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Title: The Behavior of Crowds - A Psychological Study
Author: Martin, Everett Dean
Language: English
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                       BEHAVIOR OF CROWDS
                     _A Psychological Study_

                       Everett Dean Martin

    _Lecturer in Social Philosophy and Director of the Cooper
       Union Forum of the People's Institute of New York_


                       NEW YORK AND LONDON

                     THE BEHAVIOR OF CROWDS

              Copyright, 1920, by Harper & Brothers
             Printed in the United States of America



    CHAPTER                                                   PAGE

    FOREWORD                                                   vii


      II. HOW CROWDS ARE FORMED                                 11

     III. THE CROWD AND THE UNCONSCIOUS                         51

      IV. THE EGOISM OF THE CROWD-MIND                          73

       V. THE CROWD A CREATURE OF HATE                          92

      VI. THE ABSOLUTISM OF THE CROWD-MIND                     133


            FOR OLD                                            219

      IX. FREEDOM AND GOVERNMENT BY CROWDS                     233


    INDEX                                                      305


Since the publication of Le Bon's book, _The Crowd_, little has been
added to our knowledge of the mechanisms of crowd-behavior. As a
practical problem, the habit of crowd-making is daily becoming a more
serious menace to civilization. Events are making it more and more clear
that, pressing as are certain economic questions, the forces which
threaten society are really psychological.

Interest in the economic struggle has to a large extent diverted
attention from the significance of the problems of social psychology.
Social psychology is still a rather embryonic science, and this
notwithstanding the fact that psychiatry has recently provided us with a
method with which we may penetrate more deeply than ever before into the
inner sources of motive and conduct.

The remedy which I have suggested in Chapter X deserves a much more
extended treatment than I have given it. It involves one of the great
mooted questions of modern philosophical discussion. It is, however, not
within the province of this book to enter upon a discussion of the
philosophy of Humanism. The subject has been thoroughly thrashed over in
philosophical journals and in the writings of James, Schiller, Dewey,
and others. It is sufficient for my purpose merely to point out the fact
that the humanist way of thinking may provide us with just that
educational method which will break up the logical forms in which the
crowd-mind intrenches itself.

Those who expect to find a prescribed formula or ideal scheme of
organization as a remedy for our social ills may feel that the solution
to which I have come--namely, a new educational method--is too vague.
But the problem of the crowd is really concerned with the things of the
mind. And if I am correct in my thesis that there is a necessary
connection between crowd-thinking and the various traditional systems of
intellectualist, absolutist, and rationalist philosophy, the way out
must be through the formation of some such habits of thinking as I have

    E. D. M.

NEW YORK, _October 10, 1919_.




Every one at times feels himself in the grip of social forces over which
he has no control. The apparently impersonal nature of these forces has
given rise to various mechanistic theories of social behavior. There are
those who interpret the events of history as by-products of economic
evolution. Others, more idealistic but determinists, nevertheless, see
in the record of human events the working out of a preordained plan.

There is a popular notion, often shared by scholars, that the individual
and society are essentially irreconcilable principles. The individual is
assumed to be by nature an antisocial being. Society, on the other hand,
is opposed in principle to all that is personal and private. The demands
of society, its welfare and aims, are treated as if they were a tax
imposed upon each and every one by something foreign to the natural will
or even the happiness of all. It is as if society as "thing-in-itself"
could prosper in opposition to the individuals who collectively
constitute it.

It is needless to say that both the individual and the social, according
to such a view, are empty abstractions. The individual is, in fact, a
social entity. Strip him of his social interests, endowments, and
habits, and the very feeling of self, or "social me" as William James
called it, vanishes and nothing is left but a Platonic idea and a reflex
arc. The social also is nothing else than the manner in which
individuals habitually react to one another. Society in the abstract, as
a principle opposed to individual existence, has no more reality than
that of the grin which Alice in Wonderland sees after the famous
Cheshire cat has vanished. It is the mere logical concept of others in
general, left leering at us after all the concrete others have been
thought away.

Much social thinking is of this cat-grin sort. Having abstracted from
the thought of self everything that is social, and from the idea of the
social all that has to do with concrete persons, the task remains to get
pure grin and pure cat together again in such a way that neither shall
lose its identity in the other. It is, of course, impossible to
reconcile these mutually exclusive abstractions either in theory or in
practice. It is often difficult enough, even with the aid of empirical
thinking, to adjust our relations with the other people about us. But on
the Cheshire-cat hypothesis, the social problem can never be solved,
because it is not a real problem at all.

Since the individual is therefore a social being as such, and the social
is just a way of acting together, the social problem does not grow out
of a conflict between the self and an impersonal social principle. The
conflicts are, in fact, clashes among certain individuals and groups of
them, or else--and this is a subject to which social psychology has paid
insufficient attention--the social struggle is in certain of its phases
a conflict within the personal psyche itself. Suppose that the
apparently impersonal element in social behavior is not impersonal in
fact, but is, for the most part, the result of an impersonal manner of
thinking about ourselves. Every psychic fact must really be an act of
somebody. There are no ideas without thinkers to think them, no
impersonal thoughts or disembodied impulses, no "independent" truths, no
transcendental principles existing in themselves and outside of human
heads. Life is everywhere reaction; it is nowhere a mere product or a
passive registering of impersonal forces. It is the organism's behavior
in the presence of what we call environment.

Individual opinions cannot be tossed into a common hat, like small
coins. Though we may each learn from the others, there is no magic by
which our several thoughts can sum themselves up into a common fund of
public opinion or super-personal whole which thinks itself, there being
no collective head to think it. No matter how many people think and
behave as I do, each of us knows only his own thought and behavior. My
thought may be about you and what I judge you are thinking, but it is
not the same as your thought. To each the social is _nil_ except in so
far as he experiences it himself, and to each it is something unique
when viewed from within. The uniformity and illusion of identity--in
short, the impersonal aspect of social thinking and activity appears
only when we try to view social behavior from without--that is, as
objectively manifest in the behavior of others.

What then is the secret of this impersonal view of the social? Why do we
think of ourselves socially in the same impersonal or external way that
we think of others? There is an interesting parallel here in the
behavior of certain types of mental pathology. There are neurotics who
commonly feel that certain aspects of their behavior are really not of
their own authorship, but come to them as the result of influences
acting from without. It was such phenomena in part that led
psychologists of a generation ago to construct the theory of "multiple
personality." It is known now that the psychic material which in these
cases appears to be automatic, and impersonal, in the sense that it is
not consciously willed, is really motivated by unconscious mechanisms.
The apparently "impersonal" behavior of the neurotic is psychologically
determined, though unconsciously.

May there not be a like unconscious psychic determination of much that
is called social behavior? It is my thesis that this is so, and that
there are certain types of social behavior which are characterized by
unconscious motivation to such a degree that they may be placed in a
definite class of psychological phenomena. This group of phenomena I
have, following to some extent the terminology of Le Bon, called "The
Crowd." I wish there were a more exact word, for it is very difficult to
use the word crowd in its psychological sense without causing some
confusion in the mind of the reader. In ordinary speech "a crowd" is any
gathering of people. In the writings of Le Bon, as we shall see, the
word has a special meaning, denoting not a gathering of people as such,
but a gathering which behaves in a certain way which may be classified
and described psychologically as "crowd mentality." Not every gathering
of people shows this crowd-mentality. It is a characteristic which
appears under certain circumstances. In this discussion the word "crowd"
must be understood to mean the peculiar mental condition which sometimes
occurs when people think and act together, either immediately where the
members of the group are present and in close contact, or remotely, as
when they affect one another in a certain way through the medium of an
organization, a party or sect, the press, etc.

The crowd while it is a social phenomenon differs greatly from the
social as such. People may be social--the family is an example of
this--without being a crowd either in thought or action. Again a
crowd--a mob is an example of this--may be distinctly antisocial, if we
attach any ethical meaning to the term. Both the individual and society
suffer, as we shall see, from crowd-behavior. I know of nothing which
to-day so menaces not only the values of civilization, but also--it is
the same thing in other words, perhaps--the achievement of personality
and true knowledge of self, as the growing habit of behaving as crowds.

Our society is becoming a veritable babel of gibbering crowds. Not only
are mob outbreaks and riots increasing in number, but every interest,
patriotic, religious, ethical, political, economic, easily degenerates
into a confusion of propagandist tongues, into extravagant partisanship,
and intemperance. Whatever be the ideal to which we would attain, we
find the path of self-culture too slow; we must become army worms,
eating our way to the goal by sheer force of numbers. The councils of
democracy are conducted on about the psychological level of commercial
advertising and with about the same degree of sincerity. While it cannot
be said that the habit of crowd-making is peculiar to our times--other
ages, too, have indulged in it--it does seem that the tendency to
crowd-mindedness has greatly increased in recent years.

Whether it is temperance, or justice, or greater freedom, moral
excellence or national glory, that we desire--whether we happen to be
conservatives or radicals, reformers or liberals, we must become a cult,
write our philosophy of life in flaming headlines, and sell our cause in
the market. No matter if we meanwhile surrender every value for which we
stand, we must strive to cajole the majority into imagining itself on
our side. For only with the majority with us, whoever we are, can we
live. It is numbers, not values, that count--quantity not quality.
Everybody must "moral-crusade," "agitate," "press-agent," play politics.
Everyone is forced to speak as the crowd, think as the crowd,
understand as the crowd. The tendency is to smother all that is unique,
rare, delicate, secret. If you are to get anywhere in this progressive
age you must be vulgar, you must add to your vulgarity unction. You must
take sides upon dilemmas which are but half true, change the tempo of
your music to ragtime, eat your spiritual food with a knife, drape
yourself in the flag of the dominant party. In other words, you must be
"one hundred per cent" crowd man.

The effect of all this upon the individual is that he is permitted
neither to know nor to belong to himself. He becomes a mere banner
toter. He must hold himself ever in readiness to wiggle-waggle in the
perpetual Simon-says-thumbs-up game which his crowd is playing. He
spends his days playing a part which others have written for him; loses
much of his genuineness and courage, and pampers himself with imitation
virtues and second-hand truths.

Upon the social peace the effect is equally bad. Unnecessary and
meaningless strife is engendered. An idolatry of phrases is enthroned. A
silly game of bullying and deception is carried on among contending
crowds, national, religious, moral, social. The great truths of
patriotism, morality, and religion become hardly more than
caricatures--mere instruments of crowds for putting their rivals on the
defensive, and securing obeisance from the members of the crowd itself,
easily repudiated in the hour of the crowd's victory. The social harmony
is menaced by numerous cliques and parties, ranging in size all the way
from the nation-crowd down to the smallest sect, each setting out like a
band of buccaneers bent upon nothing but its own dominance, and seeking
to justify its piratical conduct by time-worn platitudes.

That which is meant by the cry of the Russian Revolution, "All power to
the soviets," is peculiar neither to Russia nor to the working class.
Such in spirit is the cry of every crowd, for every crowd is,
psychologically considered, a soviet. The industrial and political
danger of the soviet would amount to little or nothing, were it not for
the fact that the modern world is already _spiritually sovietized_. The
threatened soviet republic is hardly more than the practical result of a
hundred years of crowd-thinking on almost every subject. Whether
capitalist or proletarian, reformer or liberal, we have all along been
behaving and thinking in soviet fashion. In almost every important
matter in life we have ignored Emerson's warning that we must rely upon
ourselves, and have permitted ourselves to behave and think as crowds,
fastening their labels and dogmas upon our spirits and taking their
shibboleths upon our tongues, thinking more of the temporary triumph of
our particular sect or party than of the effect of our behavior upon
ourselves and others.

There is certainly nothing new in the discovery that our social behavior
is not what it ought to be. Mediæval thinkers were as much aware of the
fact as we are, but they dismissed the social problem with the simple
declaration of the "sinfulness of human nature." Nineteenth-century
utilitarians felt that the social problem could be solved by more
enlightened and more reasonable behavior on the part of individuals.
Recent social psychology--of which the writings of Prof. William
McDougall are probably the best example, has abandoned the theory that
social behavior is primarily governed by reason or by considerations of
utility. A better explanation of social phenomena is found in instinct.
It is held that the true motives of social behavior are pugnacity, the
instinct of self-appreciation or self-debasement, of sex,
gregariousness, and the like. Each instinct with its "affective emotion"
becomes organized through various complex reactions to the social
environment, into fairly well established "sentiments." These sentiments
are held to be the controlling social forces. As McDougall says:

    We may say then that directly or indirectly the instincts are
    the prime movers of all human activity; by the conative or
    impulsive force of some instinct (or of some habit derived from
    an instinct), every train of thought, however cold and
    passionless it may seem, is borne along toward its end, and
    every bodily activity is initiated and sustained. The
    instinctive impulses determine the ends of all activities and
    supply the driving-power by which all mental activities are
    sustained; and all the complex intellectual apparatus of the
    most highly developed mind is but a means toward those ends, is
    but the instrument by which these impulses seek their
    satisfactions.... These impulses are the mental forces that
    maintain and shape all the life of individuals and societies,
    and in them we are confronted with the central mystery of life
    and mind and will.

This is all very good so far as it goes. But I confess that I am
somewhat at loss to know just what it explains so far as crowd-behavior
is concerned. Do these instincts and sentiments operate the same under
all social conditions? Are some of them suppressed by society and forced
to seek their satisfaction in roundabout ways? If so, how? Moreover, I
fail to find in present-day social psychology, any more than in the
writings of Herbert Spencer, Sumner, Ward, and others, any clear
distinction between the characteristic behavior of crowds and other
forms of social activity. Only the school of Le Bon has shown any
definite appreciation of these facts. It is to Le Bon, therefore, in
spite of the many and just criticisms of his work, that we must turn
for a discussion of the crowd as a problem apart from social psychology
in general. Le Bon saw that the mind of the crowd demanded special
psychological study, but many of the psychological principles which he
used in solving the problem were inadequate to the task. Certain of his
conclusions were, therefore, erroneous. Since the close of the
nineteenth century, however, psychology has gained much insight into the
secret springs of human activity. Possibly the most significant
achievement in the history of this science is Freud's work in analytical

So much light has been thrown upon the unconscious by Freud and other
analytical psychologists, that psychology in all its branches is
beginning to take some of Freud's discoveries into account. Strictly
speaking, psychoanalysis is a therapeutic method. It has, however,
greatly enriched our knowledge of mental pathology, and thus much of its
data has become indispensable to general psychology and to social
psychology in particular.

In his book the _Interpretation of Dreams_, Freud has shown that there
exist in the wish-fulfilling mechanisms of dream formation certain
definite laws. These laws undoubtedly underlie and determine also many
of our crowd-ideas, creeds, conventions, and social ideals. In his book,
_Totem and Taboo_, Freud has himself led the way to the application of
the analytical psychology to the customs and ideas of primitive groups.
I am sure that we shall find, as we proceed, that with the analytical
method we shall gain an entirely new insight into the causes and meaning
of the behavior of crowds.



In his well-known work on the psychology of the crowd Le Bon noted the
fact that the unconscious plays a large part in determining the behavior
of crowds. But he is not clear in his use of the term "unconscious." In
fact, as Graham Wallas justly points out, his terminology is very loose
indeed. Le Bon seems to have made little or no attempt to discover in
detail the processes of this unconscious. In company with most
psychologists of his time, he based his explanation upon the theory of
"suggestion and imitation." He saw in the unconscious merely a sort of
mystical "common humanity," from which he derived his--also
mystical--idea of a common crowd-mind which each individual in the crowd
in some unexplained manner shared. He says:

    The most striking peculiarity presented by a psychological crowd
    is the following: Whoever be the individuals that compose it,
    however like or unlike be their mode of life, their occupations,
    their character or their intelligence, the fact that they have
    been transformed into a crowd puts them in possession of a sort
    of collective mind which makes them feel, think, and act in a
    manner quite different from that in which each individual of
    them would feel, think, and act were he in a state of

    It is easy to prove how much the individual forming part of a
    crowd differs from the isolated individual, but it is less easy
    to discover the causes of this difference.

    To obtain, at any rate, a glimpse of them it is necessary in the
    first place to call to mind the truth established by modern
    psychology, that unconscious phenomena play an altogether
    preponderating part, not only in organic life, but also in the
    operations of intelligence.... Our conscious acts are the
    outcome of an unconscious substratum created in the mind in the
    main by heredity. This substratum consists of innumerable
    characteristics handed down from generation to generation which
    constitute the genius of the race....

    It is more especially with respect to those unconscious elements
    which constitute the genius of a race that all the individuals
    belonging to it resemble each other.... It is precisely these
    general qualities of character, governed by forces of which we
    are unconscious and possessed by the majority of normal
    individuals of a race in much the same degree--it is precisely
    these qualities, I say, that in crowds become common property.
    In the collective mind the intellectual aptitudes of the
    individuals, and in consequence their individuality, are
    weakened. The heterogeneous is swamped in the homogeneous and
    the unconscious qualities obtain the upper hand.

It may safely be said, I think, that this assumed impersonal collective
mind of the crowd has no existence in a sound psychology. People's
minds show, of course, innumerable mutual influences, but they do not
fuse and run together. They are in many respects very similar, but
similarity is not identity, even when people are crowded together. Our
author has doubtless borrowed here rather uncritically from Herbert
Spencer's organic conception of society--his later statement, not quoted
here, that the alleged merging of the heterogeneous in the homogeneous
would logically imply a regression to a lower stage in evolution, is
another bit of Spencerian jargon commonly accepted in Le Bon's day.

