Gustave LeBon: "The Crowd" (1895)

Vin

New Member
[Editor's note: thread moved from Allan Weisbecker debate.]

I have been following the thread, and find it interesting in many ways. Certainly in order to understand all aspects of the conversation one needs to spend quiet a lot of time researching the topics.

Looking at the conversation superficially I am reminded of the fact recognized by “The man” as the way the “universe operates”, that a small number of connected people can agree on most important topics, while larger and potentially more powerful groups of people, are known for lack of agreement on any momentous concern. This, we all know is achieved through propaganda, music and certainly through books that must be read in school, when our brains are still developing. Add to the list modern art works, TV and movies, and we may see that we are constantly surrounded with idea downloading devices.

We all seem to see and then act in a way we were trained to do. We accept ideas we have been trained to accept. If we do not question this training, we become angry when presented with the possibilities of seeing things and ideas in a different light.

Allan is showing a lot of passion in his research, however, passion may also lead to quashing of critical judgments so, a return to simple dialog, on radio, in real time or in unreal written time, may be the answer. In the process of sharing all this accumulated knowledge, dry information, will, I am sure result in functional wisdom.
 
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Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Looking at the conversation superficially I am reminded of the fact recognized by “The man” as the way the “universe operates”, that a small number of connected people can agree on most important topics, while larger and potentially more powerful groups of people, are known for lack of agreement on any momentous concern. This, we all know is achieved through propaganda, music and certainly through books that must be read in school, when our brains are still developing. Add to the list modern art works, TV and movies, and we may see that we are constantly surrounded with idea downloading devices.

We all seem to see and then act in a way we were trained to do. We accept ideas we have been trained to accept. If we do not question this training, we become angry when presented with the possibilities of seeing things and ideas in a different light.
Well said Vin.

This is the underlying basis of what I was trying to get across to 'ousia' in the recent LSD / perception / illusion thread. This where he is certain that he has determined that he now perceives objective reality optimally by the adoption of his new 'cult' philosophy/religion. The result of which will be a much more fearful and dystopian social environment. But since he, as a heroic randian neo-oligarch, will be able to afford his own paramilitary to protect him from ... most everyone else. But then, who cares, it's all about the 'Freedom' thingy after all (Rome's contextual shibboleth). Like Allan with his passion, they both can't see the forest for the trees.

I, like most everybody else, used to be the same way. The problem for us is that some people, upon pulling back the next layer of the (un)reality onion think they have finally discovered objective reality when in reality there are more layers to peel back. Each successive one makes some more and more uncomfortable as they distance themselves from their initial starting point ... and most everyone around them. I have been told so here, as they would just prefer minor tweaks to the latest revision of Rome (V6.66:eek:), and here I am the one who coined the term 'Postflavian'.

In case you didn't know it (I mentioned it above), enabled by his 'Hollywood' skills, Allan produced a very good documentary on the JFK assassination and its relationship to Vietnam (where his best friend was killed). When I viewed it I complimented him on it, but wondered about it leaving the impression that this is really where we (Americans) went off the rails. He calmly stated that he understood that it went back much further, but as to just how far back he was willing to go I don't know, because he went ballistic when Jerry and I weren't willing to invest time in the Apollo Moon Landing business. In terms of priorities, this was way, way off our list. Much further, for example, than my unsatisfied desire to have Joe go into detail about why official Vatican sources are discussing the coming of what I call Space Jesus, associated with the Jesuit's LUCIFER telescope in Arizona.

Maybe Allen went ballistic as an exit strategy pretext when he figured I might press him on his version of unreality?

This all reminds me of one of my post 9/11 email discussion groups where there was an American Indian present. From his comments, I clearly understood why they know that the White Man Speaks with Forked Tongue. They (we) have so many versions of reality that this is why somebody had to invent the Jews to take the blame, that is when our Abrahamic religions can't go far enough (in explicitly revealing the reality union) when we have to ask forgiveness for our sins.
 

