The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind

Gustave Le Bon (1841 - 1931)

"Civilisations as yet have only been created and directed by a small intellectual aristocracy, never by crowds. Crowds are only powerful for destruction. Their rule is always tantamount to a barbarian phase. A civilisation involves fixed rules, discipline, a passing from the instinctive to the rational state, forethought for the future, an elevated degree of culture — all of them conditions that crowds, left to themselves, have invariably shown themselves incapable of realising. In consequence of the purely destructive nature of their power crowds act like those microbes which hasten the dissolution of enfeebled or dead bodies. When the structure of a civilisation is rotten, it is always the masses that bring about its downfall." - Gustave Le Bon, from Introduction

Genre(s): Psychology, Social Science (Culture & Anthropology)

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Preface, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind Oxenhandler
Play 01 Introduction, The Era of Crowds Oxenhandler
Play 02 General Characteristics of Crowds— Psychological Law of Their Mental Unity Oxenhandler
Play 03 The Sentiments and Morality of Crowds Oxenhandler
Play 04 The Ideas, Reasoning Power and Imagination of Crowds Oxenhandler
Play 05 A Religious Shape Assumed by all the Convictions of Crowds Oxenhandler
Play 06 Remote Factors of the Opinions and Beliefs of Crowds Oxenhandler
Play 07 The Immediate Factors of the Opinions of Crowds Oxenhandler
Play 08 The Leaders of Crowds and their Means of Persuasion Oxenhandler
Play 09 Limitations of the Variability of the Beliefs and Opinions of Crowds Oxenhandler
Play 10 The Classification of Crowds Oxenhandler
Play 11 Crowds Termed Criminal Crowds Oxenhandler
Play 12 Criminal Juries Oxenhandler
Play 13 Electoral Crowds Oxenhandler
Play 14 Parliamentary Assemblies Oxenhandler