Interview with Martin Gurri, "A Short-Term Pessimist and Long-Term Optimist"

I thought this was a very interesting discussion about authority in our digital age. I haven’t read Revolt of the Public, but now I’d like to!

Mr. Gurri is referring to political leaders in this quote, but it made me think of the application to pastors:

Your last question is a very interesting and troubling one. In the digital age, people are trained to express themselves, to perform in a way that will grow their following, rather than to govern. (Think Donald Trump.) Yuval Levin has written that our institutions were once formative — they shaped the character and discipline of those who joined them — but are now performative, mere platforms for elite self-expression and personal branding. I completely agree. Outside of the military, which still demands a code of conduct from its members, I don’t see where people are trained to govern today.

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Here’s his follow-up review of the book:

For anyone interested in more Martin Gurri here he is on Econtalk: https://www.econtalk.org/martin-gurri-on-the-revolt-of-the-public/

And 80,000 hours (first half is his interview): https://80000hours.org/podcast/episodes/martin-gurri-revolt-of-the-public/

I think he is an interesting thinker who cuts across a lot of political and cultural categories and has fresh insight into the inchoate “revolt” going on all around us.

We live in an age of vanity. It makes sense, given that we also live in a gay and effeminate age.

No better avatar for it than Donald Trump. And I say that as an unironic MAGA guy. I own the hat and everything. But it seems undeniable that the NeverTrumps were right that he degraded us. He gave social media narcissism the presidential seal of approval. And in the process, some of his Christian supporters, myself definitely included, came to buy in to his narcissistic persona as the way forward in the culture wars. Be an ass on Twitter and save the West!

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[responding to Lucas Weeks]

Agreed. In our context, pastors think they are being “formative”, when too often the flock regard them as “performative” - and if the pastor doesn’t perform, the sheep will wander off to find a pastor who does. Hence the black hole of celebrity pastors; and Tim Keller had nothing on Carl Lentz.