José Ortega y Gasset

The Revolt of the Masses

19:27 min
Philosophy, Politics
192 pages, 1930

Has society lost its way? Ortega y Gasset's compelling work confronts an alarming truth: the rise of the "mass man," complacent yet entitled, is threatening civilization itself. Tracing how technological advances have enabled the masses to rebel against their destiny, this short provides a sobering analysis of this unique crisis. Ultimately, though, Ortega y Gasset strikes a hopeful note by calling for historically-conscious leadership to channel Europe's possibilities constructively. Any reader eager to understand the psychological shifts behind today's populist discontent will find penetrating insight in this prescient classic that remains startlingly relevant. Masterfully elucidating the tense interplay between individualism and social responsibility, Ortega y Gasset points a way forward.

José Ortega y Gasset

José Ortega y Gasset was an influential Spanish philosopher in the first half of the 20th century who specialized in metaphysics, ethics, modern art, and existentialism within historical context. Known for philosophical works including "Invertebrate Spain" and "The Revolt of the Masses", Ortega y Gasset's writings expertly analyze and critique contemporary society by integrating modern philosophy with culture, history and European politics. As both a professor of metaphysics at the Complutense University of Madrid and an active participant in Spanish intellectual and public life, Ortega y Gasset demonstrated a deep understanding of the intersection between abstract philosophy and real human existence.


A profound crisis emerges as European masses become the dominant social force, lacking self-management skills and overcrowding cities and public spaces. This leads to a decline in intellectual discourse and individuality, paralleling ancient Rome's fall when masses absorbed elites.
Go to chapter

Cover of The Revolt of the Masses