Vin

New Member
Yes, "latest revision of Rome", and when seen in that light, how big is this onion that needs to be peeled...there are torrents of tears in this process. In Gustave Le Bon's "The Crowd, a study of the popular Mind", published in 1895, chapter 3 I believe, he states:
"A hundred petty crimes or petty accidents will not strike the imagination of crowds in the least, whereas a single great crime or a single great accident will profoundly impress them, even though the results be infinitely less disastrous than those of the hundred small accidents put together.
The epidemic of influenza, which caused the death but a few years ago of five thousand persons in Paris alone, made very little impression on the popular imagination. The reason was that this veritable hecatomb was not embodied in any visible image, but was only learnt from statistical information furnished weekly.
An accident which should have caused the death of only five hundred instead of five thousand persons, but on the same day and in public, as the outcome of an accident appealing stronly to the eye, by the fall for instance of the Eiffel Tower, would have produced, on the contrary, an immense impression on the imagination of the crowd.
... To know the art of impressing the imagination of crowds is to know at the same time the art of governing them."

Who was reading this book before September 11?
 

Vin

New Member
Hi Richard, sorry for such a long delay in replying to your question, I went off the grid for a few days, but unlike Allan this was planned, and not due to fear of being neutralized by a band of postflaviana.com hassansins.

Mr G. Le Bon, doesn’t directly talk about the “BIG lie”, but since he talks about how the mind of the crowd is created and controlled, the power behind this can be gleaned.

He talks of the power of words that “cause birth in the minds of crowds of the most formidable tempests”. Once accepted in the mind, these grandiose and vague images can’t be moved by simple reason and arguments.

He also mentions the “creators of illusions” and how once the crowd accepts their obscure and murky images, they (the crowds) will build temples, statues and alters in their name. All civilisations have had these powerful men at the levers of control.

According to this 1895 work, these men are occasionally brought down from power with great human sacrifice, but the crowd mind will bring them back again. These masters of illusion seem to give men hope and drams, without which it is difficult to live.

To me, at present time, the power behind science is attempting to take place of religious masters of illusion by offering opulent commitments for a better future. Commitment being another magical word that only holds a lot of promise, without a need to believe in it or that anything significant will be done. No wonder that it is one of the favourite words of politicians.

The power of words is not dead. It now appears that this power is used not to create grandiose images, but rather to sedate and create indifference.

Here is an example of a perfect mind-maiming formula (used by modern day scientific managers) that Mr G. Le Bon would love: The Scientists are enhancing the government’s commitment to health (peace, sustainability, global warming, fighting terrorism…..) and we are all together committed to enhancement.

And so it seems, that if the big lie is uncovered, another one soon supplements it, which is just better tailored for our time.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Hi Richard, sorry for such a long delay in replying to your question,
Hi Vin, maybe we can get Jerry to move our now off topic conversion to a new thread?

Here is the Wikipedia link on Le Bon and discusses the influence he had on people like Bernays, Hitler, Teddy Roosevelt, Tavistock, etc.. The Romans seemed to have a grasp of crowd psychology, as when they marched everyone around invoking Mars and such, whipping them into a frenzy, before heading off to war.
 

Vin

New Member
Yes, lets do that. I find that his understanding of the mass mind is so precise, that it is no surprise that he has been studied, by all the dictators. Just look at this statement of his: “Civilisation is impossible without traditions, and progress is impossible without the destruction of those traditions”.

Some power, and all real power prefer anonymity, is certainly using the above statement in the current EU crisis.

He continues: “The ideal for a people is in consequence to preserve the institutions of the past, merely changing them insensibly and little by little. This ideal is difficult to realise. The Romans in ancient and the English in modern times are almost alone in having realised it”.

I think we should study this mans work and if possible find out what he was reading.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
“Civilisation is impossible without traditions, and progress is impossible without the destruction of those traditions”.
This does pretty much get to the 'crux' of matters here, especially relating to such as "cultural degradation". And which it appears that Joe and Allan agree on, as far as I can tell (their dispute being over the nature of Kesey and Salinger).

BTW, Jerry and I are near to plopping out a new post, on Cultural Degradation, Racism and such.

As such, I have previously asked what is the cultural baseline from which we (American and Western civilization) are being from. And this, of course, would lead to the next (unasked by me - so far) question of as to what purpose - especially as this all is some kind of organized conspiracy (and this seems not to be a bone of contention including myself). The only answer I have gotten to the first, from Jerry, is that the nebulous purpose was to damage "the children". This despite CSN said "Teach Your Children Well". (I mention this only because Pandora played this for me at midnight, after first playing "Fortunate Son" in honor of my last post. Then it played Mason's "We Just Disagree", and followed by Mick singing "Gimme Shelter" ... just so that 'they' could let me know that they know about my connection to Jerry, and thus to Mick. Then "Teach ...". It was pretty crazy, and I only had wine.)