When, however, Graham Wallas, in _The Great Society_, states that Le Bon
is not "himself clear whether he means that crowds have no collective
consciousness, or that every individual in a crowd is completely
unconscious," it seems to me that Wallas is a little unfair. Neither Le
Bon nor the relation of the unconscious to the crowd-mind may be
dismissed in Wallas's apparently easy manner. Le Bon has established two
points which I think cannot be successfully denied: first, that the
crowd is essentially a psychological phenomenon, people behaving
differently in a crowd from the way they behave when isolated; and
second, that the unconscious has something to do with crowd-thinking and

Wallas says of Le Bon:

    Tarde and Le Bon were Frenchmen brought up on vivid descriptions
    of the Revolution and themselves apprehensive of the spread of
    socialism. Political movements which were in large part carried
    out by men conscious and thoughtful, though necessarily ill
    informed, seemed therefore to them as they watched them from the
    outside to be due to the blind and unconscious impulses of
    masses "incapable both of reflection and of reasoning."

There is some truth in this criticism. In spite of the attempt of the
famous author of crowd-psychology to give us a really scientific
explanation of crowd-phenomena, his obviously conservative bias robs his
work of much of its power to convince. We find here, just as in the case
of Gobineau, Nietzsche, Faguet, Conway, and other supporters of the
aristocratic idea, an a priori principle of distrust of the common
people as such. In many passages Le Bon does not sufficiently
distinguish between the crowd and the masses. Class and mass are opposed
to each other as though, due to their superior reasoning powers, the
classes were somehow free from the danger of behaving as crowd. This is
of course not true. Any class may behave and think as a crowd--in fact
it usually does so in so far as its class interests are concerned.
Anyone who makes a study of the public mind in America to-day will find
that the phenomena of the crowd-mind are not at all confined to
movements within the working class or so-called common people.

It has long been the habit of conservative writers to identify the crowd
with the proletariat and then to feel that the psychology of the
situation could be summed up in the statement that the crowd was simply
the creature of passion and blind emotion. The psychology which lies
back of such a view--if it is psychology rather than class prejudice--is
the old intellectualism which sought to isolate the intellect from the
emotional nature and make the true mental life primarily a knowledge
affair. The crowd, therefore, since it was regarded as an affair of the
emotions, was held to be one among many instances of the natural mental
inferiority of the common people, and a proof of their general unfitness
for self-government.

I do not believe that this emotional theory is the true explanation of
crowd-behavior. It cannot be denied that people in a crowd become
strangely excited. But it is not only in crowds that people show
emotion. Feeling, instinct, impulse, are the dynamic of all mental life.
The crowd doubtless inhibits as many emotions as it releases. Fear is
conspicuously absent in battle, pity in a lynching mob. Crowds are
notoriously anæsthetic toward the finer values of art, music, and
poetry. It may even be argued that the feelings of the crowd are
dulled, since it is only the exaggerated, the obvious, the cheaply
sentimental, which easily moves it.

There was a time when insanity was also regarded as excessive emotion.
The insane man was one who raved, he was mad. The word "crazy" still
suggests the condition of being "out of one's mind"--that is, driven by
irrational emotion. Psychiatry would accept no such explanation to-day.
Types of insanity are distinguished, not with respect to the mere amount
of emotional excitement they display, but in accordance with the
patient's whole psychic functioning. The analyst looks for some
mechanism of controlling ideas and their relation to impulses which are
operating in the unconscious. So with our understanding of the
crowd-mind. Le Bon is correct in maintaining that the crowd is not a
mere aggregation of people. _It is a state of mind._ A peculiar psychic
change must happen to a group of people before they become a crowd. And
as this change is not merely a release of emotion, neither is it the
creation of a collective mind by means of imitation and suggestion. My
thesis is that _the crowd-mind is a phenomenon which should best be
classed with dreams, delusions, and the various forms of automatic
behavior_. The controlling ideas of the crowd are the result neither of
reflection nor of "suggestion," but are akin to what, as we shall see
later, the psychoanalysts term "complexes." The crowd-self--if I may
speak of it in this way--is analogous in many respects to "compulsion
neurosis," "somnambulism," or "paranoiac episode." Crowd ideas are
"fixations"; they are always symbolic; they are always related to
something repressed in the unconscious. They are what Doctor Adler would
call "fictitious guiding lines."

There is a sense in which all our thinking consists of symbol and
fiction. The laws, measurements, and formulas of science are all as it
were "shorthand devices"--instruments for relating ourselves to reality,
rather than copies of the real. The "truth" of these working ideas is
demonstrated in the satisfactoriness of the results to which they lead
us. If by means of them we arrive at desired and desirable adaptations
to and within our environment, we say they are verified. If, however, no
such verification is reached, or the result reached flatly contradicts
our hypothesis, the sane thinker holds his conclusions in abeyance,
revises his theories, or candidly gives them up and clings to the real
as empirically known.

Suppose now that a certain hypothesis, or "fiction," instead of being an
instrument for dealing with external reality, is unconsciously designed
as a refuge from the real. Suppose it is a symbolic compromise among
conflicting desires in the individual's unconscious of which he cannot
rid himself. Suppose it is a disguised expression of motives which the
individual as a civilized being cannot admit to his own consciousness.
Suppose it is a fiction necessary to keep up one's ego consciousness or
self-appreciative feeling without which either he or his world would
instantly become valueless. In these latter cases the fiction is not and
cannot be, without outside help, modified by the reality of experience.
The complex of ideas becomes a closed system, a world in and of itself.
Conflicting facts of experience are discounted and denied by all the
cunning of an insatiable, unconscious will. The fiction then gets itself
substituted for the true facts of experience; the individual has "lost
the function of the real." He no longer admits its disturbing elements
as correctives. He has become mentally unadjusted--pathological.

Most healthy people doubtless would on analysis reveal themselves as
nourishing fictions of this sort, more or less innocent in their
effects. It is possible that it is by means of such things that the
values of living are maintained for us all. But with the healthy these
fictions either hover about the periphery of our known world as shadowy
and elusive inhabitants of the inaccessible, or else they are socially
acceptable as religious convention, race pride, ethical values, personal
ambition, class honor, etc. The fact that so much of the ground of our
valuations, at least so far as these affect our self-appreciation, is
explicable by psychologists as "pathological" in origin need not startle
us. William James in his _Varieties of Religious Experience_, you will
remember, took the ground that in judging of matters of this kind, it is
not so much by their origins--even admitting the pathological as a
cause--but by their fruits that we shall know them. There are "fictions"
which are neither innocent nor socially acceptable in their effects on
life and character. Many of our crowd-phenomena belong, like paranoia,
to this last class.

As I shall try to show later, the common confusion of the crowd with
"society" is an error. The crowd is a social phenomenon only in the
sense that it affects a number of persons at the same time. As I have
indicated, people may be highly social without becoming a crowd. They
may meet, mingle, associate in all sorts of ways, and organize and
co-operate for the sake of common ends--in fact, the greater part of our
social life might normally have nothing in common with crowd-behavior.
Crowd-behavior is pseudo-social--if social organizations be regarded as
a means to the achievement of realizable goods. The phenomena which we
call the crowd-mind, instead of being the outgrowth of the directly
social, are social only in the sense that all mental life has social
significance; they are rather the result of forces hidden in the
personal and unconscious psyche of the members of the crowd, forces
which are merely _released_ by social gatherings of a certain sort.

Let us notice what happens in a public meeting as it develops into a
crowd, and see if we can trace some of the steps of the process. Picture
a large meeting-hall, fairly well filled with people. Notice first of
all what sort of interest it is which as a rule will most easily bring
an assemblage of people together. It need not necessarily be a matter of
great importance, but it must be something which catches and challenges
attention without great effort. It is most commonly, therefore, an
_issue_ of some sort. I have seen efforts made in New York to hold mass
meetings to discuss affairs of the very greatest importance, and I have
noted the fact that such efforts usually fail to get out more than a
handful of specially interested persons, no matter how well advertised,
if the subject to be considered happens not to be of a controversial
nature. I call especial attention to this fact because later we shall
see that it is this element of conflict, directly or indirectly, which
plays an overwhelming part in the psychology of every crowd.

It is the element of contest which makes baseball so popular. A debate
will draw a larger crowd than a lecture. One of the secrets of the large
attendance of the forum is the fact that discussion--"talking back"--is
permitted and encouraged. The evangelist Sunday undoubtedly owes the
great attendance at his meetings in no small degree to the fact that he
is regularly expected to abuse some one.

If the matter to be considered is one about which there is keen partisan
feeling and popular resentment--if it lends itself to the spectacular
personal achievement of one whose name is known, especially in the face
of opposition or difficulties--or if the occasion permits of resolutions
of protest, of the airing of wrongs, of denouncing abuse of some kind,
or of casting statements of external principles in the teeth of "enemies
of humanity," then, however trivial the occasion, we may count on it
that our assembly will be well attended. Now let us watch the

The next thing in importance is the speaker. Preferably he should be an
"old war horse," a victor in many battles, and this for a psychological
reason which we shall soon examine. Whoever he is, every speaker with
any skill knows just when this state of mind which we call "crowd"
begins to appear. My work has provided me with rather unusual
opportunities for observing this sort of thing. As a regular lecturer
and also as director of the forum which meets three nights a week in the
great hall of Cooper Union, I have found that the intellectual interest,
however intense, and the development of the crowd-spirit are accompanied
by wholly different mental processes. Let me add in passing that the
audiences which gather at Cooper Union are, on the whole, the most
alert, sophisticated, and reflective that I have ever known. I doubt if
in any large popular assembly in America general discussion is carried
on with such habitual seriousness. When on rare occasions the spirit of
the crowd begins to manifest itself--and one can always detect its
beginnings before the audience is consciously aware of it--I have
noticed that discussion instantly ceases and people begin merely to
repeat their creeds and hurl cant phrases at one another. All then is
changed, though subtly. There may be laughter as at first; but it is
different. Before, it was humorous and playful, now there is a note of
hostility in it. It is laughter _at_ some one or something. Even the
applause is changed. It is more frequent. It is more vigorous, and
instead of showing mere approval of some sentiment, it becomes a means
of showing the numerical strength of a group of believers of some sort.
It is as if those who applaud were unconsciously seeking to reveal to
themselves and others that there is a multitude on their side.

I have heard the most exciting and controversial subjects discussed, and
seen the discussion listened to with the intensest difference of
opinion, and all without the least crowd-phenomena--so long as the
speaker refrained from indulging in generalities or time-worn forms of
expression. So long as the matter discussed requires close and sustained
effort of attention, and the method of treatment is kept free from
anything which savors of ritual, even the favorite dogmas of popular
belief may be discussed, and though the interest be intense, it will
remain critical and the audience does not become a crowd. But let the
most trivial bit of bathos be expressed in rhythmical cadences and in
platitudinous terms, and the most intelligent audience will react as a
crowd. Crowd-making oratory is almost invariably platitudinous. In fact,
we think as a crowd only in platitudes, propaganda, ritual, dogma, and
symbol. Crowd-ideas are ready-made, they possess finality and
universality. They are fixed. They do not develop. They are ends in
themselves. Like the obsessions of the insane, there is a deadly
inevitability in the logic of them. They are "compulsions."

During the time of my connection with the Cooper Union Forum, we have
not had a crowd-demonstration in anything more than an incipient form.
The best laboratory for the study of such a phenomenon is the political
party convention, the mass meeting, or the religious revival. The
orators who commonly hold forth at such gatherings know intuitively the
functional value of bathos, ridicule, and platitude, and it is upon such
knowledge that they base the success of their careers in "getting the
crowd." The noisy "demonstrations" which it has of late become the
custom to stage as part of the rigmarole of a national party convention
have been cited as crowning examples of the stupidity and excess of
crowd enthusiasm. But this is a mistake. Anyone who has from the gallery
witnessed one or more of these mock "stampedes" will agree that they are
exhibitions of endurance rather than of genuine enthusiasm or of true
crowd-mindedness. They are so obviously manipulated and so deliberately
timed that they can hardly be regarded as true crowd-movements at all.
They are chiefly interesting as revelations of the general insincerity
of the political life of this republic.

True crowd-behavior requires an element of spontaneity--at least on the
part of the crowd. And we have abundant examples of this in public
meetings of all sorts. As the audience becomes crowd, the speaker's
cadence becomes more marked, his voice more oracular, his gestures more
emphatic. His message becomes a recital of great abstract "principles."
The purely obvious is held up as transcendental. Interest is kept upon
just those aspects of things which can be grasped with least effort by
all. Emphasis is laid upon those thought processes in which there is
greatest natural uniformity. The general, abstract, and superficial come
to be exalted at the expense of that which is unique and personal. Forms
of thought are made to stand as objects of thinking.

It is clear that such meaning as there is in those abstract names,
"Justice," "Right," "Liberty," "Peace," "Glory," "Destiny," etc., or in
such general phrases as "Brotherly Love," "Grand and Glorious," "Public
Weal," "Common Humanity," and many others, must vary with each one's
personal associations. Popular orators deal only with the greatest
common denominator of the meaning of these terms--that is, only those
elements which are common to the associations of all. Now the common
associations of words and phrases of this general nature are very
few--hardly more than the bare sound of the words, plus a vague mental
attitude or feeling of expectancy, a mere turning of the eyes of the
mind, as it were, in a certain direction into empty space. When, for
instance, I try now to leave out of the content of "justice" all my
personal associations and concrete experiences, I can discover no
remaining content beyond a sort of grand emptiness, with the intonations
of the word booming in my auditory centers like the ringing of a distant
bell. As "public property," the words are only a sort of worn banknote,
symbols of many meanings and intentions like my own, deposited in
individual minds. Interesting as these personal deposits are, and much
as we are mutually interested by them and moved to harmonious acting and
speaking, it is doubtful if more than the tiniest fragment of what we
each mean by "justice" can ever be communicated. The word is a
convenient instrument in adjusting our conduct to that of others, and
when such adjustment seems to meet with mutual satisfaction we say,
"That is just." But the just thing is always a concrete situation. And
the general term "justice" is simply a combination of sounds used to
indicate the class of things we call just. In itself it is but a form
with the content left out. And so with all other such abstractions.

Now if attention can be directed to this imaginary and vague "meaning
for everybody"--which is really the meaning for nobody--and so directed
that the associations with the unique in personal experience are
blocked, these abstractions will occupy the whole field of
consciousness. The mind will yield to any connection which is made among
them almost automatically. As conscious attention is cut away from the
psyche as a whole, the objects upon which it is centered will appear to
have a reality of their own. They become a closed system, perfectly
logical it may be in itself, but with the fatal logic commonly found in
paranoia--the fiction may become more real than life itself. It may be
substituted, while the spell is on, for the world of actual experience.
And just as the manifest content of a dream is, according to Freud, the
condensed and distorted symbol of latent dream-thoughts and desires in
the unconscious, so, in the case we are discussing, the unconscious
invests these abstract terms with its own peculiar meanings. They gain a
tremendous, though undefined, importance and an irresistible compelling

Something like the process I have described occurs when the crowd
appears. People are translated to a different world--that is, a
different sense of the real. The speaker is transfigured to their
vision. His words take on a mysterious importance; something tremendous,
eternal, superhuman is at stake. Commonplace jokes become irresistibly
amusing. Ordinary truths are wildly applauded. Dilemmas stand clear with
all middle ground brushed away. No statement now needs qualification.
All thought of compromise is abhorrent. Nothing now must intervene to
rob these moments of their splendid intensity. As James once said of
drunkenness, "Everything is just utterly utter." They who are not for us
are against us.

The crowd-mind consists, therefore, first of all, of a disturbance of
the function of the real. _The crowd is the creature of Belief._ Every
crowd has its peculiar "illusions," ideals, dreams. It maintains its
existence as a crowd just so long as these crowd-ideas continue to be
held by practically all the members of the group--so long, in fact, as
such ideas continue to hold attention and assent to the exclusion of
ideas and facts which contradict them.

I am aware of the fact that we could easily be led aside at this point
into endless metaphysical problems. It is not our purpose to enter upon
a discussion of the question, what is the real world? The problem of the
real is by no means so simple as it appears "to common sense." Common
sense has, however, in practical affairs, its own criteria, and beyond
these it is not necessary for us now to stray. The "illusions" of the
crowd are almost never illusions in the psychological sense. They are
not false perceptions of the objects of sense. They are rather akin to
the delusions and fixed ideas commonly found in paranoia. The man in
the street does not ordinarily require the technique either of
metaphysics or of psychiatry in order to characterize certain
individuals as "crazy." The "crazy" man is simply unadjustable in his
speech and conduct. His ideas may be real to him, just as the
color-blind man's sensations of color may be as real as those of normal
people, but they won't work, and that is sufficient.

