With the collapse of the private sphere, potent private emotions collide with public affairs

Martin Gurri in The Bridge:

An unconquerable anger has gripped the democratic world. The public seethes with feelings of grievance and seems ready to wreak havoc at any provocation. The spasm of fury that swept the United States after the death of George Floyd cost 19 additional lives and $400 million in property damage. Last year’s frenzy in Chile was even more disproportionate: 29 persons were killed, property worth $1.4 billion was destroyed, and a constitutional plebiscite was called, all in response to a 4 percent increase in mass transit fares. As far back as 2011, hundreds of thousands of protesters streamed into the streets of Madrid, Spain, without a discernible triggering event. They called themselves indignados: “the outraged.”

Many books and articles have tried to explain this surge in anger. I am presently reading Angrynomics, which, in the way of causes, blames economic crisis and inequality. Another recent read, National Populism, proposes cultural decline and inequality. Christophe Guilluy’s Twilight of the Elites holds neoliberalism and globalization responsible—along with inequality, of course. For obvious reasons, the current American fixation is with racial injustice. The Harvard Gazette’s recent “Why America Can’t Escape Its Racist Roots” can stand in for an Amazonian stream of similar articles.

More here.