The crisis of authority hollowing out existing institutions didn't arise because these institutions prostituted themselves to power or money. That was an explanation after the fact - one that happened to be believed by much of the public and many experts. The fact that needed to be explained, however, was failure: the painfully visible gap between the institutions' claims of competence and their actual performance. The gap, I maintain, was a function of the limits of human knowledge. It had always been there. What changed was the public's awareness of it.
- Martin Gurri, The Revolt of the Public and The Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium