The masses and the people


PSYCHOLOGY: Is it possible to understand why the majority choose a leader or a slave-like existence?

Is the "mass" a potential "mob empire"? Several new books try to get closer to what the ignorant, primitive or furious masses can mean, such as titles such as The Madness of Crowds   (mention here) and others suggest. Is there anything more psychological to learn about the people, the majority or the herd?

Eirik Høyer Leivestad's new book Fear and loathing in democracy > (Vagant) runs over the centuries where he draws with thinkers mass idéHistory: Plato concluded in horror that the majority was too receptive to the seduction of the demagogues. Alexis de Tocqueville mentions in 1835 a "quenched thirst for equality […] that makes man prefer equality in slavery to inequality in freedom." Despite the intelligence of the masses, Karl Marx manifested in revolutionary struggle - also according to Leivestad "a stupidity of the masses manifested in conservative reflexes".

Og Baruch spinoza marveled at "what could lead the masses to embrace undisguised tyranny," something Leivestad constantly repeats in the book. In 1670, Spinoza referred to the "passive affects" of the masses as fear, hatred, anxiety, and vengeance. And Stendhal wrote in 1835: "I can not stand the mob, but under the name people I'm passionate about fighting for their happiness. "

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Truls Lie
Editor-in-Chief of MODERN TIMES. See previous articles by Lie i Le Monde diplomatique (2003–2013) and Morgenbladet (1993-2003) See also part video work by Lie here.

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