It is not so easy to apply this criterion of the real to our
crowd-ideas. Social realities are not so well ordered as the behavior of
the forces of nature. Things moral, religious, and political are
constantly in the making. The creative role which we all play here is
greater than elsewhere in our making of reality. When most of our
neighbors are motivated by certain ideas, those ideas become part of the
social environment to which we must adjust ourselves. In this sense they
are "real," however "crazy." Every struggle-group and faction in society
is constantly striving to establish its ideas as controlling forces in
the social reality. The conflicts among ideals are therefore in a sense
conflicts within the real. Ideas and beliefs which seek their
verification in the character of the results to which they lead, may
point to very great changes in experience, and so long as the believer
takes into account the various elements with which he has to deal, he
has not lost his hold upon reality. But when one's beliefs or principles
become ends in themselves, when by themselves they seem to constitute an
order of being which is more interesting than fact, when the believer
saves his faith only by denying or ignoring the things which contradict
him, when he strives not to verify his ideas but to "vindicate" them,
the ideas so held are pathological. The obsessions of the paranoiac are
of this sort. We shall see later that these ideas have a meaning, though
the conscious attention of the patient is systematically diverted from
that meaning. Crowd-ideas are similar. The reason why their pathology is
not more evident is the fact that they are simultaneously entertained by
so great a number of people.

There are many ideas in which our faith is sustained chiefly by the
knowledge that everyone about us also believes them. Belief on such
ground has commonly been said to be due to imitation or suggestion.
These do play a large part in determining all our thinking, but I can
see no reason why they should be more operative in causing the
crowd-mind than in other social situations. In fact, the distinctive
phenomena which I have called crowd-ideas clearly show that other causes
are at work.

Among civilized people, social relationships make severe demands upon
the individual. Primitive impulses, unchecked eroticism, tendencies to
perversions, and antisocial demands of the ego which are in us all, are
constantly inhibited, resisted, controlled and diverted to socially
acceptable ends. The savage in us is "repressed," his demands are so
habitually denied that we learn to keep him down, for the most part,
without conscious effort. We simply cease to pay attention to his
gnawing desires. We become decently respectable members of society
largely at the expense of our aboriginal nature. But the primitive in us
does not really die. It asserts itself harmlessly in dreams.
Psychoanalysis has revealed the fact that every dream is the realization
of some desire, usually hidden from our conscious thought by our
habitual repression. For this reason the dream work consists of symbols.
The great achievement of Freud is the technique which enables the
analyst to interpret this symbolism so that his own unconscious thought
and desire are made known to the subject. The dream is harmless and is
normally utilized by the unconscious ego because during sleep we cannot
move. If one actually did the things he dreamed, a thing which happens
in various somnambulisms, the dream would become anything but harmless.
Every psychosis is really a dramatized dream of this sort.

Now as it is the social which demands the repression of our primitive
impulses, it is to be expected that the unconscious would on certain
occasions make use of this same social in order to realize its primitive
desires. There are certain mental abnormalities, such as dementia
præcox, in which the individual behaves in a wholly antisocial manner,
simply withdrawing into himself. _In the crowd the primitive ego
achieves its wish by actually gaining the assent and support of a
section of society. The immediate social environment is all pulled in
the same direction as the unconscious desire._ A similar unconscious
impulse motivates each member of the crowd. It is as if all at once an
unspoken agreement were entered into whereby each member might let
himself go, on condition that he approved the same thing in all the
rest. Of course such a thing cannot happen consciously. Our normal
social consciousness would cause us each to resist, let us say, an
exhibition of cruelty--in our neighbors, and also in ourselves. The
impulse must therefore be disguised.

The term "unconscious" in the psychology of the crowd does not, of
course, imply that the people in the crowd are not aware of the fact
that they are lynching a negro or demanding the humiliation or
extermination of certain of their fellows. Everybody is perfectly aware
of what is being said and done; only _the moral significance_ of the
thing is changed. The deed or sentiment, instead of being disapproved,
appears to be demanded, by moral principle, by the social welfare, by
the glory of the state, etc. What is unconscious is the fact that the
social is actually being twisted around into giving approval of the
things which it normally forbids. Every crowd considers that it is
vindicating some sacred principle. The more bloody and destructive the
acts to which it is impelled, the more moral are its professions. Under
the spell of the crowd's logic certain abstract principles lead
inevitably to the characteristic forms of crowd-behavior. They seem to
glorify such acts, to make heroes and martyrs of those who lead in their

The attention of everyone is first centered on the abstract and
universal, as I have indicated. The repressed wish then unconsciously
gives to the formulas which the crowd professes a meaning different from
that which appears, yet unconsciously associated with it. This
unconscious meaning is of course an impulse to act. But the motive
professed is not the real motive.

Normally our acts and ideas are corrected by our social environment. But
in a crowd our test of the real fails us, because, since the attention
of all near us is directed in the same way as our own, the social
environment for the time fails to check us. As William James said:

    The sense that anything we think is unreal can only come when
    that thing is contradicted by some other thing of which we
    think. Any object which remains uncontradicted is _ipso facto_
    believed and posited as "absolute reality."

Our immediate social environment is all slipping along with us. It no
longer contradicts the thing we want to believe, and, unconsciously,
want to do. As the uncontradicted idea is, for the time, reality, so is
it a motor impulse. The only normal reason why we do not act immediately
upon any one of our ideas is that action is inhibited by ideas of a
contradictory nature. As crowd, therefore, we find ourselves moving in a
fictitious system of ideas uncritically accepted as real--not as in
dreams realizing our hidden wishes, merely in imagination, but also
impelled to act them out in much the way that the psychoeurotic is
impelled to act out the fixed ideas which are really the symbols of his
suppressed wish. In other words, _a crowd is a device for indulging
ourselves in a kind of temporary insanity by all going crazy together_.

Of the several kinds of crowds, I have selected for our discussion the
mass meeting, because we are primarily interested in the _ideas_ which
dominate the crowd. The same essential psychological elements are also
found in the street crowd or mob. Serious mob outbreaks seldom occur
without mass meetings, oratory, and propaganda. Sometimes, as in the
case of the French Revolution and of the rise of the Soviets in Russia,
the mass meetings are held in streets and public places. Sometimes, as,
for instance, the crowds in Berlin when Germany precipitated the World
War, a long period of deliberate cultivation of such crowd-ideas as
happen to be advantageous to the state precedes. There are instances,
such as the Frank case, which brought unenviable fame to Georgia, when
no mass meeting seems to have been held. It is possible that in this
instance, however, certain newspapers, and also the trial--which, as I
remember, was held in a theater and gave an ambitious prosecuting
attorney opportunity to play the role of mob leader--served the purpose
of the mass meeting.

The series of outbreaks in New York and other cities, shortly after the
War, between the socialists and certain returned soldiers, seem to have
first occurred quite unexpectedly, as do the customary negro lynchings
in the South. In each case I think it will be found that the complex of
crowd-ideas had been previously built up in the unconscious. A
deep-seated antagonism had been unconsciously associated with the
self-appreciative feelings of a number of individuals, all of which
found justification in the consciousness of these persons in the form
of devotion to principle, loyalty, moral enthusiasm, etc. I suspect that
under many of our professed principles there lurk elements of
unconscious sadism and masochism. All that is then required is an
occasion, some casual incident which will so direct the attention of a
number of these persons that they provide one another temporarily with a
congenial social environment. In the South this mob complex is doubtless
formed out of race pride, a certain unconscious eroticism, and will to
power, which unfortunately has too abundant opportunity to justify
itself as moral indignation. With the returned soldiers the unconscious
desires were often rather thinly disguised--primitive impulses to
violence which had been aroused and hardly satisfied by the war, a wish
to exhibit themselves which found its opportunity in the knowledge that
their lawlessness would be applauded in certain influential quarters, a
dislike of the nonconformist, the foreign, and the unknown, which took
the outward form of a not wholly unjustifiable resentment toward the
party which had to all appearances unpatriotically opposed our entrance
into the war.

Given a psychic situation of this nature, the steps by which it leads to
mob violence are much alike in all cases. All together they simply
amount to a process of like direction of the attention of a sufficient
number of persons so affected as to produce a temporary social
environment in which the unconscious impulses may be released with
mutual approval. The presence of the disliked object or person gains
general attention. At first there is only curiosity; then amusement;
there is a bantering of crude witticisms; then ridicule. Soon the joking
turns to insults. There are angry exclamations. A blow is struck. There
is a sudden rush. The blow, being the act which the members of the crowd
each unconsciously wished to do, gains general approval, "it is a blow
for righteousness"; a "cause" appears. Casually associated persons at
once become a group, brought together, of course, by their interest in
vindicating the principles at stake. The mob finds itself suddenly doing
things which its members did not know they had ever dreamed of.

Different as this process apparently is from that by which a meeting is
turned into a crowd by an orator, I think it will be seen that the two
are essentially alike.

Thus far we have been considering crowd-movements which are local and
temporary--casual gatherings, which, having no abiding reason for
continued association, soon dissolve into their individual elements.
Frequently, after participating in such a movement, the individual, on
returning to his habitual relations, "comes to." He wonders what the
affair was all about. In the light of his re-established control
ideas--he will call it "reason"--the unconscious impulses are again
repressed; he may look with shame and loathing upon yesterday's orgy.
Acts which he would ordinarily disapprove in his neighbors, he now
disapproves in himself. If the behavior of the crowd has not been
particularly atrocious and inexcusable to ordinary consciousness, the
reaction is less strong. The voter after the political campaign merely
"loses interest." The convert in the revival "backslides." The striker
returns to work and is soon absorbed by the daily routine of his task.
The fiery patriot, after the war, is surprised to find that his hatred
of the enemy is gradually waning. Electors who have been swept by a wave
of enthusiasm for "reform" and have voted for a piece of ill-considered
restrictive legislation easily lapse into indifference, and soon look
with unconcern or amusement upon open violations of their own
enactments. There is a common saying that the public has a short memory.
Pick up an old newspaper and read about the great movements and causes
which were only a short time ago stirring the public mind, many of them
are now dead issues. But they were not answered by argument; we simply
"got over" them.

Not all crowd-movements, however, are local and temporary. There are
passing moments of crowd-experience which are often too sweet to lose.
The lapse into everyday realism is like "falling from grace." The crowd
state of mind strives often to keep itself in countenance by
perpetuating the peculiar social-psychic conditions in which it can
operate. There are certain forms of the ego consciousness which are best
served by the fictions of the crowd. An analogy here is found in
paranoia, where the individual's morbid fixed ideas are really devices
for the protection of his self-esteem. The repressed infantile psyche
which exists in us all, and in certain neurotics turns back and attaches
itself to the image of the parent, finds also in the crowd a path for
expression. It provides a perpetual interest in keeping the crowd-state
alive. Notice how invariably former students form alumni associations,
and returned soldiers at once effect permanent organizations; persons
who have been converted in one of Mr. Sunday's religious campaigns do
the same thing--indeed there are associations of all sorts growing out
of these exciting moments in people's common past experience, the
purpose of which is mutually to recall the old days and aid one another
in keeping alive the enlarged self-feeling.

In addition to this, society is filled with what might be called
"struggle groups" organized for the survival and dominance of similarly
constituted or situated people. Each group has its peculiar interests,
economic, spiritual, racial, etc., and each such interest is a mixture
of conscious and unconscious purposes. These groups become sects, cults,
partisan movements, class struggles. They develop propaganda, ritual,
orthodoxies, dogma, all of which are hardly anything more than
stereotyped systems of crowd-ideas. These systems differ from those of
the neurosis in that the former are less idiosyncratic, but they
undoubtedly perform much the same function. The primary aim of every
such crowd is to keep itself together as a crowd. Hardly less important
is the desire of its members to dominate over all outsiders. The
professed purpose is to serve some cause or principle of universal
import. Thus the crowd idealizes itself as an end, makes sanctities of
its own survival values, and holds up its ideals to all men, demanding
that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess--which is to say,
that the crowd believes in its own future supremacy, the members of the
group knowing that such a belief has survival value. This principle is
used by every politician in predicting that his party is bound to win at
the next election.

Hence the crowd is a device by which the individual's "right" may be
baptized "righteousness" in general, and this personality by putting on
impersonality may rise again to new levels of self-appreciation. He
"belongs to something," something "glorious" and deathless. He himself
may be but a miserable clod, but the glory of his crowd reflects upon
him. Its expected triumph he already shares. It gives him back his lost
sense of security. As a good crowd man, true believer, loyal citizen,
devoted member, he has regained something of his early innocence. In
other members he has new brothers and sisters. In the finality of his
crowd-faith there is escape from responsibility and further search. He
is willing to be commanded. He is a child again. He has transferred his
repressed infantilism from the lost family circle to the crowd. There is
a very real sense in which the crowd stands to his emotional life _in
loco parentis_.

It is to be expected, therefore, that wherever possible the crowd-state
of mind will be perpetuated. Every sort of device will be used to keep
the members of the crowd from coming to. In almost every organization
and social relationship there will be a tendency on part of the
unconscious to behave as crowd. Thus permanent crowds exist on every
hand--especially wherever political, moral, or religious ideas are
concerned. The general and abstract character of these ideas makes them
easily accessible instruments for justifying and screening the
unconscious purpose. Moreover it is in just those aspects of our social
life where repression is greatest that crowd-thinking is most common,
for it is by means of such thinking and behavior that the unconscious
seeks evasions and finds its necessary compensations.

The modern man has in the printing press a wonderfully effective means
for perpetuating crowd-movements and keeping great masses of people
constantly under the sway of certain crowd-ideas. Every crowd-group has
its magazines, press agents, and special "literature" with which it
continually harangues its members and possible converts. Many books, and
especially certain works of fiction of the "best-seller" type, are
clearly reading-mob phenomena.

But the leader in crowd-thinking _par excellence_ is the daily
newspaper. With few exceptions our journals emit hardly anything but
crowd-ideas. These great "molders of public opinion," reveal every
characteristic of the vulgar mob orator. The character of the writing
commonly has the standards and prejudices of the "man in the street."
And lest this man's ego consciousness be offended by the sight
of anything "highbrow"--that is, anything indicating that there
may be a superior intelligence or finer appreciation than his
own--newspaper-democracy demands that everything more exalted than the
level of the lowest cranial altitude be left out. The average result is
a deluge of sensational scandal, class prejudice, and special pleading
clumsily disguised with a saccharine smear of the cheapest moral
platitude. Consequently, the thinking of most of us is carried on
chiefly in the form of crowd-ideas. A sort of public-meeting self is
developed in the consciousness of the individual which dominates the
personality of all but the reflective few. We editorialize and
press-agent ourselves in our inmost musings. Public opinion is
manufactured just as brick are made. Possibly a slightly better
knowledge of mechanical engineering is required for making public
opinion, but the process is the same. Both can be stamped out in the
quantity required, and delivered anywhere to order. Our thinking on most
important subjects to-day is as little original as the mental processes
of the men who write and the machines which print the pages we read and
repeat as our own opinions.

Thomas Carlyle was never more sound than when railing at this "paper
age." And paper, he wisely asked us to remember, "is made of old rags."
Older writers who saw the ragged throngs in the streets were led to
identify the mob or crowd with the tattered, illiterate populace. Our
mob to-day is no longer merely tramping the streets. We have it at the
breakfast table, in the subway, alike in shop and boudoir, and
office--wherever, in fact, the newspaper goes. And the raggedness is not
exterior, nor is the mob confined to the class of the ill-clad and the
poor. The raggedness, and tawdriness have now become spiritual, a
universal presence entering into the fabric of nearly all our mental

We have now reached a point from which we can look back over the ground
we have traversed and note the points of difference between our view and
the well-known theory of Le Bon. The argument of the latter is as
follows: (1) From the standpoint of psychology, the crowd, as the term
is here defined, is not merely a group of people, it is the appearance
within such a group of a special mental condition, or crowd-mind. (2)
The sentiments and ideas of all the persons in the gathering take one
and the same direction. (3) Conscious personality vanishes. (4) A
collective mind is formed: This is Le Bon's "Law of the mental unity of
crowds." (5) This collective mind consists in the main of "general
qualities of character" which are our common racial inheritance. It is
an "unconscious substratum" which in the crowd becomes uppermost,
dominating over the unique personal consciousness. (6) Three causes
determine the characteristics of the crowd-mind, (a) From purely
numerical considerations, the individual acquires a sentiment of
invincible power which encourages him in an unrestrained yielding to his
instincts, (b) Contagion, or imitation, and (c) hypnotic suggestion
cause the individuals in the crowd to become "slaves of all the
unconscious activities of the spinal cord." (7) The resulting
characteristics of the crowd are (a) a descent of several rungs in the
ladder of civilization, (b) a general intellectual inferiority as
compared with the isolated individual, (c) loss of moral responsibility,
(d) impulsiveness, (e) credulity, (f) exaggeration, (g) intolerance, (h)
blind obedience to the leader of the crowd, (i) a mystical emotionalism.
(8) The crowd is finally and somewhat inconsistently treated by Le Bon
as being identical with the masses, the common people, the herd.

