The Future Is Coming at the Elites Like a Freight Train
The basic thesis of Martin Gurri's The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millenium is that "the information technologies of the 21st century have enabled the public, composed of amateurs, people from nowhere, to break the power of the political hierarchies of the industrial age." The result has been "the mass extinction of stories of legitimacy." Gurri believes this informational meteor strike has caused the political upheaval we see around us.
The election to the presidency of Donald Trump, in particular, had the effect of a volcanic eruption that thrust into the open, for everyone to see, the fractured and mangled pieces of the old status quo ... The great narratives are fracturing into shards.
Every great institution is justified by a story. That story connects the institution to higher political ideals and ultimately to the moral order of the world. It persuades ordinary people—you and me—that, if we wish to do the right thing, we should act as the institution requires of us. The story bestows the authorizing magic I have called legitimacy. High modernist government, for example, told a story about perfecting social relations by the application of power and science. On this basis, it razed entire neighborhoods, without much protest, to make room for housing projects like Cabrini Green. The Federal Reserve, in Alan Greenspan’s time, told a story about mastery over the economy by means of esoteric knowledge.
With these defunct stories died the belief that "high modernist government" could control mankind's future. But there is yet another reason why, besides the Internet, that elites are having such a hard time today. Since progressivism rested on the proposition that advancements in technology, science, and social organization would allow man, acting through the state, to control destiny, any blow to certainty would strike at the heart of the concept.