The Crowd: A Study Of The Popular Mind,204,203,200_.jpg

This was a really good book that explains how easy it is to control and manipulate a mass of people. When people are in crowds they are more easy to control and influence. The book also talks about how there is an art to manipulating the imagination of masses of people and crowds. The masses need their illusions and desire them. Reading this book you can come away with an understanding of how the powers that be know that manipulating crowds and masses of people is a science which they are constantly using.

Here are some quotes from the book I thought were really telling:
Moreover, all the great statesmen of every age and every country, including the most absolute despots, have regarded the popular imagination as the basis of their power, and they have never attempted to govern in opposition to it " It was by becoming a Catholic," said Napoleon to the Council of State, " that I terminated the Vend6en war. By becoming a Mussulman that I obtained a footing in Egypt. By becoming an Ultramontane that I won over the Italian priests, and had I to govern a nation of Jews I would rebuild Solomon's temple." Never perhaps since Alexander and Caesar has any great man better understood how the imagination of the crowd should be impressed. His constant preoccupation was to strike it. He bore it in mind in his victories, in his harangues, in his speeches, in all his acts. On his deathbed it was still in his thoughts.
To know the art of impressing the imagination of crowds is to know at the same time the art of governing them.
" If one destroyed in museums and libraries, if one hurled down on the flagstones before the churches all the works and all the monuments of art that religions have inspired, what would re-main of the great dreams of humanity ? To give to men that portion of hope and illusion without which they cannot live, such is the reason for the existence of gods, heroes, and poets.
The social illusion reigns to-day upon all the heaped-up ruins of the past, and to it belongs the future. The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduce them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master ; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.
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