the book specifically to challenge these people to examine their political ideals the same way they examine knowledge in their own narrow field of work.

So my question is, do you think that Ortega's work is a generally accurate view of society? Is he correct about the categories of mass and minority and the relationship between them? Do most people stubbornly view their opinions as inherently equal to those who know better than them?

I absolutely agree. I'm frankly not even an especially great fan of "Democracy" as a general concept in the way it is currently practiced by the Western World. It basically revolves entirely around hordes of ignorant louts who can't see six inches beyond their own noses shouting "gimme!" up at government officials, and voting for whichever demagogue looks prettiest on TV and promises to give them the heftiest handout (regardless of whether they actually deliver on it or not).

There should really be some sort mechanism in place to hone the electorate down to (mostly) only those individuals who are actually qualified to intelligently discuss and understand the issues affecting national level policy; a licensing or accrediation process, of sorts.
 
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