Weekend Reading: Machado’s The Rebirth of the Philosopher King: Trump’s Campaign and the Leadership of the Information Age

From the blurb for Marco Machado, The Rebirth of the Philosopher King: Trump’s Campaign and the Leadership of the Information Age (2018):

The Information Age prompts the occurrence of binary mindsets. These mindsets simplify life and establish an expectation: people want leaders that are a direct reflection of (extremely hopeful) simplifications. Even though historically the masses have been looking for a savior, with the normalization of binary mindsets online, people manage to express their inner selves and simultaneously expect the emergence of a new sort of leadership. Such leaders, like the Information Age, must have powerful intangible traits. Approaching this recent phenomenon, “The Rebirth of the Philosopher King” takes a fresh look at the power scheme behind the emergence of leaderships in the Information Age.

Democracies have been in disarray. The election of Donald Trump has raised doubts about any romantic portrait of the democratic process. The challenges are many, and much has been said about this topic. Populism, inequality and alienation are some of the words that are often heard (and thrown around) in any analysis of Trump’s campaign. Unlike these common approaches, Marco Machado argues Donald Trump’s campaign relied on an ancient archetype. This archetype often manifests itself as a search after the wise leader, the old master. In the case of Trump, his campaign relied on the archetype of the philosopher king. Immersed in the Information Age, this archetype acquired an unpredictable amount of energy. With an original approach, the rise of Trump is described. In the end, a question comes into being: what sort of leadership do we want to have in the upcoming Information Age?

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