Without pausing to review the criticisms of this argument which were
made at the beginning of our discussion, our own view may be summarized
as follows: (1) The crowd is not the same as the masses, or any class or
gathering of people as such, but is a certain mental condition which may
occur simultaneously to people in any gathering or association. (2) This
condition is not a "collective mind." It is a release of repressed
impulses which is made possible because certain controlling ideas have
ceased to function in the immediate social environment. (3) This
modification in the immediate social environment is the result of mutual
concessions on the part of persons whose unconscious impulses to do a
certain forbidden thing are similarly disguised as sentiments which meet
with conscious moral approval. (4) Such a general disguising of the real
motive is a characteristic phenomenon of dreams and of mental pathology,
and occurs in the crowd by fixing the attention of all present upon the
abstract and general. Attention is thus held diverted from the
individual's personal associations, permitting these associations and
their accompanying impulses to function unconsciously. (5) The abstract
ideas so entertained become symbols of meanings which are unrecognized;
they form a closed system, like the obsessions of the paranoiac, and as
the whole group are thus moved in the same direction, the "compulsory"
logic of these ideas moves forward without those social checks which
normally keep us within bounds of the real. Hence, acting and thinking
in the crowd become stereotyped and "ceremonial." Individuals move
together like automatons. (6) As the unconscious chiefly consists of
that part of our nature which is habitually repressed by the social, and
as there is always, therefore, an unconscious resistance to this
repressive force, it follows that the crowd state, like the neurosis,
is a mechanism of escape and of compensation. It also follows that the
crowd-spirit will occur most commonly in reference to just those social
forms where repression is greatest--in matters political, religious, and
moral. (7) The crowd-mind is then not a mere excess of emotion on the
part of people who have abandoned "reason"; crowd-behavior is in a sense
psychopathic and has many elements in common with somnambulism, the
compulsion neurosis, and even paranoia. (8) Crowds may be either
temporary or permanent in their existence. Permanent crowds, with the
aid of the press, determine in greater or less degree the mental habits
of nearly everyone. The individual moves through his social world like a
popular freshman on a college campus, who is to be "spiked" by one or
another fraternity competing for his membership. A host of crowds
standing for every conceivable "cause" and "ideal" hover constantly
about him, ceaselessly screaming their propaganda into his ears,
bullying and cajoling him, pushing and crowding and denouncing one
another, and forcing all willy-nilly to line up and take sides with them
upon issues and dilemmas which represent the real convictions of



Throughout the discussion thus far I have been making repeated reference
to the psychology of the unconscious, without going into detail any more
than was necessary. Let us now take a closer look at some of Freud's
discoveries. In this way, what Brill would call the "psychogenesis" of
certain characteristic ideas and practices of crowds will be, I think,
made clear. Up to this point we have dealt generally with those mental
processes by which the crowd is formed. There are certain traits,
tendencies, ways of thinking which crowds so uniformly display that one
is justified, in want of other explanation, in assuming them to be
unconsciously determined. The remarkable blindness of organized crowds
to the most obvious of their own performances is so common as to be the
regularly expected thing--that is, of crowds other than our own. Long
and extensive operations may be carried on for years by crowds whose
members repeatedly declare that such things are not being done. The way
in which a nation will carefully prepare for war, gradually organizing
its whole life on a military basis with tremendous cost and effort, all
the while declaring that it is interested only in peace, denying its
warlike intentions, and even in the moment of picking a quarrel with its
neighbors declare to all the world that it had been wantonly and
unexpectedly attacked, is all a matter of general comment. The American
colonists, during the decade before the signing of the Declaration of
Independence, of course had no conscious thought of separating from
Great Britain. Almost to the very last they professed their loyalty to
the King; but looking back now it is clear that Independence was the
motive all along, and doubtless could not have been achieved more
opportunely or with greater finesse if it had been deliberately planned
from the start. The Hebrew Scriptures contain a story which illustrates
this aspect of crowd-behavior everywhere. The Children of Israel in
bondage in Egypt merely wished to go out in the wilderness for a day or
so to worship their God. All they asked was religious liberty. How
unjust of the authorities to assume they were planning to run away
from their masters! You will remember that at the last moment they
incidentally borrow some jewelry from their Egyptian neighbors. Of
course they will pay it back after their little religious holiday,
but ... later a most unforeseen thing happens to that jewelry, a
scandalous thing--it is made into an idol. Does it require that one be a
psychologist to infer that it was the unconscious intention all along to
use this metal for just that, the first good chance they had--and that,
too, notwithstanding repeated prohibitions of idolatry? The motive for
borrowing the jewelry is evident.

Certain crowd-movements in America to-day give marked evidence of this
unconscious motivation. Notice how both the radical and reactionary
elements behave when, as is frequently the case with both, the
crowd-spirit comes over them. Certain radicals, who are fascinated with
the idea of the Russian Revolution, are still proclaiming sentiments of
human brotherhood, peace, and freedom, while unconsciously they are
doing just what their enemies accuse them of--playing with the welcome
ideas of violence, class war, and proletarian dictatorship. And
conservative crowds, while ostensibly defending American traditions and
ideals against destructive foreign influence, are with their own hands
daily desecrating many of the finest things which America has given to
the world in its struggle of more than a century for freedom and
justice. Members of each crowd, while blissfully unaware of the
incompatibility of their own motives and professions, have no illusions
about those of the counter-crowd. Each crowd sees in the professions of
its antagonist convincing proof of the insincerity and hypocrisy of the
other side. To the student of social philosophy both are right and both
wrong. All propaganda is lies, and every crowd is a deceiver, but its
first and worst deception is that of itself. This self-deception is a
necessary step in crowd-formation and is a _sine qua non_ of becoming a
crowd. It is only necessary for members of a crowd to deceive themselves
and one another for the crowd-mind to function perfectly; I doubt if
they are often successful in deceiving anybody else. It was this common
crowd-phenomenon of self-deception which led Gobineau and Nietzsche to
the conclusion that the common people are liars. But as has been said,
the crowd is by no means peculiar to the working class; some of its
worst features are exhibited these days among employers, law-makers, and
the well-to-do classes. This deception is moreover not really conscious
and deliberate. If men deliberately set about to invent lies to justify
their behavior I have little doubt that most of them would be clever
enough to conjure up something a little more plausible. These naïve and
threadbare "hypocrisies" of crowds are a commonplace mechanism of the
unconscious. It is interesting to note that the delusions of the
paranoiac likewise deceive no one but himself, yet within themselves
form a perfectly logical _a priori_ system. They also serve the
well-understood purpose, like that of crowd-ideas, of keeping their
possessor in a certain fixed relation toward portions of his own psychic
material. As Brill says, they are "compromise formations."

Those who have read Freud's little book, _Delusion and Dream_, an
analysis of a psychological romance written by Wilhelm Jensen, will
recall how extensive a fabric of plausibilities a delusion may build up
in its defense in order at the same time to satisfy a repressed wish,
and keep the true meaning of the subject's acts and thoughts from
conscious attention. In the story which Freud has here taken as his
subject for study, a young student of archæology has apparently
conquered all adolescent erotic interest and has devoted himself
whole-heartedly to his science. While at the ruins of ancient Pompeii,
he finds a bas-relief containing the figure of a young woman represented
in the act of walking with peculiar grace. A cast of this figure he
brings home. His interest is curiously aroused. At first this interest
appears to be scientific only, then æsthetic, and historical. Finally he
builds up about it a complete romance. He becomes restless and very much
of a misogynist, and is driven, he knows not why, again to the ruins.
Here he actually meets the object of his dreams in the solitude of the
excavated city. He allows himself to believe that the once living model
of his treasured bas-relief has again come to life. For days he meets
and talks with the girl, living all the while in a world of complete
unreality, until she finally succeeds in revealing herself as the young
woman who lives next door to him. It also appears that in their
childhood he and this girl had been playmates, and that in spite of all
his conscious indifference to her his unconscious interest was the
source of his interest in the bas-relief and the motive which led him to
return to Pompeii, where he unconsciously expected to find her. The
interesting thing about all this for our present study is the series of
devices, fictions, and compromises with reality which this repressed
interest made use of while having its way with him, and at the same time
resisting whatever might force it upon his conscious attention, where a
recognition of its significance might result in a deliberate rejection.

We shall not go into Freud's ingenious analysis of the mental processes
at work here. The following passage is sufficient for our purpose:

    There is a kind of forgetting which distinguishes itself by the
    difficulty with which memory is awakened, even by strong
    appeals, as if a subjective resistance struggled against the
    revival. Such forgetting has received the name of "repression"
    in psychopathology ... about repression we can assert that
    certainly it does not coincide with the destruction, the
    obliteration of memory. The repressed material can not of itself
    break through as memory, but remains potent and effective.

From this, and from what was said in our previous chapter, it is plain
that the term "unconscious" as used in psychology does not mean total
absence of psychic activity. It refers to thoughts and feelings which
have _purposefully_ been forgotten--to experiences or impulses to which
we do not pay attention nor wish to attend to, but which influence us
nevertheless. Everyone of us, when he dreams, has immediate knowledge of
the unconscious as here defined. Certainly we pass into unconsciousness
when we sleep. Yet something is unquestionably going on inside our
heads. One wakens and says, "What strange, or exciting, or delightful
dreams I have had!" Bergson says that sleep is due to the relaxing of
attention to our environment. Yet in dreams attention is never turned
away from ourselves. Possibly instead of the word "unconscious" the term
"unattended" might be used with less danger of confusion.

Consciousness is, therefore, not the whole of our psychic activity. Much
of our behavior is reflex and automatic. James used to be fond of
showing how much even of our higher psychic activity was reflex in its
nature. We may be conscious of various portions of our psychic material,
but never of all of it at once. Attention is like a spotlight thrown on
a semi-darkened stage, moving here and there, revealing the figures upon
which it is directed in vivid contrast with the darkly moving objects
which animate the regions outside its circle. A speaker during his
discourse will straighten his tie, make various gestures, and toy with
any object which happens to be lying on the desk, all without being
aware of his movements, until his attention is called to the fact.
Absent-minded persons habitually amuse us by frequently performing
complete and rather complex series of actions while wholly oblivious to
what they are doing. Everyone can recall numerous instances of
absent-mindedness in his own experience.

Now all pathological types of mental life have in common this quality of
absent-mindedness, and it is held that the thing said or done
absent-mindedly has in every instance, even when normal, a meaning which
is unconscious. But the unconscious or unattended is by no means
confined to the infrequent and the trivial. As temperament, or
character, its activity is a determining factor in all our thought and
conduct. Dream fancies do not really cease when we awake; the dream
activity goes on all about our conscious thoughts, our associations now
hovering near long-forgotten memories, now pulled in the direction of
some unrecognized bit of personal conceit, now skipping on tiptoe over
something forbidden and wicked and passing across without looking in;
only a part of our mental processes ever directly finding expression in
our conscious acts and words. The unchosen and the illogical run along
with the desired and the logical material, only we have learned not to
pay attention to such things. Under all our logical structures there
flows a ceaseless stream of dream stuff. Our conscious thought is like
little planks of attention laid end to end on the stones which here and
there rise above the surface of our thinking. The mind skips across to a
desired conclusion, not infrequently getting its feet wet, and, on
occasion, upsetting a plank or slipping off and falling in altogether.

We have only to relax our attention a little to enter the world of day
dreams, of art, and religion; we can never hold it so rigid as to be
wholly rational for long.

Those interested in the general psychology of the unconscious are
referred to the writings of such authorities in this field as Freud,
Jung, Adler, Dr. A. A. Brill, and Dr. William White. In fact, the
literature dealing with psychoanalysis is now so widely read that,
unless the reader has received his information about this branch of
science from hostile sources alone, it is to be assumed that he has a
fairly accurate acquaintance with its general history and theory. We
must confine our discussions to those aspects of unconscious behavior
which can be shown by analogy with the psychoneurosis to be determinants
of crowd-thinking. As the details and technical discussions of
psychoanalytical material belong strictly to the psychiatric clinic, any
attempt at criticism by the medical layman of the scientific processes
by which they are established is of course impossible. Consequently, I
have sought to make use of only those principles which are now so well
established as to become rather generally accepted commonplaces of

All analysis reveals the fact that the unconscious of the individual is
concerned primarily with himself. This is true in the psychosis, and
always in dreams. Freud says:

    Every dream is absolutely egotistical; in every dream the
    beloved ego appears, even though it be in a disguised form. The
    wishes that are realized in dreams are regularly the wishes of
    this ego; it is only a deceptive appearance if interest in
    another person is thought to have caused the dream.

Freud then proceeds to give analyses of several dreams in which the
naïve egoism of childhood which lies at the core of the unconscious
psyche is apparently absent, and shows that in each and every case it is
there. The hero of our dreams, notwithstanding all appearances to the
contrary, is always ourself.

Brill, in his book, _Psychoanalysis_, says of the neurosis:

    Both hysteria and compulsion neurosis belong to the defense
    neuropsychoses; their symptoms originate through the psychic
    mechanism of defense, that is, through the attempt to repress a
    painful idea which was incompatible with the ego of the patient.
    There is still another more forceful and more successful form of
    defense wherein the ego misplaces the incompatible idea with its
    emotions and acts as though the painful idea had never come to
    pass. When this occurs the person merges into a psychosis which
    may be called "hallucinatory confusion."

Thus the psychoneurosis is in all its forms, I believe, regarded as a
drama of the ego and its inner conflicts. The egoism of the unconscious
belongs alike to the normal and the unadjusted. The mental abnormalities
appear when the ego seeks to escape some such conflict by means of a
closed system of ideas or symbolic acts which will divert attention from
the unwelcome psychic material. Adler, in _The Neurotic Constitution_,
is even, if possible, more emphatic in affirming the egoism of the
unconscious as revealed in neurotics. His thesis is that the mainspring
of all the efforts of achievement and the source of all the
vicissitudes of the psyche is a desire to be important, or will to "be
above," not wholly unlike Nietzsche's theory of the "will to power." The
neurosis goes back to some organic defect or other cause of childish
humiliation. As a result, the cause of such humiliation, a defective
bodily organ, or whatever it may be, gains special attention. The whole
psyche is modified in the process of adjustment. In cases where the
psyche remains normal, adjustment is achieved through stimulation to
extra effort to overcome the disadvantage, as in the triumph of
Demosthenes, Byron, Pope.

On the contrary, this disadvantage may result in a fixed feeling of
inferiority. Such a feeling may be brought about in the sensitive child
by a variety of circumstances, physical facts such as smallness of
stature, adenoids, derangements of the alimentary organs, undersized
genitals, homeliness of feature, or any physical deformity or weakness;
again by such circumstances as domineering parents or older brothers and
sisters. The child then thinks always of himself. He forms the habit of
comparing himself with others. He creates, as a protection against the
recognition of this feeling of inferiority, what Adler calls the
"masculine protest."

    The feeling which the individual has of his own inferiority,
    incompetency, the realization of his smallness, of his weakness,
    of his uncertainty, thus becomes the appropriate working basis
    which, because of the intrinsically associated feelings of
    pleasure and pain, furnishes the inner impulse to advance toward
    an imaginary goal....

    In all similar attempts (and the human psyche is full of them),
    it is the question of the introduction of an unreal and abstract
    scheme into actual life.... No matter from what angle we observe
    the psychic development of a normal or neurotic person, he is
    always found ensnared in the meshes of his particular fiction--a
    fiction from which the neurotic is unable to find his way back
    to reality and in which he believes, while the sound and normal
    person utilizes it for the purpose of reaching a definite goal
    ... the thing which impels us all, and especially the neurotic
    and the child, to abandon the direct path of induction and
    deduction and use such devices as the schematic fiction,
    originates in the feeling of uncertainty, and is the craving for
    security, the final purpose of which is to escape from the
    feeling of inferiority in order to ascend to the full height of
    the ego consciousness, to complete manliness, to attain the
    ideal of being "above."...

    Even our judgments concerning the value of things are determined
    according to the standard of the imaginary goal, not according
    to "real" feelings or pleasurable sensations.

That repressed sexuality plays an important part in the conflicts of the
ego is well known to all who are acquainted with analytical psychology.
According to Freud, the sexual impulse dates from earliest childhood and
is an essential element in every stage of self-appreciation. A summary
of the process by which the infantile ego develops to maturity is as
follows: The child is by nature "polymorphous perverse"--that is, both
physically and psychically he possesses elements which in the mature
individual would be considered perversions. Physiologically, what are
known as "erogenous zones"--tissue which is capable of what in mature
life is sexual excitation--are diffused through the organism. As the
child passes through the "latent period" of later childhood and
adolescence, these "erogenous zones" are concentrated as it were in the
organs which are to serve the purpose of reproduction. If for any reason
this process of concentration is checked, and remains in later life
incomplete, the mature individual will be afflicted with certain
tendencies to sex perversion.