As you say, Le Bon was a fan of Rome, as were the American founding fathers (at least of the republic), especially those of the Plantation South. The problem for some here, is that they are having fears about their "culture" being altered (let's don't quibble about the amount), which are post will go into the basis for these fears. The big sticking point (lying behind "the children or anything else for that matter) is any alteration or tweak to the present neoRoman economic system, which has successfully found its way to translocating the prior domestic slave labor offshore (one of the 'insensible' culture tweaks). The resulting domestic social problems are then blamed, with faulty and/or casuistic Aristotelian logic, on lazy human leeches .. whom the glorious Randian patricians du jour must then provide bread and circuses (with taxpayer paid colosseums no less).

And here, here at our own project have to take wolve-ly ad hominum's from anonymous philosophic windbags, whose alleged Evangelical parents were likely descended from slave serfs themselves. What he didn't know at the time is that I like wolves.

As Christ Caesar said: "the Truth will set you Free", but he didn't tell us 'whose Truth' or exactly what 'Free' means (such as in the Roman context). And Paul said to beware of such philosophers ... and their ousia.

The underlying tension in the Western schema is globalization versus regionalization (aka nationalization, etc.) This tension is a continuum, yet the nationalist zealots du jour can only see their 'culture' in a static context, as their entire Identity and self-worth is tied up in these notions. In this sense of a continuum, the very same forces that are pushing for globalization today, are the descendants of the same people that crafted the current 'national' schemas ... for their utility as stepping stones to their final goal, of Victory standing atop the globe.

Sardonically, when some of the sheep want to escape their pasture, so as to experience a different and hopefully better reality, certain paranoiac sheep do the job of the shepherd and the even taking the role of the sheepdogs. But even these paranoiac sheep will yet be fattened by the shepherd and sold at market.

So here, I think it would also be interesting to know more of Le Bon's comments on the psychological attachments to culture.
 

Vin

New Member
I am certainly looking forward to the new article on “Cultural degradation and Racism”. Just defining culture will be a large undertaking. I don’t remember who said that culture to us is what water is to fish, but it sounds correct. The question is who controls the water filters.

There is also the difference between the western and eastern cultural matrix, and how differently both a being manipulated. The most important sameness is in the fact that they are both created from the top down.

Mr Le Bon in his work maintains that often the mass or crowd will influence the thinking of the higher casts in society. In saying that, he is contradicting his earlier statements, that the crowd, must be led, by masters of the art of persuasion. I think that there were always people that new how to influence people. Interesting to note that influence, as an astrological term, in 1400, could be taken to mean: “streaming ethereal power from the stars acting upon character of destiny of men”


So the manipulators, the justified sinners, are in possession of “ethereal” power. I think they had and presently have the knowledge of how the mind works, they have the techniques of mind manipulation, techniques of culture creation and they work over long periods of time.

Mr Le Bon lists these factors, which determine opinions and beliefs of crowds:

- Remote factors, preparing them to accept “new ideas whose force and consequences are a cause of astonishment, though they are only spontaneous in appearance”. Behind these factors is preparatory action of long duration.

- Immediate factors, can only work on the strength of the long and precise preparation. They are the source of shaped ideas, which are then let loose with all its intended consequences. It is at this point only, that speeches and visible, chosen leaders have the power to move crowds.

It is due to these factors that crowds riot in the streets, under the present banner of “colour revolutions”.

We are just discovering the long duration of “new age” cultural revolutions.

Mr Le Bon then goes on to list general remote factors: Race, Tradition, Education and Time.

Our man Le Bon feels that race and time are most important. He feels that most of our actions have hidden motives, which we are unable to analyse, and race is the underlying factor. Our general qualities, possessed by the majority of a certain race are governed by the subconscious. In the group mind, these general qualities become the property of a skilful manipulator.

I will end this long-winded response, with his statement on time: “It is time in particular that prepares the opinions and beliefs of crowds, or at least the soil on which they will germinate”. There are only a few families on this rock moving through space, that have all the power and time to cultivate the “soil” on which new culture will be created.

This response may be used as an example of the fact that we are all involved in cultural hypnosis, if it’s definition is that we all sell and consume someone’s information. My only consolation is that there may be one that heals and one that degrades.
 

