Where all that 'revolting' is coming from

We all know we live in tumultous times. Ever since the Arab Spring, we know the locals in the less developed world are inclined to revolt. We also know that in the three biggest powers in Europe, North America and South America, the locals elected stunning black swan leaders on the right because the establishments there are leftist. We know about the late revolts in Hong Kong, Colombia and Chile...

Someone's looked at this, noting the trend about the information revolution at the root of it a few years ago and accurately forecast that there would be plenty more of it, which is exactly what happened.

Vox of all places, a site I normally am reluctant to even click on, has a terrific interview with Martin Gurri, a former CIA analyst who looked at the world as it is, and wrote a 2014 book called "The Revolt of the Public," which, as it turned out, contained terrific insights. 

Vox must have sent one of their brighter and less ideological people to interview the man, because the result is worth reading to anyone who really wants to understand the common denominators in the current turmoil, which Gurri himself compares to 1848.

Here's how the piece begins:

If there’s a word that sums up the past decade of politics, it might be “revolt.”

A revolt against elites. A revolt against liberal democracy. A revolt against the status quo. The seminal events of the 2010s felt like a collective “no” to the entire system.

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.

Too bad there aren't more career CIA people just like that, given what we have seen of the CIA in the Mueller report and the impeachment farce. A Ciaramella this Gurri is not. This is useful stuff and Gurri's thoughts about what's coming next is well worth considering. His book looks like a satisfying read. Read the whole thing here.

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