The Revolt of the Masses JOSE ORTEGA Y GASSET THE REVOLT OF THE MASSES AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION FROM THE SPANISH W □ W □ NORTON. José Ortega Y. Gasset The Dissection of the Mass-Man Begins 7. Why the Masses Intervene in Everything, and Why Their Intervention is Solely by Violence . SUMMARY OF THE BOOK THE REVOLT OF THE MASSES BY JOSE ORTEGA Y GASSET CHAPTER 1 THE COMING OF THE MASSES In this chapter, Jose.

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At birth he finds him- self installed, suddenly and without knowing how, in the midst of his riches and his prerogatives. The two latter may be summed up in one word: The actual abundance of pos- sibilities will change into practical scarcity, a pitiful im- potence, a real decadence.

The Revolt of the Masses

Speed, which is made up of space and time, is no less stupid than its constituents, but it serves to nullify them. Thus, “The Revolt of the Masses” feels surprisingly fresh, given not only its age but all the water that has passed under the bridge since it was written. They may not fulfil those demands; it is the demand being made, that alone, which makes the person a minority. What difference does it make to him not to be richer than others if the world is richer and furnishes him with magnificent roads, railways, telegraphs, hutch, personal safety and aspirin?

It is not something apart from and foreign to our existence, it is its actual periphery. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? Just a slip, and when you look around everything has vanished into air.

The Revolt of the Masses – Wikipedia

The only efforts that are being made are to escape from our real destiny, to blind ourselves to its evidence, to be deaf to its deep appeal, to avoid facing up to what has to beWe arc living in massew fashion, all the more comic the more apparently tragic is the mask adopted.


The mass— who maasses credit it as one sees its compact, mul- titudinous appearance? If it were, it would ipso facto cease to be true.

Whereas the number of occupations in primitive life can almost be counted on the fingers of one hand — shepherd, hunter, warrior, seer — the list of possible avocations to-day is im- measurably long. Wikiquote has quotations related to: Still less will he admit the notion that all these facilities still require the support of certain difficult human virtues, the least failure of w hich would cause the rapid disappearance of the whole magnificent edifice. Appointed professor of metaphysics at the University of Madrid inhe taught there until the outbreak of the Spanish Civil war in They feel appetites and needs which were previously looked upon as refine- ments, inasmuch as they w r ere the patrimony of the few.

Before, if it existed, it passed unnoticed, occupying the background of the social stage; now it has advanced to the footlights and is the principal character. Hence, never as now have we. Gallantry here makes an attempt to suborn me into telling our brothers beyond the sea that, in fact, Europe has become Americanised, and that this is due to an influence of America on Europe.

Furthermore, it should be added as the most concrete item to that rising of the level of existence which I have already indicated. In our time it is the mass-man w r ho dominates, it is he who decides.

A hurricane of farcicality, everywhere and in every form, is at present raging over the lands of Europe.

His bemoaning of the purposelessness and, because of that, the stupidity he finds in the mass man can in many ways be read as a critique of modernism, where many people’s primary goal is to keep up with everyone else and live for distraction as opposed to purpose. Nose remains, however, literally true that the nobles, represented by the medieval type of army of the Burgundians, were definitely defeated by the new army, not pro- fessional but bourgeois, formed by the Swiss.

The reconstruction of Europe- — as we are seeing — is an affair altogether too algebraical, and the ordinary European is showing him- self below this high enterprise. Why, then, these tasset of the liberals, the democrats, the pro- gressives of thirty years ago? See and discover other items: They are the giant armour of some other person, some other ervolt being, his ancestor. In Greece and Rome it hte not man that failed, but principles.

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Under the species of ,asses and Fascism there appears for the first time in Europe a type of man who docs not rrvolt to give reasons or to be right, but simply shows himself resolved to impose his opinions. To have an idea means believing one is in possession of the reasons for having it, and consequently means believing that there is such a thing as reason, a world of intelligible truths.

The average man is interested in aesthetics, motor-cars, and a few other things, but not the technology itself.

We Arrive at the Real Question. Nobody has concerned himself with supplying them. This is what in my first chapter I laid down as the characteristic of our time; not that the vulgar believes itself super-excellent and not vulgar, but that the vulgar proclaims and imposes the rights of vulgarity, or vulgarity as a right.

Suppose that jode the public life of a country some difficulty, conflict, or problem pre- sents itself, the mass-man will tend to demand that the State intervene immediately and undertake a solution di- rectly with its immense and unassailable resources. For the moment it is only a first skirmish, the frontal attack will come later, perhaps very soon, and in a very fasset form from that adopted by this essay.

The minorities are individuals or basset of individuals which are specially qualified.