Vin

New Member
You reminded me of a CSN song 4 & 20...I think Stephen Stills is singing (another member of a military family)...from the top of my head, some of the lines: ...worked like the devil to be more.....devils in my head,..... I embrace a many coloured beast.....just wishing that my life would simply cease.
I used to play and sing this and think it is just great.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
I am certainly looking forward to the new article on “Cultural degradation and Racism”. Just defining culture will be a large undertaking. I don’t remember who said that culture to us is what water is to fish, but it sounds correct. The question is who controls the water filters.

There is also the difference between the western and eastern cultural matrix, and how differently both a being manipulated. The most important sameness is in the fact that they are both created from the top down.

Mr Le Bon in his work maintains that often the mass or crowd will influence the thinking of the higher casts in society. In saying that, he is contradicting his earlier statements, that the crowd, must be led, by masters of the art of persuasion. I think that there were always people that new how to influence people. Interesting to note that influence, as an astrological term, in 1400, could be taken to mean: “streaming ethereal power from the stars acting upon character of destiny of men”
I think the new piece is just waiting for Jerry to hit the Post button. Yes, defining culture is a really big task, as we'll mention it really does consist of most everything that forms our daily lives. But most usually we are conditioned to think of it as constrained to such as the various arts. Your mention of 'hypnosis' seems quite apt here, and probably an aspect of why various opposed communities (e.g. political subcultures, etc.) refuse to listen to the opposite side, especially today. The hypnotic cultural message, whatever it is, resonates so strongly with the individual's pleasure/fear centers that it is much like a drug addiction. Counter messages, no matter how factual, must be tuned out.

I noticed in the Wikipedia article that there 'appeared' to be some contradictions of Le Bons. In what you mention about top-down or vice versa, I think that it may just be a case of interpretation. Today, there is indeed a Postmodernist assertion that all History is really formed from the bottom-up, despite what the historical narratives tell us. This is clearly ludicrous, even though the Postmodernists are correct that History is written by the clerics of the elites. Nobody disputes that aspect, and conversely I think that the organic leanings can indeed affect what elite institutions and individuals must respond to, in order to maintain control. And I think that this may be what Le Bon was saying (not having read him).

I will end this long-winded response, with his statement on time: “It is time in particular that prepares the opinions and beliefs of crowds, or at least the soil on which they will germinate”. There are only a few families on this rock moving through space, that have all the power and time to cultivate the “soil” on which new culture will be created.
Have you read my and Jerry's review of the movie Jupiter Ascending?

Our man Le Bon feels that race and time are most important. He feels that most of our actions have hidden motives, which we are unable to analyse, and race is the underlying factor. Our general qualities, possessed by the majority of a certain race are governed by the subconscious. In the group mind, these general qualities become the property of a skilful manipulator.
I would have to consider that this race claim is based upon Romanticism, which we discuss in the new work and elsewhere. This philosophy was what fed into Hitler's ideology, much more so than Modernism, which was the fall guy for the Church.
 

Vin

New Member
The picture is worth a thousand words, actors in action, two sides of the same coin as you say, the duality at work, seems we can’t function without it. Sun-moon, day-night, left-right, good-bad, fire-water. The Chinese had it explained in the principles of Yin and Yang. When one is strong the other is weak. This may be the universal paradigm and a perfect way to guide our thinking towards two extremes of any topic.

We are surrounded with less and less similarity or agreement on any given opinion or idea. There is just more and more intricate division. As individuals we all belong also to a certain "crowd", created by the cultural forces around us, and thus, as Mr Le Bon pointed out, all individuality is transformed and molded into the collective mind. In this collective mind each individual acts very differently than if he was isolated. This crowd mind (Catholic, Muslim, Republican, Grateful Dead followers, Manchester united fan club etc) "is a provisional being formed of heterogeneous elements, which for a moment are combined, exactly as the cells which constitute a living body, form a new being, which displays characteristics very different from those possessed by each of the cells singly". This melting of individuality into the collective could be due to the fact that it was much easier to kill the dinosaur in a group, but who knows, the past is a strange place and they do things differently there.

In the work, “The Ideology of Tyranny, the use of neo-Gnostic myth in American Politics” by Guido G. Preparata (http://guidopreparata.com/), the American followers of Foucault, are revealed as the modern source of the racial-gender divide. The “blacks allegedly part from whites, women from men, until each party rejoins its own isle of indigenous knowledge, pledging to resist at the margins and to let the mutual hostility fester with no chance of reconciliation. Thus, with uncommon disingenuousness, feminism, homosexuality, and nonwhite ethnicity have been granted by the white establishment, peer status in the grand arena of public discourse-through, for example, proclamations, exclusivist legislation such as equal Opportunity and Affirmative action, and ad hoc academic departments".

