Gustav Le Bon -The Crowd: Study of the Popular Mind

Laura

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I just finished reading this little book (129 pages) and I'm pretty sure that much of what Le Bon wrote was drawn upon by the researchers Lobaczewski described as doing the original work on Political Ponerology.

Someone in another thread found that the book is available online for free and I would encourage everyone to read it. Taken together with Schumaker's "Corruption of Reality", it presents a rather grim picture of what can or cannot be done as far as changing the destructive trajectory of human history.

I also think it is important for any individual who works with people to be aware of what is presented in this book. In these times, you never know when you will find yourself in a "crowd out of control" situation and may need to have your wits about you not just for your own sake, but for the sake of innocents around you.

The book also gives insight as to what is going on in Ukraine, the ways and means that the PTB/CIA/ETC go about manipulating crowds. They certainly have taken a few pages from this book as part of their operations manual. It's also easy to see how Hitler came to power with this information.

Among the most interesting conclusions that Le Bon draws toward the end is his pronouncement that "democracy" is basically a fraud - can't work, never did - and he shows why.

All in all, a super interesting read.
 

LQB

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Laura said:
Someone in another thread found that the book is available online for free and I would encourage everyone to read it. Taken together with Schumaker's "Corruption of Reality", it presents a rather grim picture of what can or cannot be done as far as changing the destructive trajectory of human history.
This reminded me of the poem:

The People

The People is a beast of muddy brain
That knows not its own force, and therefore stands
Loaded with wood and stone; the powerless hands
Of a mere child guide it with bit and rein.

One kick would be enough to break the chain;
But the beast fears, and what the child demands,
It does, nor its own terror understands,
Confused and stupefied by bugbears vain.

Most wonderful! with its own hand it ties
And gags itself – gives itself death and war
For pence doled out by kings from its own store.

Its own are all things between earth and heaven;
But this it knows not, and if one arise
To tell the truth, it kills him unforgiven.

-- Tommaso Campanella
(1568-1639)
 

Arwenn

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Here is the link to the book from Ukraine thread:

Aragorn said:
Laura said:
I've just finished Gustav Le Bon's "The Crowd: Study of the Popular Mind" and it sure explains a lot of things we are seeing. It also seems obvious that there are parts of it that influenced Political Ponerology. Definitely worth reading and studying, though as yet, I have no ideas as to how humans can get out of the mess they are in considering the way they are made and how easily they are played as this book reveals.
This book is available for free in Kindle format on Amazon:

The Crowd; study of the popular mind by Gustave Le Bon
Link: http://amzn.com/B004UJNFQI
 

Anthony

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Laura said:
I just finished reading this little book (129 pages) and I'm pretty sure that much of what Le Bon wrote was drawn upon by the researchers Lobaczewski described as doing the original work on Political Ponerology.

Someone in another thread found that the book is available online for free and I would encourage everyone to read it. Taken together with Schumaker's "Corruption of Reality", it presents a rather grim picture of what can or cannot be done as far as changing the destructive trajectory of human history.

I also think it is important for any individual who works with people to be aware of what is presented in this book. In these times, you never know when you will find yourself in a "crowd out of control" situation and may need to have your wits about you not just for your own sake, but for the sake of innocents around you.

The book also gives insight as to what is going on in Ukraine, the ways and means that the PTB/CIA/ETC go about manipulating crowds. They certainly have taken a few pages from this book as part of their operations manual. It's also easy to see how Hitler came to power with this information.

Among the most interesting conclusions that Le Bon draws toward the end is his pronouncement that "democracy" is basically a fraud - can't work, never did - and he shows why.

All in all, a super interesting read.
I'm just reading through Schumaker's book, I take it you are implying that people need to learn
how to face reality without dissociating from it and filtering out data that they feel are threatening?

I'll definitely be checking Le Bon's book.
 

