Who is the general public?
Every week we read somewhere that the public is outraged over something or someone, as if the 'public' were one monolithic chunk of people who all think the same way. But is that true? Is there any general to the general public, or do we have lots of mini, specific publics instead?
Western societies are increasingly fractured into tribes – with no real notion of the common good any longer. It often seems that the loudest voice – or an activist group – can give the impression that their cause is everybody’s cause. This is especially true in identity issues in our culture.
Who gets to decide who the general public is? And who gets to speak on their behalf?