Similarly the psychosexual passes through a metamorphosis in normal
development. The erotic interest of the child, at first quite without
any object at all, is soon attached to one or the other of the parents,
then, in the "narcissus period" is centered upon the individual himself,
after which, normally, but not without some storm and stress, it becomes
detached and capable of "object love"--that is, love of a person of the
opposite sex. This psychic process is by no means a smooth and easy
matter. It is attended at every stage with such dangers that a very
large number of people never achieve it entire. Various kinds of "shock"
and wrong educational influence, or overindulgence on the part of the
parents, may cause the psychosexual interest of the ego--or "libido"--to
remain "fixed" at some point in its course. It may retain vestiges of
its early undifferentiated stage, appearing then in the perverted forms
of "masochism"--sexual enjoyment of self-torture--or "sadism"--sexual
pleasure in torturing others. Or the libido may remain fixed upon the
parent, rendering the individual in some degree incapable of a normal
mature love life. He has never quite succeeded in severing his infantile
attachment to his mother and transferring his interest to the world of
social relations and mature experiences. If he meets with a piece of
misfortune, he is likely to seek imaginary security and compensation by
a "regression" of the libido and a revival of childlike affection for
the mother image. As this return is, in maturity, unconsciously resisted
by the horror of incest, a conflict results. The individual then
develops certain mechanisms or "complex formations" in defense of his
ego against this painful situation. The withdrawal of the libido from
the ordinary affairs of life renders the latter valueless. Thoughts of
death and like compulsory mechanisms ensue. The patient has become a

Psychoanalysts make much of this latter situation. They term it the
"Oedipus complex." They assert that in its severer forms it is a common
feature of psychoneurosis, while in less marked form, according to Jung,
it underlies, and is the real explanation of the "birth of tragedy,"
being also the meaning of much religious symbolism, including the Divine
Drama of Christian tradition. It is not, therefore, only the
psychoneurotic whose unconscious takes the form of the "Oedipus
complex." Under certain conditions it is manifest in normal people. I
have already indicated that the crowd is one of those conditions, and
shall have something a little more specific to say about this later on.

Again the growing libido may become fixed in the "narcissus stage."
Between the period of love of parents and object love, the adolescent
youth passes through a period when he is "in love with himself." The
fact that many people remain in some measure fixed in this period of
their development is not surprising when we remember that self-feeling
occupies a central place in the unconscious at all times. Many of the
world's greatest men have doubtless been characters in which there was a
slightly more than average fixation at this point. Inordinate ambition
is, I should say, an evidence of such a fixation. If one possesses great
natural ability he may under such circumstances be able to forge ahead
to his goal, overcoming the conflicts which such a fixation always
raises, and show no greater evidence of pathology in his career than is
seen in the usual saying that "genius is always a little queer." The
typical crowd-leader would, on analysis, I think, show something of this
"narcissus complex," as would doubtless the great run of fanatics,
bigots, and doctrinaires, "hundred per cent" crowd-men all.

According to Brill, these "auto erotic" persons are always homosexual,
their homosexuality manifesting itself in various ways. The overt
manifestations of this tendency are known as perversions. Certain
persons who have suppressed or sublimated these tendencies, by means of
certain defense mechanisms, or "fictions," as Adler would call them, get
along very well so long as the defense mechanism functions. There are
cases when this unconsciously constructed defense breaks down. An inner
conflict is then precipitated, a marked form of which is the common type
of insanity, "paranoia." Persons suffering with paranoia are
characterized by an insatiable demand for love along with a psychic
incapacity to give love. They have an exaggerated sense of their own
importance which is sustained by a wholly unreal but deadly logical
system of _a priori_ ideas, which constitute the "obsessions" common to
this type of mentality. The inner conflict becomes external--that is, it
is "projected." The paranoiac projects his own inner hostility and lack
of adjustment upon others--that is, he attributes his own feeling of
hostility to some one else, as if he were the object, not the author, of
his hatred. He imagines that he is persecuted, as the following example
will show. The passage here quoted is taken from a pamphlet which was
several years ago given to me by the author. He ostensibly wished to
enlist my efforts in a campaign he believed himself to be conducting to
"expose" the atrocious treatment of persons, like himself, who were
imprisoned in asylums as the innocent victims of domestic conspiracy. By
way of introducing himself the author makes it known that he has several
times been confined in various hospitals, each time by the design and
instigation of his wife, and after stating that on the occasion
described he was very "nervous and physically exhausted" and
incidentally confessing that he was arrested while attempting homicide
"purely in self-defense," he gives this account of his incarceration:

    I was locked in a cold cell, and being in poor health, my
    circulation was poor, and the officer ordered me to go to bed
    and I obeyed his orders, but I began to get cold, and believing
    then, as I still believe, that the coffee I got out of the
    coffee tank for my midnight lunch had been "doped," and fearful
    that the blood in my veins which began to coagulate would stop
    circulating altogether, I got out of bed and walked the floor to
    and fro all the remainder of the night and by so doing I saved
    my life. For had I remained in bed two hours I would have been a
    dead man before sunrise next morning. I realized my condition
    and had the presence of mind to do everything in my power to
    save my life and put my trust in God, and asked his aid in my
    extremity. But for divine aid, I would not now have the
    privilege of writing my awful experiences in that hell-hole of a

    The officer who arrested me without any warrant of law, and
    without any unlawful act on my part was the tool of some person
    or persons who were either paid for their heinous crime, or of
    the landlady of the ---- hotel (he had been a clerk there) who
    allowed gambling to go on nearly every night, and thought I was
    a detective or spy, and so was instrumental in having me thrown
    into jail.

    I begged so hard not to be locked in the cell that I was allowed
    to stay in the corridor in front of the cells. I observed
    chloral dripping through the roof of the cell-house in different
    places, and as I had had some experience with different drugs, I
    detected the smell of chloral as soon as I entered the

    Sometime after midnight some one stopped up the stovepipe and
    the door of the coal stove was left open so that the coal gas
    issued from the stove, so that breathing was difficult in the
    jail. The gases from the stove and other gases poisoned the air
    ... and your humble servant had the presence of mind to tear up
    a hair mattress and kept my nostrils continually filled with
    padding out of the mattress. I would often and instantly change
    the filling in one nostril, and not during the long hours of
    that awful night did I once open my mouth. In that manner I
    inhaled very little gases. Why in my weakened condition and my
    poor health anyone wanted to deprive me of my life I am at a
    loss to know, but failing to kill me, I was taken after nearly
    three days of sojourn in that hell-hole to the courthouse in
    ----. But such thoughts as an innocent man in my condition would
    think, in among criminals of all sorts, can better be imagined
    than described.... I thought of Christ's persecutors and I
    thought how the innocent suffer because of the wicked.

In general we may say that the various forms of psychoneurosis are
characterized by a conflict of the ego with primitive impulses
inadequately repressed. In defense against these impulses, which though
active remain unconsciously so, the individual constructs a fictitious
system of ideas, of symbolic acts, or bodily symptoms. These systems are
attempts to compromise the conflict in the unconscious, and in just the
degree that they are demanded for this function, they fail of their
function of adjusting the individual to his external world. Thought and
behavior thus serve the purpose of compensating for some psychic loss,
and of keeping up the individual's self feeling. Though the unconscious
purpose is to enhance the ego consciousness, the mechanisms through
which this end is achieved produce through their automatic and
stereotyped form a shrinking of personality and a serious lack of
adjustment to environment.

Now it is not at all the aim of this argument to try to prove that
crowds are really insane. Psychoanalysts commonly assert that the
difference between the normal and the abnormal is largely one of degree
and of success in adjustment. We are told that the conflict exists also
in normal people, with whom, however, it is adequately repressed and
"sublimated"--that is, normal people pass on out of the stages in which
the libido of the neurotic becomes fixed, not by leaving them behind,
but by attaching the interests which emerge in such stages to ends which
are useful in future experience. The neurotic takes the solitary path of
resolving the conflict between his ego and the impulses which society
demands shall be repressed.

It is altogether conceivable that _another path lies open--that of
occasional compromise in our mutual demands on one another_. The force
of repression is then relaxed by an unconscious change in the
significance of social ideas. Such a change must of course be mutual and
unconscious. Compromise mechanisms will again be formed serving a
purpose similar to the neurosis. As in the neurosis, thought and action
will be compulsory, symbolic, stereotyped, and more or less in conflict
with the demands of society as a whole, though functioning in a part of
it for certain purposes. Many of the characteristics of the unconscious
will then appear and will be similar in some respects to those of
neurosis. It is my contention that this is what happens in the crowd,
and I will now point out certain phases of crowd-behavior which are
strikingly analogous to some of the phenomena which have been described



The unconscious egoism of the individual in the crowd appears in all
forms of crowd-behavior. As in dreams and in the neurosis this self
feeling is frequently though thinly disguised, and I am of the opinion
that with the crowd the mechanisms of this disguise are less subtle. To
use a term which Freud employs in this connection to describe the
process of distortion in dreams, the "censor" is less active in the
crowd than in most phases of mental life. Though the conscious thinking
is carried on in abstract and impersonal formula, and though, as in the
neurosis, the "compulsive" character of the mechanisms developed
frequently--especially in permanent crowds--well nigh reduces the
individual to an automaton, the crowd is one of the most naïve devices
that can be employed for enhancing one's ego consciousness. The
individual has only to transfer his repressed self feeling to the idea
of the crowd or group of which he is a member; he can then exalt and
exhibit himself to almost any extent without shame, oblivious of the
fact that the supremacy, power, praise, and glory which he claims for
his crowd are really claimed for himself.

That the crowd always insists on being flattered is a fact known
intuitively by every orator and editor. As a member of a crowd the
individual becomes part of a public. The worship with which men regard
"The Public," simply means that the personal self falls at the feet of
the same self regarded as public, and likewise demands that obeisance
from all. _Vox populi est vox Dei_ is obviously the apotheosis of one's
own voice while speaking as crowd-man. When this "god-almightiness"
manifests itself along the solitary path of the psychoneurosis it
becomes one of the common symptoms of paranoia. The crowd, in common
with paranoia, uniformly shows this quality of "megalomania." Every
crowd "boosts for" itself, lauds itself, gives itself airs, speaks with
oracular finality, regards itself as morally superior, and will, so far
as it has the power, lord it over everyone. Notice how each group and
section in society, so far as it permits itself to think as crowd,
claims to be "the people." To the working-class agitator, "the cause of
labor is the cause of humanity," workers are always, "innocent exploited
victims, kept down by the master class whose lust for gain has made
them enemies of Humanity and Justice." "Workers should rule because they
are the only useful people; the sole creators of wealth; their dominance
would mean the end of social wrong, and the coming of the millennium of
peace and brotherhood, the Kingdom of Heaven on the Earth, the final
triumph of Humanity!"

On the other hand, the wealthy and educated classes speak of themselves
as "the best people"; they _are_ "society." It is they who "bear the
burdens of civilization, and maintain Law and Order and Decency." Racial
and national crowds show the same megalomania. Hebrews are "God's
chosen." "The Dutch Company is the best Company that ever came over from
the Old Country." "The Irish may be ornery, and they ain't worth much,
but they are a whole lot better than the ---- ---- Dutch." "Little
Nigger baby, black face, and shiny eye, you're just as good as the poor
white trash, an' you'll git thar by and by." "He might have been a
Russian or a Prussian, ... but it's greatly to his credit that he is an
Englishman." The German is the happy bearer of _Kultur_ to a barbarian
world. America is "The land of the free and the home of the brave," and
so on, wherever a group has become sufficiently a crowd to have a
propaganda of its own. Presbyterians are "the Elect," the Catholics
have the "true church of God," the Christian Scientists have alone
attained "Absolute Truth."

A number of years ago, when the interest in the psychology of the crowd
led me to attempt a study of Mr. Sunday's revival meetings, then in
their earlier stages, certain facts struck me with great force. Whatever
else the revival may be, it provides the student of psychology with a
delightful specimen for analysis. Every element of the mob or crowd-mind
is present and the unconscious manifests itself with an easy naïveté
which is probably found nowhere else, not even in the psychiatric
clinic. One striking fact, which has since provided me with food for a
good deal of reflection, was the place which the revival holds in what I
should like to call the spiritual economy of modern democracy.

It is an interesting historical fact that each great religious revival,
from Savonarola down, has immediately followed--and has been the
resistance of the man in the street to--a period of intellectual
awakening. Mr. Sunday's meetings undeniably provided a device whereby a
certain psychic type, an element which had hitherto received scant
recognition in the community, could enormously enhance his ego
consciousness. It would be manifestly unfair to say that this is the
sole motive of the religious revival, or that only this type of mind is
active in it. But it is interesting to see whose social survival values
stand out most prominently in these religious crowd-phenomena. The
gambler, the drunkard, the loafer, the weak, ignorant, and unsuccessful,
whose self-esteem it may be assumed had always been made to suffer in
small communities, where everyone knew everyone else, had only to yield
himself to the pull of the obviously worked-up mechanism of the
religious crowd, and lo! all was changed. He was now the repentant
sinner, the new convert, over whom there was more rejoicing in heaven,
and, what was more visible, also for a brief time, in the Church, than
over the ninety and nine just persons. He was "redeemed," an object now
of divine love, a fact which anyone who has studied the effects of these
crowd-movements scientifically will agree was at once seized upon by
these converts to make their own moral dilemmas the standards of
righteousness in the community, and hence secure some measure of

This self-adulation of crowds, with its accompanying will to be
important, to dominate, is so constant and characteristic a feature of
the crowd-mind that I doubt if any crowd can long survive which fails to
perform this function for its members. Self-flattery is evident in the
pride with which many people wear badges and other insignia of groups
and organizations to which they belong, and in the pompous names by
which fraternal orders are commonly designated. In its more
"exhibitionist" types it appears in parades and in the favorite ways in
which students display their "college spirit." How many school and
college "yells" begin with the formula, "Who are We?" obviously designed
to call general attention to the group and impress upon people its

In this connection I recall my own student days, which are doubtless
typical--the pranks which served the purpose of bringing certain groups
of students into temporary prominence and permitted them for a brief
period to regard themselves as comic heroes, the practices by which the
different classes and societies sought to get the better of one another,
the "love feasts" of my society which were hardly more than mutual
admiration gatherings, the "pajama" parades in which the entire student
body would march in costume (the wearing of which by an isolated
individual would probably have brought him before a lunacy commission)
all through the town and round and round the dormitories of the women's
college a mile or so away, in order to announce a victory in some
intercollegiate contest or other. There was the brazenness--it seems
hardly credible now--with which the victors on such occasions would
permit themselves to be carried on their comrades' shoulders through
the public square, also the deportment with which a delegation of
students would announce their arrival in a neighboring college town and
the grinning self-congratulation with which we would sit in chapel and
hear a wrathful president denounce our group behavior as "boorishness
and hoodlumism." There was the unanimous conviction of us all, for no
other reason I imagine than that it was graced with our particular
presence, that our own institution was the most superior college in
existence, and I well remember the priggishness with which at student
banquets we applauded the sentiment repeated _ad nauseam_, that the
great aim of education and the highest mark of excellence in our college
was the development of character. What is it all but a slightly
exaggerated account of the egoism of all organized crowds? Persons of
student age are for the most part still in the normal "narcissus"
period, and their ego-mania is naturally less disguised than that of
older groups. But even then we could never have given such open
manifestation to it as isolated individuals; it required the

The egoism of the crowd commonly takes the form of the will to social
dominance and it is in crowd behavior that we learn how insatiable the
repressed egoism of mankind really is. Members of the crowd are always
promising one another a splendid future triumph of some sort. This
promise of victory, which is nearly always to be enjoyed at the expense,
discomfiture, and humiliation of somebody else, is of great advantage in
the work of propaganda. People have only to be persuaded that
prohibition, or equal suffrage, or the single tax "is coming," and
thousands whose reason could not be moved by argument, however logical
it might be, will begin to look upon it with favor. The crowd is never
so much at home as "on the band wagon." Each of the old political
parties gains strength through the repeated prediction of victory in the
presidential campaign of 1920. The Socialist finds warmth in the
contemplation of the "coming dictatorship of the proletariat." The
Prohibitionist intoxicates himself by looking forward to a "dry world."
So long as the German crowds expected a victorious end of the war, their
morale remained unbroken, the Kaiser was popular.

When a crowd is defeated and its hope of victory fades, the individual
soon abandons the unsuccessful group. The great cause, being now a
forlorn hope, is seen in a different light, and the crowd character of
the group vanishes. When, however, certain forces still operate to keep
the crowd state of mind alive--forces such as race feeling, patriotism,
religious belief, or class consciousness--the ego consciousness of the
individuals so grouped finds escape in the promise of heaven, the
Judgment Day, and that "far off divine event toward which the whole
creation moves." Meanwhile the hope of victory is changed into that
"impotent resentment" so graphically described by Nietzsche.

Another way in which the self feeling of the crowd functions is in
idealizing those who succeed in gaining its recognition. The crowd
always makes a hero of the public person, living or dead. Regardless of
what he really did or was, he is transformed into a symbol of what the
crowd wishes to believe him to be. Certain aspects of his teaching and
various incidents which would appear in his biography are glossed over,
and made into supports for existing crowd-ideas and prejudices. Most of
the great characters in history have suffered in this way at the hands
of tradition. The secret of their greatness, their uniqueness and
spiritual isolation, is in great part ignored. The crowd's own secret is
substituted. The great man now appears great because he possessed the
qualities of little men. He is representative man, crowd man. Every
crowd has a list of heroic names which it uses in its propaganda and in
its self-laudation. The greatness which each crowd reveres and demands
that all men honor is just that greatness which the crowd treasures as
a symbol of itself, the sort of superiority which the members of the
crowd may suck up to swell their own ego consciousness.

Thus, hero worship is unconsciously worship of the crowd itself, and the
constituents thereof. The self-feeling of a crowd is always enhanced by
the triumph of its leader or representative. Who, at a ball game or
athletic event, has not experienced elation and added self-complacency
in seeing the home team win? What other meaning has the excited
cheering? Even a horse on a race track may become the representative of
a crowd and lift five thousand people into the wildest joy and ecstasy
by passing under a wire a few inches ahead of a rival. We have here one
of the secrets of the appeal which all such exhibitions make to people.
Nothing so easily catches general attention and creates a crowd as a
contest of any kind. The crowd unconsciously identifies its members with
one or the other competitor. Success enables the winning crowd to "crow
over" the losers. Such an occasion becomes symbolic and is utilized by
the ego to enhance its feeling of importance.