If the culture creation is taken on a global scale, we see that it is mostly a push for the melting into the American group-mind. All its ideas must be followed as if it is a new religion and its foreign department is the all powerful, all knowing jealous God (hmm, that sounds familiar) and if the dictates are not followed than the witch and heretic hunting teams are dispersed to capture and punish all that are against.

All through your article a thread is felt that ideology is greater than any force and that culture is its greatest tool. Why change what works? I can't remember who said it, but it describes the "tools" that any empire needs:

-Standing army of soldiers (now with drones)

- Sitting army of bureaucrats (with access to the "cloud")

- Kneeling army of priests (any mystical modality will do)

- Creeping army of spies (life time actors)


On a separate note, I recently read that Foucault, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madness_and_Civilization) said that madhouses in the 18th and 19th centuries were nothing more than prisons for social nuisances, while not providing too much documented evidence.
He also stated the intention of mad-house keepers was not to "raise the bestial to the human but to restore man to what was purely animal within him". Did Ken Kesey read any of his books?
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
All through your article a thread is felt that ideology is greater than any force and that culture is its greatest tool. Why change what works?
Interesting comment. I have to admit that before having started to think on the need for this post, and then also in preparing it with Jerry that I was not at all aware of just how profoundly all people are immersed within their own respective cultures (and sub-cultures), and to the widest extent of what culture actually encompasses beyond the arts, religions, cuisine, etc.. And thus why so many people can talk past each other, like with politics, because the one person's communications and intentions don't fall within the listener's cultural framework. They have different contexts for words, concepts, etc. and thus even the meaning and purpose of their lives and how they relate to the world and cosmos.

This was explained to me vividly as to just why Sunni and Shiite Muslims have never been able to tolerate each other. They have incompatible cosmoviews, that they brought into Islam from the beginning via their respective pre-existing cultures and Mohammed wasn't able to remedy. The Shiites recontextualized Islam's literal word meanings so as to mesh with their prior mystical thinking. But this problem clearly isn't limited to them. It's for most every situation to varying degrees.

Another case in point was the imposition of Mosaic Law, that inverted pagan customs (via the ~600 laws) that made it hard for pagans, whether Semitic or not to live with Jews. They couldn't even eat together, which is basic 'culture'. BTW, there was no genetic component to the imposition of Mosaic Law. This is a huge point to Jerry's and my arguments here. This is imposed Culture Shock on a massive scale, at the flip of a switch.

So yes, "Why change what works?" Thus we should expect that if a new order is to be coming that the hidden hand of the PTB will be attempting cultural mods of one type or the other, beyond what we might expect to happen organically and at random from the bottom up.

BTW, Jerry changed the traditional comment process for this article. As such, would you have posted your last comment here in any case, or to a dedicated thread tied to the article as we usually do?

On a separate note, I recently read that Foucault, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madness_and_Civilization) said that madhouses in the 18th and 19th centuries were nothing more than prisons for social nuisances, while not providing too much documented evidence.
He also stated the intention of mad-house keepers was not to "raise the bestial to the human but to restore man to what was purely animal within him". Did Ken Kesey read any of his books?
I suspect that madhouses were convenient venues to place social nuisances, but that they did have an underlying legit purpose. We had state madhouses in California till Gov. Reagan eliminated them and put all kinds of mental cases out on the streets. I doubt that madhouse keepers back then had any tools to effect much positive change, and in some cases they still don't today.
 

Vin

New Member
I didn't realise there was a different tread, will look at it now.

Mr Le Bon’s work in the crowd mind falls in nicely into this topic, and I still keep reading parts of it that are so easily applied to our time.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
I didn't realise there was a different tread, will look at it now.

Mr Le Bon’s work in the crowd mind falls in nicely into this topic, and I still keep reading parts of it that are so easily applied to our time.
Oops, I didn't state that well. With the new article there is no thread created beforehand as usual. This is because of the categories discussed are so many and that there is reference to topical political discussion, which is unique. So one must create a thread of their own to the category Jerry has had the 'Discuss in Forum' direct one to. It's too confusing for me.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
This is all the result of Jerry's diabolic experiment with Postflavian cultural engineering, "deviating from the norm". See the chaos that has already ensued. o_O

But of course, please continue this thread about Le Bon specifics as you wish. It's always confusing about keeping threads from splitting and what thread to post on.
 
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