Thank you for a well-written, thought-provoking article. I'd like to raise just a couple of counterpoints.
It's easy to look back at the visionaries of history - time compresses, bringing you many - and compare that to this singular moment of seemingly none. So it's an unfair comparison.
It's also not quite true, in my opinion. As another reader commented, we have Chris Hedges, Cornell West, etc., and I'd add to that list Greta Thunberg.
They might not be the same caliber in your opinion. But it's also true that the context matters. Imagine MLK in the attention economy, the way it is today. Or Ghandi on Twitter. Would their lives have followed the same course? How would social media and the moral-panic machine of national political news media have shaped them differently?
Finally, a reader here laments that so many people today have lapsed into conspiracy theory thinking, yet this article has glimmers of it. The words fringe and periphery are mentioned many times. It's certainly not always true that alternative-to-mainstream means greater veracity. It's often the opposite. In those dark, wet corners we get the black mold of Alex Jones and his ilk. Qanon etc.
I do generally agree that the movers and shakers are not given the same platform as establishment favorites. E.g., Hillary versus Bernie in the 2016 primary. (I think one major newspaper called him a "pebble on his way to the coronation.")
I'd say the great enemy here is complacency. Complacency and an attention economy that rewards complaining and stirring up outrage as action. We all need to get outside, get our hands dirty, think globally, act locally.
Thanks again for your article and for permitting my rant!