A similar psychological fact may be observed in the "jollifications" of
political parties after the election of their candidates for high
office. This phenomenon is also seen, if I may say so without being
misunderstood, in the new spirit which characterizes a people victorious
in war, and is to no small degree the basis of the honor of successful
nations. It is seen again in the pride which the citizens of a small
town show in the fact that the governor of the state is a native of the
place. This same principle finds place in such teachings of the Church
as the doctrine of the "communion of the saints," according to which the
spiritual grace and superiority of the great and pure become the common
property of the Church, and may be shared by all believers as a saving

Every organized crowd is jealous of its dignity and honor and is bent
upon keeping up appearances. Nothing is more fatal to it than a
successful assault upon its prestige. Every crowd, even the casual
street mob, clothes the egoistic desires of its members or participants
in terms of the loftiest moral motive. No crowd can afford to be laughed
at. Crowd men have little sense of humor, certainly none concerning
themselves and their crowd-ideas. Any laughter they indulge in is more
likely to be directed at those who do not believe with them. The
crowd-man resents any suspicion of irreverence or criticism of his
professions, because to question them is to weaken the claim of his
crowd upon the people, and to destroy in those professed ideals their
function of directing his own attention away from the successful
compromise of his unconscious conflicts which the crowd had enabled him
to make. The crowd would perish if it lost its "ideals." It clings to
its fixed ideas with the same tenacity as does the paranoiac. You can no
more reason with the former than you can with the latter, and for much
the same cause; the beliefs of both are not the fruit of inquiry,
neither do they perform the normal intellectual function of adjustment
to environment; they are mechanisms of the ego by which it keeps itself
in countenance.

Much of the activity of the unconscious ego is viewed by psychologists
as "compensation." Devices which serve the purpose of compensating the
ego for some loss, act of self-sacrifice, or failure, are commonly
revealed by both the normal and the unadjusted. The popular notion that
unsatisfied desires sooner or later perish of starvation is at best but
a half truth. These desires after we have ceased to attend them become
transformed. They frequently find satiety in some substitute which the
unconscious accepts as a symbol of its real object. Dreams of normal
people contain a great deal of material of this sort. So do day-dreams,
and art. Many religious beliefs also serve this purpose of compensation.
Jung follows Freud in pointing out as a classic example of the
compensation in dreams, that of Nebuchadnezzar, in the Bible.

    Nebuchadnezzar at the height of his power had a dream which
    foretold his downfall. He dreamed of a tree which had raised its
    head even up to Heaven and now must be hewn down. This was a
    dream which is obviously a counterpoise to the exaggerated
    feeling of royal power.

According to Jung, we may expect to find only those things contained in
the unconscious which we have not found in the conscious mind. Many
conscious virtues and traits of character are thus compensations for
their opposite in the unconscious.

    In the case of abnormal people, the individual entirely fails to
    recognize the compensating influences which arise in the
    unconscious. He even continues to accentuate his onesidedness;
    this is in accord with the well-known psychological fact that
    the worst enemy of the wolf is the wolfhound, the greatest
    despiser of the negro is the mulatto, and that the biggest
    fanatic is the convert; for I should be a fanatic were I to
    attack a thing outwardly which inwardly I am obliged to concede
    is right.

    The mentally unbalanced man tries to defend himself against his
    own unconscious--that is to say, he battles against his own
    compensating influences. In normal minds opposites of feeling
    and valuations lie closely associated; the law of this
    association is called "ambivalence," about which we shall see
    more later. In the abnormal, the pairs are torn asunder, the
    resulting division, or strife, leads to disaster, for the
    unconscious soon begins to intrude itself violently upon the
    conscious processes.

    An especially typical form of unconscious compensation ... is
    the paranoia of the alcoholic. The alcoholic loses his love for
    his wife; the unconscious compensation tries to lead him back
    again to his duty, but only partially succeeds, for it causes
    him to become jealous of his wife as if he still loved her. As
    we know, he may go so far as to kill both his wife and himself,
    merely out of jealousy. In other words, his love for his wife
    has not been entirely lost. It has simply become subliminal; but
    from the realm of consciousness it can now only reappear in the
    form of jealousy.... We see something of a similar nature in the
    case of the religious convert.... The new convert feels himself
    constrained to defend the faith he has adopted (since much of
    the old faith still survives in the unconscious associations) in
    a more or less fanatical way. It is exactly the same in the
    paranoiac who feels himself constantly constrained to defend
    himself against all external criticism, because his delusional
    system is too much threatened from within.

It is not necessary for us to enter here upon a discussion of the
processes by which these compensating devices are wrought out in the
psychoneurosis. It is significant, though, that Jung calls attention to
the likeness between religious fanaticism and paranoia. Now it is
obvious that the fanaticism of the religious convert differs
psychologically not at all from that of any other convert. We have
already noted the fact that most religious conversions are accomplished
by the crowd. Moreover the crowd everywhere tends to fanaticism. The
fanatic is the crowd-man pure and simple. He is the type which it ever
strives to produce. His excess of devotion, and willingness to sacrifice
both himself and everyone else for the crowd's cause, always wins the
admiration of his fellow crowd-members. He has given all for the crowd,
is wholly swallowed by it, is "determined not to know anything save" his
crowd and its propaganda. He is the martyr, the true believer, "the
red-blooded loyal American" with "my country right or wrong." He is the
uncompromising radical whose prison record puts to shame the less
enthusiastic members of his group. He is the militant pacifist, the
ever-watchful prohibitionist, and keeper of his neighbors' consciences,
the belligerent moral purist, who is scandalized even at the display of
lingerie in the store windows, the professional reformer who in every
community succeeds in making his goodness both indispensable and

One need not be a psychologist to suspect that the evil against which
the fanatic struggles is really in large measure in himself. He has
simply externalized, or "projected" the conflict in his own unconscious.
Persons who cry aloud with horror at every change in the style of
women's clothing are in most cases persons whose ego is gnawed by a
secret promiscuous eroticism. The scandalmonger, inhibited from doing
the forbidden thing, enjoys himself by a vicarious indulgence in
rottenness. The prohibition agitator, if not himself an alcoholic barely
snatched from the burning, is likely to be one who at least feels safer
in a democracy where it is not necessary to resist temptation while
passing a saloon door. Notice that the fanatic or crowd-man always
strives to universalize his own moral dilemmas. This is the device by
which every crowd seeks dominance in the earth. A crowd's virtues and
its vices are really made out of the same stuff. Each is simply the
other turned upside down, the compensation for the other. They are alike
and must be understood together as the expression of the type of person
who constitutes the membership of some particular group or crowd.

        I'll never use tobacco, it is a filthy weed
        I'll never put it in my mouth, said little Robert Reed.

But obviously, little Robert is already obsessed with a curious interest
in tobacco. His first word shows that he has already begun to think of
this weed in connection with himself. Should a crowd of persons
struggling with Robert's temptation succeed in dominating society,
tobacco would become taboo and thus would acquire a moral significance
which it does not have at present. So with all our crowd-ethics. The
forbidden thing protrudes itself upon consciousness as a negation. The
negation reveals what it is that is occupying the inner psyche, and is
its compensation. There are certain psychoneuroses in which this
negative form of compensation is very marked. Now it is a noteworthy
fact that with the crowd the ethical interest always takes this negative

The healthy moral will is characterized by a constant restating of the
problem of living in terms of richer and higher and more significant
dilemmas as new possibilities of personal worth are revealed by
experience. New and more daring valuations are constantly made. The
whole psychic functioning is enriched. Goodness means an increase of
satisfactions through a more adequate adjustment to the real--richer
experience, more subtle power of appreciation and command, a
self-mastery, sureness, and general personal excellence--which on
occasions great and small mark the good will as a reality which counts
in the sum total of things. Something is achieved because it is really
desired; existence is in so far humanized, a self has been realized. As
Professor Dewey says:

    If our study has shown anything it is that the moral _is_ a
    life, not something ready-made and complete once for all. It is
    instinct with movement and struggle, and it is precisely the
    new and serious situations which call out new vigor and lift it
    to higher levels.

It is not so with the crowd-ethic. It is interesting to note that from
the "Decalogue" to Kant's "Categorical Imperative," crowd-morals always
and everywhere take the form of prohibitions, taboos, and ready-made
standards, chiefly negative. Freud has made an analytical study of the
Taboo as found in primitive society and has shown that it has a
compensatory value similar to that of the taboos and compulsions of
certain neurotics.

The crowd admits of no personal superiority other than that which
consists in absolute conformity to its own negative standards. Except
for the valuations expressed by its own dilemmas, "one man is as good as
another"--an idea which it can be easily seen serves the purpose of
compensation. The goodness which consists of unique personal superiority
is very distasteful to the crowd. There must be only one standard of
behavior, alike for all. A categorical imperative. The standard as set
up is of the sort which is most congenial, possible of attainment, and
even necessary for the survival of the members of some particular crowd.
It is _their_ good, the converse and compensation of their own vices,
temptations, and failures. The crowd then demands that this good shall
be THE GOOD, that it become the universal standard. By such means even
the most incompetent and unadventurous and timid spirits may pass
judgment upon all men. They may cry to the great of the earth, "We have
piped unto you and you have not danced." Judged by the measure of their
conformity to the standards of the small, the great may be considered no
better, possibly not so good as the little spirits. The well are forced
to behave like the spiritually sick. The crowd is a dog in the manger.
If eating meat maketh my brother to be scandalized, or giveth him the
cramps, I shall remain a vegetarian so long as the world standeth.
Nietzsche was correct on this point. The crowd--he called it the
herd--is a weapon of revenge in the hands of the weaker brother. It is a
Procrustean bed on which every spiritual superiority may be lopped off
to the common measure, and every little ego consciousness may be
stretched to the stature of full manhood.



Probably the most telling point of likeness between the crowd-mind and
the psychoneurosis--paranoia especially--is the "delusion of
persecution." In cases of paranoia the notion that the patient is the
victim of all sorts of intrigue and persecution is so common as to be a
distinguishing symptom of this disease. Such delusions are known to be
defenses, or compensation mechanisms, growing out of the patient's
exaggerated feeling of self-importance. The delusion of grandeur and
that of being persecuted commonly go together. The reader will recall
the passage quoted from the pamphlet given me by a typical paranoiac.
The author of the document mentioned feels that he has a great mission,
that of exposing and reforming the conditions in hospitals for the
insane. He protests his innocence. In jail he feels like Christ among
his tormentors. His wife has conspired against him. The woman who owns
the hotel where he was employed wishes to put him out of the way. The
most fiendish methods are resorted to in order to end his life. "Some
one" blocked up the stovepipe, etc., etc.

Another illustration of a typical case is given by Doctor Brill. I quote
scattered passages from the published notes on the case record of the
patient, "E. R."

    He graduated in 1898 and then took up schoolteaching.... He did
    not seem to get along well with his principal and other
    teachers.... He imagined that the principal and other teachers
    were trying to work up a "badger game" on him, to the effect
    that he had some immoral relations with his girl pupils....

    In 1903 he married, after a brief courtship, and soon thereafter
    took a strong dislike to his brother-in-law and sister and
    accused them of immorality.... He also accused his wife of
    illicit relations with his brother and his brother-in-law, Mr. S.

    Mr. S., his brother-in-law, was the arch conspirator against
    him. He also (while in the hospital) imagined that some women
    made signs to him and were in the hospital for the purpose of
    liberating him. Whenever he heard anybody talking he immediately
    referred it to himself. He interpreted every movement and
    expression as having some special meaning for himself....

    Now and then (after his first release by order of the court) he
    would send mysterious letters to different persons in New York
    City. At that time one of his delusions was that he was a great
    statesman and that the United States government had appointed
    him ambassador (to Canada), but that the "gang" in New York City
    had some one without ability to impersonate him so that he lost
    his appointment. (Later, while confined to the hospital again)
    he thought that the daughter of the President of the United
    States came to visit him....

    After the patient was recommitted to Bellevue Hospital, he told
    me that I (Doctor Brill) was one of the "gang." I was no longer
    his wife in disguise (as he has previously imagined) but his

Brill's discussion of this case contains an interesting analysis of the
several stages of "regression" and the unconscious mechanisms which
characterize paranoia. He holds that such cases show a "fixation" in an
earlier stage of psychosexual development. The patient, an unconscious
homosexual, is really in love with himself. The resulting inner conflict
appears, with its defense formations, as the delusion of grandeur and as
conscious hatred for the person or persons who happen to be the object
of the patient's homosexual wish fancy. However this may be, the point
of interest for our study is the "projection" of this hatred to others.
Says Brill:

    The sentence, "I rather hate him" becomes transformed through
    projection into the sentence, "he hates (persecutes) me, which
    justifies my hating him."

The paranoiac's delusional system inevitably brings him in conflict with
his environment, but his feeling of being persecuted is less the result
of this conflict with an external situation than of his own inner
conflict. He convinces himself that it is the other, or others, not he,
who is the author of this hatred. He is the innocent victim of their

This phenomenon of "projection and displacement" has received
considerable attention in analytical psychology. Freud, in the book,
_Totem and Taboo_, shows the role which projection plays in the
primitive man's fear of demons. The demons are of course the spirits of
the dead. But how comes it that primitive people fear these spirits, and
attribute to them every sort of evil design against the living? To quote

    When a wife loses her husband, or a daughter her mother, it not
    infrequently happens that the survivor is afflicted with
    tormenting scruples, called "obsessive reproaches," which raise
    the question whether she herself has not been guilty, through
    carelessness or neglect, of the death of the beloved person. No
    recalling of the care with which she nursed the invalid, or
    direct refutation of the asserted guilt, can put an end to the
    torture, which is the pathological expression of mourning and
    which in time slowly subsides. Psychoanalytic investigation of
    such cases has made us acquainted with the secret mainspring of
    this affliction. We have ascertained that these obsessive
    reproaches are in a certain sense justified.... Not that the
    mourner has really been guilty of the death or that she has
    really been careless, as the obsessive reproach asserts; but
    still there was something in her, a wish of which she was
    unaware, which was not displeased with the fact that death came,
    and which would have brought it about sooner had it been strong
    enough. The reproach now reacts against this unconscious wish
    after the death of the beloved person. Such hostility, hidden in
    the unconscious behind tender love, exists in almost all cases
    of intensive emotional allegiance to a particular person;
    indeed, it represents the classic case, the prototype of the
    ambivalence of human emotions....

    By assuming a similar high degree of ambivalence in the
    emotional life of primitive races such as psychoanalysis
    ascribes to persons suffering from compulsion neurosis, it
    becomes comprehensible that the same kind of reaction against
    the hostility latent in the unconscious behind the obsessive
    reproaches of the neurotic should also be necessary here after
    the painful loss has occurred. But this hostility, which is
    painfully felt in the unconscious in the form of satisfaction
    with the demise, experiences a different fate in the case of
    primitive man: the defense against it is accomplished by a
    displacement upon the object of hostility--namely, the dead. We
    call this defense process, frequent in both normal and diseased
    psychic life, a "projection."... Thus we find that taboo has
    grown out of the soil of an ambivalent emotional attitude. The
    taboo of the dead also originates from the opposition between
    conscious grief and the unconscious satisfaction at death. If
    this is the origin of the resentment of spirits, it is
    self-evident that the nearest and formerly most beloved
    survivors have to feel it most. As in neurotic symptoms, the
    taboo regulations evince opposite feelings. Their restrictive
    character expresses mourning, while they also betray very
    clearly what they are trying to conceal--namely, the hostility
    toward the dead which is now motivated as self-defense....

    The double feeling--tenderness and hostility--against the
    deceased, which we consider well-founded, endeavors to assert
    itself at the time of bereavement as mourning and satisfaction.
    A conflict must ensue between these contrary feelings, and as
    one of them--namely, the hostility, is altogether, or for the
    greater part, unconscious, the conflict cannot result in a
    conscious difference in the form of hostility or tenderness, as,
    for instance, when we forgive an injury inflicted upon us by
    some one we love. The process usually adjusts itself through a
    special psychic mechanism which is designated in psychoanalysis
    as "projection." This unknown hostility, of which we are
    ignorant and of which we do not wish to know, is projected from
    our inner perception into the outer world and is thereby
    detached from our own person and attributed to another. Not we,
    the survivors, rejoice because we are rid of the deceased, on
    the contrary we mourn for him; but now, curiously enough, he has
    become an evil demon who would rejoice in our misfortune and who
    seeks our death. The survivors must now defend themselves
    against this evil enemy; they are freed from inner oppression,
    but they have only succeeded in exchanging it for an affliction
    from without.

