I just finished reading Jose Ortega y Gasset's book, The Revolt of the Masses. He basically contends that there are two types of people in the world, the mass and the minority. The minority are the truly talented people who also put great demand on themselves to make advancements in science, philosophy, and politics. The mass are those without the talent or drive to do such. He's quick to point out that this has nothing to do with class, as there is minority and mass in both the upper and lower classes.
Ortega sees a growing problem among the masses due to the rise of democracy. With the growing belief that everyone is equal comes a belief among the masses that their unexamined opinions are inherently equal in many areas to the minority. Those who have spent little time thinking about or studying politics believe that their political opinions carry as much intellectual weight as those who have been doing so for thirty years. They don't recognize that there are people in some areas who know better than they do. The problem that Ortega sees with this is that because the masses greatly outnumber the minority, politicians wanting power will begin to appeal to these unexamined opinions of the minority, leading to people who don't really know what they're doing to direct the political conversation. Writing in the 1930's Ortega sees this as the reason behind the rise of power of fascism in Italy and Bolshevism in Russia, condemning both movements. He definitely does not reject democracy and is a strong proponent of that political system over all others, but he does see this as a serious problem with it that needs to be addressed.
Especially a problem for Ortega are those that he calls the specialists. These are the people who are legitimately knowledgeable in one area. They are usually college educated people who really are experts in their narrow field. However, this knowledge generally leads to them believing they are experts in other fields, not usually deferring to those who are actually experts in them. Ortega sees them as often more stubborn and more arrogant than the regular masses in projecting their opinions in fields they are clearly ignorant of. Ortega writes the book specifically to challenge these people to examine their political ideals the same way they examine knowledge in their own narrow field of work.
So my question is, do you think that Ortega's work is a generally accurate view of society? Is he correct about the categories of mass and minority and the relationship between them? Do most people stubbornly view their opinions as inherently equal to those who know better than them?