GUSTAVE LE BON
The Crowd: A
Study of the Popular Mind.
. . .
teachings of pure reason are very often contrary to those of
practical reason. . . In certain cases there is more
truth in the unreal than in the real."1a
. . .
power of the crowd is the only force that nothing menaces,
and of which the prestige is continually on the increase. The age
we are about to enter will in truth be the ERA OF CROWDS."1b
. . . [T]he
disappearance of the conscious personality, the
predominance of the unconscious personality, the turning of
feelings and ideas in an identical direction by means of
suggestion and contagion, the tendency to
immediately transfer the suggested ideas into acts; these,
we see, are the principle characteristics of the individual
forming part of the crowd. He is no longer himself, but
has become an automaton who has ceased to be guided by his will."1c
. . . [T]he mere fact that an
individual forms part of a crowd, his intellectual standard
is immediately and considerably lowered."1d
eminent philosophers . . . have had no difficulty in showing that
instruction neither renders a man more moral nor happier,
that it changes neither his instincts nor his hereditary passions
. . ."1e
conditions of success in life are the possession of
judgment, experience, initiative, and character -- qualities
which are not bestowed by books."1f
with a small stock of formulas and commonplaces learnt
while we are young, we possess all that is needed to traverse
life without the tiring necessity of having to reflect on anything
power is given to ideas propagated by affirmation,
repetition, and contagion by the circumstance that
they acquire in time that mysterious force known as prestige."1h
man of modern times is more and more a prey to indifference."1i
pass in pursuit of an ideal from the barbarous to the
civilized state, and then, when this ideal has lost its
virtue, to decline and die, such is the cycle of the
life of a people."1j
Bon (1841-1931). The Crowd: A Study
of the Popular Mind. Mineola, NY: Dover
Publications, Inc., 2002. (An unabridged republication of a
standard English translation of the work originally
published in 1895 in France as La
psychologie des foules.)
The Psychology of
Psychology of Revolution.
Translated by Bernard Miall. Mineola, NY:
Dover Publications, Inc., 2004.
Italics in the original.
1 Gustave Le Bon
(1841-1931). The Crowd: A Study of the
Popular Mind. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc.,
2002. (An unabridged republication of a standard English
translation of the work originally published in 1895 in France as
La psychologie des foules.)
a Preface, at iv-v.
b The Era of Crowds, at x.
BOOK I: THE MIND OF CROWDS
c Chapter I. General
Characteristics of Crowds,-- Psychological Law of Their Mental
Unity, at 8.
d Chapter II. The Sentiments
and Morality of Crowds, at 24.
BOOK II: THE OPINIONS AND BELIEFS OF CROWDS
e Chapter I. Remote Factors
of the Opinions and Beliefs of Crowds, at 52.
f Ibid., at 55.
g Chapter II. The Immediate
Factors of the Opinions of Crowds, at 62.
h Chapter III. The Leaders of
Crowds and Their Means of Persuasion, at 81.
i Chapter IV. Limitations of
the Variability of the Beliefs and Operations of Crowds, at 99.
BOOK III: THE CLASSIFICATION AND DESCRIPTION OF
THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF CROWDS
j Chapter V. Parliamentary
Assemblies, at 139.