Totem, taboo, demon worship, etc., are clearly primitive
crowd-phenomena. Freud's main argument in this book consists in showing
the likeness between these phenomena and the compulsion neurosis. The
projection of unconscious hostility upon demons is by no means the only
sort of which crowds both primitive and modern are capable. Neither must
the hostility always be unconscious. Projection is a common device
whereby even normal and isolated individuals justify themselves in
hating. Most of us love to think evil of our enemies and opponents. Just
as two fighting schoolboys will each declare that the other "began it,"
so our dislike of people often first appears to our consciousness as a
conviction that they dislike or entertain unfriendly designs upon us.
There is a common type of female neurotic whose repressed erotic wishes
appear in the form of repeated accusations that various of her men
acquaintances are guilty of making improper advances to her. When the
"white slavery" reform movement swept over the country--an awakening of
the public conscience which would have accomplished a more unmixed good
if it had not been taken up in the usual crowd-spirit--it was
interesting to watch the newspapers and sensational propagandist
speakers as they deliberately encouraged these pathological phenomena in
young people. The close psychological relation between the neurosis and
the crowd-mind is shown by the fact that the two so frequently appear at
the same moment, play so easily into each other's hands, and are
apparently reactions to the very same social situation.

In Brill's example of paranoia, it will be remembered that the patient's
delusions of persecution took the form of such statements as that the
"gang" had intrigued at Washington to prevent his appointment as
ambassador, that certain of his relatives were in a "conspiracy against
him." How commonly such phrases and ideas occur in crowd-oratory and in
the crowd-newspaper is well known to all. We have already seen that the
crowd in most cases identifies itself with "the people," "humanity,"
"society," etc. Listen to the crowd-orator and you will also learn that
there are all sorts of abominable "conspiracies" against "the people."
"The nation is full of traitors." The Church is being "undermined by
cunning heretics." "The Bolshevists are in secret league with the
Germans to destroy civilization." "Socialists are planning to corrupt
the morals of our youth and undermine the sacredness of the home." "The
politicians' gang intends to loot the community." "Wall Street is
conspiring to rob the people of their liberties." "England plans to
reduce America to a British colony again." "Japan is getting ready to
make war on us." "German merchants are conducting a secret propaganda
intending to steal our trade and pauperize our nation." "The Catholics
are about to seize power and deliver us over to another Inquisition."
"The liquor interests want only to make drunkards of our sons and
prostitutes of our daughters." And so on and so forth, wherever any
crowd can get a hearing for its propaganda. Always the public welfare is
at stake; society is threatened. The "wrongs" inflicted upon an innocent
humanity are rehearsed. Bandages are taken off every social wound.
Every scar, be it as old as Cromwell's mistreatment of Ireland, is
inflamed. "The people are being deceived," "kept down," "betrayed." They
must rise and throw off their exploiters, or they must purge the nation
of disloyalty and "anarchy."

It cannot be denied that our present social order is characterized by
deep and fundamental social injustices, nor that bitter struggles
between the various groups in society are inevitable. But the crowd
forever ignores its own share in the responsibility for human ills, and
each crowd persists in making a caricature of its enemies, real and
imagined, nourishing itself in a delusion of persecution which is like
nothing so much as the characteristic obsessions of the paranoiac. This
suspiciousness, this habit of misrepresentation and exaggeration of
every conceivable wrong, is not only a great hindrance to the
conflicting groups in adjusting their differences, it makes impossible,
by misrepresenting the real issue at stake, any effective struggle for
ideals. As the history of all crowd movements bears witness, the real
source of conflict is forgotten, the issue becomes confused with the
spectacular, the unimportant, and imaginary. Energy is wasted on side
issues, and the settlement finally reached, even by a clearly victorious
crowd, is seldom that of the original matter in dispute. In fact, it is
not at all the function of these crowd-ideas of self-pity and
persecution to deal with real external situations. These ideas are
propaganda. Their function is to keep the crowd together, to make
converts, to serve as a defense for the egoism of the crowd-man, to
justify the anticipated tyranny which it is the unconscious desire of
the individual to exercise in the moment of victory for his crowd, and,
as "they who are not for us are against us," to project the crowd-man's
hatred upon the intended victims of his crowd's will to universal
dominion. In other words, these propaganda ideas serve much the same end
as do the similar delusions of persecution in paranoia.

This likeness between the propaganda of the crowd and the delusions of
paranoia is illustrated daily in our newspapers. The following items cut
from the New York _Tribune_ are typical. The first needs no further
discussion, as it parallels the cases given above. The second is from
the published proceedings of "a committee," appointed, as I remember it,
by the assembly of the state of New York, to conduct an investigation
into certain alleged seditious and anarchist activities. These articles
well illustrate the character of the propaganda to which such a
committee almost inevitably lends itself. Whether the committee or the
newspapers were chiefly responsible for such fabrications, I do not
know, but the crowd character of much of the attempt to stamp out
Bolshevism is strikingly revealed in this instance. No doubt the members
of this committee, as well as the detectives and the press agents who
are associated with them, are as honestly convinced that a mysterious
gang of radicals is planning to murder us all as is the paranoiac W. H.
M. fixed in his delusion that his enemies are trying to asphyxiate him.
It will be remembered that Brill's patient "E. S." interpreted "every
movement and expression as having some special meaning for himself."
This kind of "interpretation" has a curious logic all its own. It is
what I would call "compulsive thinking," and is characteristic of both
the delusions of paranoia and the rumors of the crowd.

First clipping:


    W. H. M. declares rivals are attempting to asphyxiate him. W. H.
    M., an inventor, was declared mentally incompetent yesterday by
    a jury in the Sheriff's court.... Alienists said M. had
    hallucinations about enemies who he thinks are trying to
    asphyxiate him. He also imagines that he is under hypnotic
    influences and that persons are trying to affect his body with
    "electrical influences."

Second clipping:


    Several hundred men, formerly in United States Service, signify
    willingness to aid in project. A "Red Guard" composed of men who
    have served in the American military establishment is
    contemplated in the elaborate revolutionary plans of Bolshevik
    leaders here. This was learned yesterday when operatives of the
    Lusk committee discovered that the radicals were making every
    effort to enlist the aid of the Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines
    Protective Association in carrying out a plot to overthrow the
    government by force. As far as the detectives have been able to
    ascertain, the great mass of fighting men are not in sympathy
    with the Reds, but several hundred have signified their
    willingness to co-operate.

    Just how far the plans of the Reds have progressed was not
    revealed. It is known, however, that at a convention of the Left
    Wing Socialists in Buffalo the movement designed to enlist the
    support of the Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines Protective
    Association was launched. This convention was addressed by
    prominent Left Wingers from Boston, New York, Philadelphia,
    Pittsburgh, and Paterson. They asserted that trained military
    men must be obtained for the organization if the plans were to
    be successful.

    It was from this meeting, which was held in secret, that
    agitators were sent to various parts of the state to form
    soviets in the shops and factories. This phase of the radical
    activity, according to the investigators, has met with
    considerable success in some large factory districts where most
    of the workers are foreign-born. In some places the soviets in
    the shops have become so strong that the employers are alarmed
    and have notified the authorities of the menace. When sufficient
    evidence has been gathered, foreign-born agitators working to
    cause unrest in factories will be apprehended and recommended
    for deportation.

Later report:


    Alfred Levitt, secretary of the Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines
    Protective Association, yesterday emphatically denied that the
    organization was to be used as a "Red Guard" by the radicals
    when they started their contemplated revolution. He said he
    never had heard any of the members of the association discuss
    the formation of a "Red Guard" but admitted that many of them
    were radicals.

In the two instances given above, fear, suspicion, hatred, give rise in
one case to a delusional system in the mind of an isolated individual,
and in the other to the circulation of an unfounded rumor by men who in
their right minds would, to say the least, carefully scrutinize the
evidence for such a story before permitting it to be published. As
several months have passed since the publication of this story and
nothing more has appeared which would involve our returned service men
in any such treasonable conspiracy, I think it is safe to say that this
story, like many others circulated by radicals as well as by
reactionaries during the unsettled months following the war, has its
origin in the unconscious mechanisms of crowd-minded people. Every sort
of crowd is prone to give credence to rumors of this nature, and to
accuse all those who can not at once give uncritical acceptance to such
tales of sympathy with the enemy. Later we shall have something to say
about the delusional systems which appear to be common to the crowd-mind
and the paranoiac. In this connection I am interested in pointing out
only the psychological relation between what I might call the
"conspiracy delusion" and unconscious hatred. Commonly the former is the
"projection" of the latter.

One of the differences between these two forms of "projection" is the
fact that the hatred of the crowd is commonly less "rationalized" than
in paranoia--that is, less successfully disguised. Like the paranoiac,
every crowd is potentially if not actually homicidal in its tendencies.
But whereas with the paranoiac the murderous hostility remains for the
greater part an unconscious "wish fancy," and it is the mechanisms which
disguise it or serve as a defense against it which appear to
consciousness, with the crowd the murder-wish will itself appear to
consciousness whenever the unconscious can fabricate such defense
mechanisms as will provide it with a fiction of moral justification.
Consequently, it is this fiction of justification which the crowd-man
must defend.

The crowd's delusion of persecution, conspiracy, or oppression is thus a
defense mechanism of this nature. The projection of this hatred on those
outside the crowd serves not so much, as in paranoia, to shield the
subject from the consciousness of his own hatred, as to provide him with
a pretext for exercising it. Given such a pretext, most crowds will
display their homicidal tendencies quite openly.

Ordinary mobs or riots would seem to need very little justification of
this sort. But even these directly homicidal crowds invariably represent
themselves as motivated by moral idealism and righteous indignation.
Negroes are lynched in order to protect the white womanhood of the
South, also because, once accused, the negro happens to be helpless. If
the colored people were in the ascendancy and the whites helpless we
should doubtless see the reverse of this situation. A community
rationally convinced of the culprit's guilt could well afford to trust
the safety of womanhood to the justice meted out by the courts, but it
is obvious that these "moral" crowds are less interested in seeing that
justice is done than in running no risk of losing their victim, once he
is in their power. A recent development of this spirit is the lynching
in a Southern town of a juror who voted for the acquittal of a black man
accused of a crime.

It may be taken as a general law of crowd-psychology that the
"morality" of the crowd always demands a victim. Is it likely that one
of these mobs would "call off" an interesting lynching party if at the
last minute it were demonstrated that the accused was innocent? The
practice of lynching has been extended, from those cases where the
offense with which the accused is charged is so revolting as justly to
arouse extreme indignation, to offenses which are so trivial that they
merely serve as a pretext for torture and killing.

The homicidal tendencies of the crowd-mind always reveal themselves the
minute the crowd becomes sufficiently developed and powerful to relax
for the time being the usual social controls. Illustrations of this may
be seen in the rioting between the white and the colored
races--epidemics of killing--such as occurred recently in East St.
Louis, and in the cities of Washington, Chicago, and Omaha. The same
thing is evident in the "pogroms" of Russia and Poland, in the acts of
revolutionary mobs of Germany and Russia, in the promptness with which
the Turks took advantage of the situation created by the war to
slaughter the Armenians. This hatred is the specter which forever haunts
the conflict between labor and capital. It is what speedily transformed
the French Revolution from the dawn of an era of "Fraternity" to a day
of terror and intimidation. It is seen again in the curious interest
which the public always has in a sensational murder trial. It is evident
in the hostility, open or suppressed, with which any community regards
the strange, the foreign, the "outlandish"--an example of which is the
frequent bullying and insulting of immigrants in this country since the
war. Much of the "Americanization propaganda" which we have carried on
since the war unfortunately gave the typical crowd-man his opportunity.
One need only listen to the speeches or read the publications of certain
"patriotic" societies to learn why it was that the exhortation to our
foreign neighbors to be loyal did so much more harm than good.

The classic example of the killing crowd is, of course, a nation at war.
There are, to be sure, wars of national self-defense which are due to
political necessity rather than to crowd-thinking, but even in such
cases the phenomena of the crowd are likely to appear to the detriment
of the cause. At such times not only the army but the whole nation
becomes a homicidal crowd. The army, at least while the soldiers are in
service, probably shows the crowd-spirit in a less degree than does the
civilian population. The mental processes of an entire people are
transformed. Every interest--profit-seeking excepted--is subordinated
to the one passion to crush the enemy. The moment when war is declared
is usually hailed with tremendous popular enthusiasm and joy. There is a
general lifting of spirits. There is a sense of release, a nation-wide
exultation, a sigh of relief as we feel the deadening hand of social
control taken from our throats. The homicidal wish-fancy, which in peace
times and in less sovereign crowds exists only as an hypothesis, can now
become a reality. And though it is doubtful if more than one person in a
million can ever give a rational account of just what issue is really at
stake in any war, the conviction is practically unanimous that an
occasion has been found which justifies, even demands, the release of
all the repressed hostility in our natures. The fact that in war time
this crowd hostility may, under certain circumstances, really have
survival value and be both beneficial and necessary to the nation, is to
my mind not a justification of crowd-making. It is rather a revelation
of the need of a more competent leadership in world politics.

Unconsciously every national crowd, I mean the crowd-minded element in
the nation, carries a chip on its shoulder, and swaggers and challenges
its neighbors like a young town-bully on his way home from grammar
school. This swaggering, which is here the "compulsive manifestation" of
unconscious hostility characteristic of every crowd, appears to
consciousness as "national honor." To the consciousness of the
nation-crowd the quarrel for which it has been spoiling for a long time
always appears to have been "forced upon it." Some nations are much more
quarrelsome than others. I cannot believe that our conviction that
Imperial Germany was the aggressor in the great war is due merely to
patriotic conceit on our part. The difference between our national
spirit and that of Imperial Prussia is obvious, but the difference in
this respect, great as it is, is one of degree rather than of kind, and
is due largely to the fact that the political organization of Germany
permitted the Prussian patriots to hold the national mind in a permanent
crowd state to a degree which is even now hardly possible in this
republic. My point is that a nation becomes warlike to precisely the
extent that its people may be made to think and behave as a crowd. Once
a crowd, it is always "in the right" however aggressive and ruthless its
behavior; every act or proposal which is calculated to involve the
nation-crowd in a controversy, which gains some advantage over
neighboring peoples, or intensifies hatred once it is released, is
wildly applauded. Any dissent from the opinions of our particular party
or group is trampled down. He who fails at such a time to be a
crowd-man and our own sort of a crowd-man is a "slacker." Everyone's
patriotism is put under suspicion, political heresy-hunting is the rule,
any personal advantage which can be gained by denouncing as "enemy
sympathizers" rival persons or groups within the nation is sure to be
snatched up by some one. The crowd-mind, even in times of peace,
distorts patriotism so that it is little more than a compulsive
expression and justification of repressed hostility. In war the crowd
succeeds in giving rein to this hostility by first projecting it upon
the enemy.

Freud in his little book, _War and Death_, regards war as a temporary
"regression" in which primitive impulses which are repressed by
civilization, but not eradicated, find their escape. He argues that most
people live psychologically "beyond their means." Hence war could be
regarded, I suppose, as a sort of "spiritual liquidation." But if the
hostility which the war crowd permits to escape is simply a repressed
impulse to cruelty, we should be obliged to explain a large part of
crowd-behavior as "sadistic." This may be the case with crowds of a
certain type, lynching mobs, for instance. But as the homicidal
tendencies of paranoia are not commonly explained as sadism, I can see
no reason why those of the crowd should be. Sadism is a return to an
infantile sex perversion, and in its direct overt forms the resulting
conflicts are conscious and are between the subject and environment. It
is where a tendency unacceptable to consciousness is repressed--and
inadequately--that neurotic conflict ensues. This conflict being inner,
develops certain mechanisms for the defense of the ego-feeling which is
injured. The hatred of the paranoiac is really a defense for his own
injured self-feeling. As the crowd always shows an exaggerated
ego-feeling similar to the paranoiac's delusion of grandeur, and as in
cases of paranoia this inner conflict is always "projected" in the form
of delusions of persecution, may we not hold that the characteristic
hostility of the crowd is also in some way a device for protecting this
inflated self-appreciation from injury? The forms which this hatred
takes certainly have all the appearance of being "compulsive" ideas and

We have been discussing crowds in which hostility is present in the form
of overt destructive and homicidal acts or other unmistakable
expressions of hatred. But are there not also peaceable crowds, crowds
devoted to religious and moral propaganda, idealist crowds? Yes, all
crowds moralize, all crowds are also idealistic. But the moral
enthusiasm of the crowd always demands a victim. The idealist crowd also
always makes idols of its ideals and worships them with human
sacrifice. The peaceable crowd is only potentially homicidal. The
death-wish exists as a fancy only, or is expressed in symbols so as to
be more or less unrecognizable to ordinary consciousness. I believe that
_every crowd is_ "_against some one_." Almost any crowd will persecute
on occasion--if sufficiently powerful and directly challenged. The crowd
tends ever to carry its ideas to their deadly logical conclusion.

I have already referred to the crowd's interest in games and athletic
events as an innocent symbolization of conflict. How easy it is to
change this friendly rivalry into sudden riot--its real meaning--every
umpire of baseball and football games knows. As an illustration of my
point--namely, that the enthusiasm aroused by athletic contests is the
suppressed hostility of the crowd, I give the following. In this letter
to a New York newspaper, the writer, a loyal "fan," reveals the same
mentality that we find in the sectarian fanatic, or good party man,
whose "principles" have been challenged. The challenge seems in all such
cases to bring the hostility into consciousness as "righteous

    _To the Editor_:

    SIR,--The article under the caption "Giants' Chances for Flag to
    be Settled in Week," on the sporting page of the _Tribune_, is
    doubtless intended to be humorous.