Gandalf

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Another free book from Gustav Le Bon:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Psychology-Revolution-Gustave-Bon-ebook/dp/B004UJNHPC/ref=tmm_kin_title_0
 

Tomek

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Also available in other digital formats (kindle, epub, html, raw text...) here :

_http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/24007
 

Psalehesost

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Tomek said:
Also available in other digital formats (kindle, epub, html, raw text...) here :

_http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/24007
That would be the French version; the English version is here:

_http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/445

And a PDF can be found here:

_http://socserv.socsci.mcmaster.ca/~econ/ugcm/3ll3/lebon/Crowds.pdf
 

Renaissance

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I read parts of this a few years ago. He paints such an awful picture of humanity that I thought he might have had a disdain for people and might have been coming from a pathological perspective - and now looking back on this, it's the *Popular Mind* that he observed and wrote about, and as depressing as it is, it is very accurate.
 

loreta

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Me too. It looks very interesting. How did you find this book Laura? I never hear about Gustave Le Bon. And it seems to me a very interesting author. How come I never hear about him while studying French Literature? :huh:
 

axj

Dagobah Resident
I read the first few chapters and I wonder whether the rapid development of individualism in the West since the book was published (1896) may have changed the dynamics of crowds in some ways. He writes:

We see, then, that the disappearance of the conscious personality, the
predominance of the unconscious personality, the turning by means of
suggestion and contagion of feelings and ideas in an identical direction, the
tendency to immediately transform the suggested ideas into acts; these, we see,
are the principal characteristics of the individual forming part of a crowd. He
is no longer himself, but has become an automaton who has ceased to be
guided by his will.
Is it possible that this tendency to become a part of a crowd is less pronounced when people place more importance on their own individuality?

Also, this paragraph highlights that the author's ideas about evolution need to be taken with a good grain of salt (page 19):

It will be remarked that among the special characteristics of crowds there are
several — such as impulsiveness, irritability, incapacity to reason, the absence
of judgment and of the critical spirit, the exaggeration of the sentiments, and
others besides — which are almost always observed in beings belonging to
inferior forms of evolution — in women, savages, and children, for instance.
 

Laura

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loreta said:
Me too. It looks very interesting. How did you find this book Laura? I never hear about Gustave Le Bon. And it seems to me a very interesting author. How come I never hear about him while studying French Literature? :huh:
Me either. I'm pretty sure I got the name from the videos posted here:

https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,34487.msg485682.html#msg485682

I had to track through my browser history to figure it out and I'm pretty sure that's it.


axj said:
I read the first few chapters and I wonder whether the rapid development of individualism in the West since the book was published (1896) may have changed the dynamics of crowds in some ways. He writes:

We see, then, that the disappearance of the conscious personality, the
predominance of the unconscious personality, the turning by means of
suggestion and contagion of feelings and ideas in an identical direction, the
tendency to immediately transform the suggested ideas into acts; these, we see,
are the principal characteristics of the individual forming part of a crowd. He
is no longer himself, but has become an automaton who has ceased to be
guided by his will.
Is it possible that this tendency to become a part of a crowd is less pronounced when people place more importance on their own individuality?
Frankly, I don't think so. I think it's just another layer of programming for people to be convinced that they are "individuals" when they are simply not.

axj said:
Also, this paragraph highlights that the author's ideas about evolution need to be taken with a good grain of salt (page 19):

It will be remarked that among the special characteristics of crowds there are
several — such as impulsiveness, irritability, incapacity to reason, the absence
of judgment and of the critical spirit, the exaggeration of the sentiments, and
others besides — which are almost always observed in beings belonging to
inferior forms of evolution — in women, savages, and children, for instance.
It's not that his ideas about evolution need to be taken with salt, what is needed is to understand the mindset of the time, as well as the class.

Yes, I've got those and a couple other things marked in my copy, but believe me, despite a few assumptions he makes that were common belief at the time which are rather silly, the REST of the book is a slam dunk. Don't get put off early, and don't make assumptions until you have finished the book. Then compare what you have read with what you have observed in real life.
 

axj

Dagobah Resident
Laura said:
Yes, I've got those and a couple other things marked in my copy, but believe me, despite a few assumptions he makes that were common belief at the time which are rather silly, the REST of the book is a slam dunk. Don't get put off early, and don't make assumptions until you have finished the book. Then compare what you have read with what you have observed in real life.
His main research on crowds does indeed seem quite profound. And I also wouldn't be surprised if his ideas were directly used by the nazi party - seeing how they employed mass gatherings of all sorts.

When he describes the susceptibility of crowds to mass hallucinations and gives several examples, this reminded me of the attack on the Pentagon on 9/11 and the fact that native Americans reportedly could not perceive the European ships because it was so much outside their consensus reality, so to say. In the case of the Pentagon strike, those who reported seeing a 747 may very well have adopted a form of mass hallucination after the fact - believing they saw a plane because the news said it was there.
 
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