Understanding the revolt: «Man the Technician» in global rhetoric


Luis Núñez-Ladevéze y Margarita Núnez-Canal

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Communication & Society
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We have used quotations that McLuhan cited from the works of Ortega y Gasset, never been commented, for comparing the concurrence between the analyses of the “revolt of the masses” and “return to the village” in the network. This review discerns how both descriptions converge in a framework that fosters the unlimited expansion of face-to-face relationships which, by encouraging remote adherence to virtual identities, fosters a plethora of communicative practices. Internet encourages persuasive stratagems that foster rhetorical turmoil, which makes it impossible to distinguish sound arguments from those that are fallacious, and credible from false information. “Populism,” “fake news,” and “post-truth” suddenly appeared in everyday language as a sign of this rhetorical transience that fosters the collision of identities in the regressive, technological anchor of “back to the tribes” in the “global village.” Having analysed the concomitance of McLuhan and Ortega from a phenomenological perspective, which has into account emotion in the argumentative process, the conclusions focus on proposals for restoring deliberative norms that have become diluted during modernity and whose meaning endures in normative practices akin to the rhetorical tradition.

Keywords: Rhetoric, primary groups, revolt of the masses, populism, global village, post-truth, digital tribes.

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