The little known book gives by far the most clear and thought provoking explanation for the social phenomena of our times, and the events in the twentieth century which informs and underpins these events. The arguments presented are based on the following observation: The "masses" are in revolt. By the "masses" are understood to be those people who in their own eyes have no special quality or qualification which singles them out. The "revolt" which Ortega speaks of is not a primarily political one, but a revolt against the very destiny of the mass man. This revolt is seen in the way in which the masses occupy the spaces and institutions of civilization, created for minorities by minorities. The mass man enjoys all the benefits of civilization, without giving a thought as to the enormous effort that went into obtaining these benefits, considering the marvels of civilization as a mere product of nature, like the air he breaths.
The consequences of this new mass man and his revolt is investigated in several different settings, including politics and science.