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".
And Baruch spinoza marveled at "what could lead the masses to embrace undisguised tyranny," something Leivestad constantly repeats in the book. In XNUMX, Spinoza referred to the "passive affects" of the masses as fear, hatred, anxiety, and vengeance. And Stendhal wrote in XNUMX: "I can not stand the mob, but under the name peopleI'm passionate about fighting for their happiness. "
Today, it is probably more "the people" who are used in the media, not the "masses".
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