    The section referring to the Cincinnati baseball public is
    somewhat overdrawn, to say the least, and does not leave a very
    favorable impression on the average Cincinnatian, such as
    myself. I have been a reader of your paper for some time, but if
    this sort of thing continues I shall feel very much like

        W. L. D.

The extremes to which partisan hatred and jealousy can lead even members
of the United States Senate, the intolerance and sectarian spirit which
frequently characterize crowds, the "bigotry" of reformist crowds, are
matters known to us all. Does anyone doubt that certain members of the
Society for the Prevention of Vice, or of the Prohibitionists, would
persecute if they had power? Have not pacifist mass meetings been known
to break up in a row? The Christian religion is fundamentally a religion
of love, but the Church has seldom been wholly free from the
crowd-spirit, and the Church crowd will persecute as quickly as any
other. In each period of its history when Christian believers have been
organized as dominant crowds the Church has resorted to the severest
forms of persecution. Popular religion always demands some kind of devil
to stand as the permanent object of the believer's hostility. Let an
editor, or lecturer, or clergyman anywhere attack some one, and he at
once gains following and popularity. Evangelists and political orators
are always able to "get" their crowd by resorting to abuse of some one.
Let any mass meeting become a crowd, and this note of hostility
inevitably appears.

Notice the inscriptions which commonly appear on the banners carried in
political or labor parades. On the day after the armistice was signed
with Germany, when the most joyous and spontaneous crowds I have ever
seen filled the streets of New York, I was greatly impressed with those
homemade banners. Though it was the occasion of the most significant and
hard-won victory in human history, there was hardly a reference to the
fact. Though it was the glad moment of peace for which all had longed, I
did not see ten banners bearing the word "Peace," even in the hands of
the element in the city who were known to be almost unpatriotically
pacifist. But within less than an hour I counted on Fifth Avenue more
than a hundred banners bearing the inscription, "To Hell with the

That the man chiefly responsible for the horrors of the war should be
the object of universal loathing is only to be expected, but the
significant fact is that of all the sentiments which swept into people's
minds on that occasion, this and this alone should have been immediately
seized upon when the crowd spirit began to appear. I doubt if at the
time there was a very clear sense of the enormity of Wilhelm's guilt in
the minds of those laughing people. The Kaiser was hardly more than a
symbol. The antagonist, whoever he be, was "fallen down to hell," our
own sense of triumph was magnified by the depth of his fall. Just so the
Hebrew Prophet cried "Babylon is fallen," so the early Christians
pictured Satan cast into the bottomless pit, so the Jacobins cried "_A
bas les Aristocrats_," our own Revolutionary crowds cried "Down with
George III," and the Union soldiers sang, "Hang Jeff Davis on a Sour
Apple Tree." I repeat that wherever the crowd-mind appears, it will
always be found to be "against" some one.

An interesting fact about the hostility of a crowd is its ability on
occasion to survive the loss of its object. It may reveal the phenomenon
which psychologists call "displacement." That is to say, another object
may be substituted for the original one without greatly changing the
quality of the feeling. A mob in the street, driven back from the object
of its attack, will loot a store or two before it disperses. Or, bent on
lynching a certain negro, it may even substitute an innocent man, if
robbed of its intended victim--as, for instance, the lynching of the
mayor of Omaha. Such facts would seem to show that these hostile acts
are really demanded by mechanisms within the psyche. Many symbolic acts
of the person afflicted with compulsion neurosis show this same _trait
of substitution_. If inhibited in the exercise of one mechanism of
escape, the repressed wish will substitute another. Also anyone
associated by the unconscious reasoning with the hated object, or anyone
who tries to defend him or prove him innocent, may suffer from this
crowd's hatred. Freud has analyzed this phenomenon in his study of
taboo. He who touches the tabooed object himself becomes taboo.

I have said that the hostility of the crowd is a sort of "defense
mechanism." That this is so in certain cases, I think can be easily
demonstrated. The following news item is an example of the manner in
which such hostility may serve as a "defense mechanism" compensating the
self-feeling for certain losses and serving to enhance the feeling of



    WASHINGTON, _July 23_.--A bitter partisan quarrel developed in
    the House today when Representative ----, of Minnesota, attacked
    Secretary Baker and the President for the government's policy
    toward conscientious objectors. The attack was the result of
    protests by the Marines Fathers' Association of Minneapolis,
    Minnesota, representing between 500 and 600 young marines now in
    France, all from the Minneapolis high schools and the University
    of Minnesota, and many in the famous 6th Regiment of Marines
    that took a big part in stopping the Germans at Chateau Thierry.

    Upon learning of the treatment accorded conscientious objectors
    in this country while their sons were dying in France, the
    association asked Representative ---- to fix the responsibility
    for the government's policy. Representative ---- fixed it today
    as that of Secretary Baker and President Wilson, charging that
    they extended the definition of those to be exempted from
    military service laid down by Congress in an act of May 17,

    "One variety of conscientious objector was not enough for Mr.
    Baker," declared Representative ----. "He had 57 kinds...."

    Representative ----, of Arizona, defended Secretary Baker,
    asserting that of 20,000 men who were certified as conscientious
    objectors, 16,000 ultimately went to war. The case of Sergt.
    Alvin C. York, the Tennessee hero, who had conscientious
    objections at first, but soon changed his mind, was cited in
    defense of the War Department's policy.

Let us pass over the obviously partisan element in this Congressional
debate--a crowd phenomenon in itself, by the way--and consider the
mental state of this Fathers' Association.

In spite of the fact that the treatment of those who refused military
service in this country was so much more severe than the manner with
which the British government is reported to have dealt with this class
of persons, that many people, including the Secretary of War, whose
loyalty except to partisan minds was above suspicion, sought in the name
of humanity to alleviate some of the conditions in our military prisons,
it was not severe enough to satisfy these "fathers." It is doubtful if
anything short of an _auto da fe_ would have met their approval. Now no
one believes that these simple farmers from the Northwest are such
sadists at heart that they enjoy cruelty for its own sake. I imagine
that the processes at work here are somewhat as follows:

The telltale phrase here is that these farmers' sons "were dying in
France." Patriotic motives rightly demanded that fathers yield their
sons to the hardship and danger of battle, and while the sacrifice was
made consciously, with willingness and even with pride in having done
their painful duty, it was not accomplished without struggle--the
unconscious resisted it. It could not be reconciled to so great a
demand. In other words, these fathers, and probably many of their sons
also, were unconsciously "conscientious objectors." Unconsciously they
longed to evade this painful duty, but these longings were put aside,
"repressed" as shameful and cowardly--that is, as unacceptable to
conscious self-feeling. It was necessary to defend the ego against
these longings. Compensation was demanded and found in the nation-wide
recognition of the value of this patriotic sacrifice. Expressions of
patriotic sentiment on the part of others, therefore, compensated the
individual and enhanced his self-feeling.

Successful refusal anywhere to recognize the duty which consciously
motivated this sacrifice strengthened the unconscious desire to evade
it. The unconscious reasoning was something like this: "If those men got
out of this thing, why should not we? Since we had to bear this loss,
they must also. We have suffered for duty's sake. By making them suffer
also, they will be forced to recognize this 'duty' with which we defend
ourselves against our sense of loss and desire to escape it." As a
witness to the values against which the ego of these fathers has to
struggle, the existence of the conscientious objector, in a less degree
of suffering than their own, is as intolerable as their own "shameful
and cowardly" unconscious longings. Hostility to the conscientious
objector is thus a "projection" of their own inner conflict. By becoming
a crowd, the members of this "Fathers' Association" make it mutually
possible to represent their hostility to conscientious objectors as
something highly patriotic. Secretary Baker's alleged leniency to these
hated persons is now not only an affront to these fathers, it is an
affront to the entire nation.

Another and somewhat different example of the function of hatred in the
service of the self-feeling is the following item, which throws some
light on the motives of the race riots in Washington. This is, of
course, a defense of but one of the crowds involved, but it is
interesting psychologically.


    Dr. W. F. B. DuBois, of 70 Fifth Avenue, editor of _The Crisis_,
    a magazine published in connection with the work of the National
    Association for the Advancement of the Colored People, yesterday
    attributed the race riots in Washington to the irritability of
    all people and the unsettling of many ideas caused by the war,
    to the influx of a large number of Southerners into Washington,
    and to the _presence in that city of many of the representatives
    of the educated, well-dressed class of negroes_ which white
    racial antagonists dislike.

    Washington policemen are notoriously unfriendly to the colored
    people, he added. Time and time again they stand by and witness
    a dispute between a white man and a negro, and when it is over
    and the negro has been beaten they arrest the negro, and not the
    white man who caused the trouble in the first place.

    The colored editor pointed out the similarity between the
    present riots in Washington and the Atlanta riots which occurred
    about twelve years ago. In both places, he said, white hoodlums
    began rioting and killing negroes. When the latter became
    aroused and began to retaliate, the authorities stepped in and
    the rioting stopped.

    Major J. E. Spingarn, acting treasurer of the National
    Association for the Advancement of the Colored People, said the
    _soldiers and sailors who have been taking part in the rioting
    in Washington resent the new attitude of self-respect which the
    negro has assumed because of the part he played in the war_.

    "The soldiers," he said, "instead of fighting the negroes
    because the latter think better of themselves for having fought
    in the war, should respect them for having proved themselves
    such good fighters." (The italics are mine.)

It is quite possible that in most communities where such race riots
occur certain members of the colored race are responsible to the extent
that they have made themselves conspicuously offensive to their white

But such individual cases, even where they exist, do not justify attacks
upon hundreds of innocent people. And it must be said that in general
the kind of people whose feelings of personal superiority can find no
other social support than the mere fact that they happen to belong to
the white race--and I think it will be found that the mobs who attack
negroes are uniformly made of people who belong to this
element--naturally find their self-feeling injured "if a nigger puts on
airs." Their fiction is challenged; to accept the challenge would force
upon the consciousness of such people a correct estimate of their own
worth. Such an idea is unacceptable to consciousness. The presumptuous
negroes who serve as such unpleasant reminders "must be put in their
proper place"--that is, so completely under the feet of the white
element in the community that the mere fact of being a white man may
serve as a defense mechanism for just those members of our noble race
who approach more closely to the social position of the colored element
in our midst.

As the moral standards of the community will not permit even this
element of the white race to play the hoodlum with self-approval, some
disguise or "displacement" for this motive must be found whereby the
acts to which it prompts may appear to the consciousness of their
perpetrators as justifiable. A misdeed is committed by a black man;
instantly this element of the white race becomes a crowd. The deed
provides the whites with just the pretext they want. They may now
justify themselves and one another in an assault on the whole colored
community. Here I believe we have the explanation of much that is called
"race prejudice." The hatred between the races, like all crowd-hatred,
is a "defense mechanism" designed to protect the ego in its conflict
with ideas unacceptable to consciousness.

The intensest hatred of the crowd is that directed toward the heretic,
the nonconformist, the "traitor." I have sometimes thought that to the
crowd-mind there is only one sin, heresy. Every sort of crowd,
political, religious, moral, has an ax ready for the person who in
renouncing its ideas and leaving it threatens to break it up. The bitter
partisan hatred of crowds is nothing compared to their hatred for the
renegade. To the crowd of true believers, the heretic or schismatic is
"worse than the infidel." The moral crowd will "bear with" the worst
_roué_ if only he strives to keep up appearances, has a guilty
conscience, asks forgiveness, and professes firm belief in the
conventions against which he offends; one may be forgiven his inability
to "live up to his principles" if only his professed principles are the
same as the crowd's. But let a Nietzsche, though his life be that of an
ascetic, openly challenge and repudiate the values of popular morality,
and his name is anathema.

As an example of the hatred of the political crowd for one who, having
once put his hand to the plow and turned back, henceforth is no longer
fit for the "kingdom," I quote the following from an ultraradical paper.
It is hard to believe that this passage was written by a man who, in his
right mind, is really intelligent and kind-hearted, but such is the

    AN EXPLANATION.--Owing to a failure of editorial supervision we
    published an advertisement of John Spargo's book on Bolshevism.
    We have returned the money we received for it, and canceled the
    contract for its future appearances. We do not pretend to
    protect our readers against patent-medicine swindlers,
    real-estate sharpers, canned goods prevaricators, ptomaine
    poisoners, fairy bond-sellers, picaroon nickel-pickers, subway
    ticket speculators, postage-stamp forgers, pie and pancake
    counterfeiters, plagiary burglars, lecherous pornographers, and
    pictorial back-porch climbers, plundering buccaneer blackmailers
    and defaulting matrimonial agents, journalistic poachers,
    foragers, pickpockets, thimbleriggers, lick-sauce publicity men,
    notoriety hunters, typographical body-snatchers, blackletter
    assassins, and promulgators of licentious meters in free verse.
    Against these natural phenomena we offer no guarantee to our
    readers, but we never intended to advertise John Spargo's book
    on Bolshevism.

Here again, it seems, the reason for hatred is "self-defense." One
important difference between the crowd-mind and the psychosis is the
fact that while the psychic mechanisms of the latter serve to disguise
the inadequately repressed wish, those of the crowd-mind permit the
escape of the repressed impulse by relaxing the force which demands the
repression--namely, the immediate social environment. This relaxation is
accomplished by a general fixation of attention which changes for those
who share it the moral significance of the social demand. The repressed
wish then appears to consciousness in a form which meets with the mutual
approval of the individuals so affected. Or, as I have said, the social
environment, instead of acting as a check upon the realization of the
wish-fancy, slips along in the same direction with it. Hence the will to
believe the same, so characteristic of every crowd. As soon as this
mutuality is broken the habitual criteria of the real again become
operative. Every individual who "comes to" weakens the hold of the
crowd-ideas upon all the others to just the extent that his word must be
taken into account. The crowd resorts to all sorts of devices to bind
its members together permanently in a common faith. It resists
disintegration as the worst conceivable evil. Disintegration means that
crowd-men must lose their pet fiction--which is to say, their "faith."
The whole system elaborated by the unconscious fails to function; its
value for compensation, defense, or justification vanishes as in waking
out of a dream.

Strong spirits can stand this disillusionment. They have the power to
create new, more workable ideals. They become capable of self-analysis.
They learn to be legislators of value and to revise their beliefs for
themselves. Their faiths become not refuges, but instruments for meeting
and mastering the facts of experience and giving them meaning. The
strong are capable of making their lives spiritual adventures in a real
world. The "truths" of such persons are not compulsive ideas, they are
working hypotheses which they are ready, as occasion may demand, to
verify at great personal risk, or to discard when proved false. Such
persons sustain themselves in their sense of personal worth less by
defense mechanisms than by the effort of will which they can make.

As William James said:

    If the searching of our heart and reins be the purpose of this
    human drama, then what is sought seems to be what effort we can
    make. He who can make none is but a shadow; he who can make much
    is a hero. The huge world that girdles us about puts all sorts
    of questions to us, and tests us in all sorts of ways. Some of
    the tests we meet by actions that are easy, and some of the
    questions we answer in articulately formulated words. But the
    deepest question that is ever asked admits of no reply but the
    dumb turning of the will and tightening of our heartstrings as
    we say, "Yes, I will even have it so!" When a dreadful object is
    presented, or when life as a whole turns up its dark abysses to
    our view, then the worthless ones among us lose their hold on
    the situation altogether, and either escape from its
    difficulties by averting their attention, or, if they cannot do
    that, collapse into yielding masses of plaintiveness and fear.
    The effort required for facing and consenting to such objects is
    beyond their power to make. But the heroic mind does
    differently. To it, too, the objects are sinister and dreadful,
    unwelcome, incompatible with wished-for things. But it can face
    them if necessary without losing its hold upon the rest of life.
    The world thus finds in the heroic man its worthy match and
    mate.... He can _stand_ this Universe.

Indeed the path for all who would make of living a reality rather than
an imitation leads along what James used to call "the perilous edge."
Every personal history that is a history, and not a mere fiction,
contains in it something unique, a fraction for which there is no common
denominator. It requires just that effort of attention to concrete
reality and the fact of self which in the crowd we always seek to escape
by diverting attention to congenial abstractions and ready-made
universals. We "find ourselves" only as we "get over" one after another
of our crowd-compulsions, until finally we are strong enough, as Ibsen
would say, "to stand alone."

Timid spirits seldom voluntarily succeed in getting closer to reality
than the "philosophy of '_as if_'" which characterizes the thinking both
of the crowd and the psychoneurosis. What indeed is the crowd but a
fiction of upholding ourselves by all leaning on one another, an "escape
from difficulties by averting attention," a spiritual safety-first or
"fool-proof" mechanism by which we bear up one another's collapsing
ego-consciousness lest it dash its foot against a stone?

The crowd-man can, when his fiction is challenged, save himself from
spiritual bankruptcy, preserve his defenses, keep his crowd from going
to pieces, only by a demur. Anyone who challenges the crowd's fictions
must be ruled out of court. He must not be permitted to speak. As a
witness to contrary values his testimony must be discounted. The worth
of his evidence must be discredited by belittling the disturbing
witness. "He is a bad man; the crowd must not listen to him." His
motives must be evil; he "is bought up"; he is an immoral character; he
tells lies; he is insincere or he "has not the courage to take a stand"
or "there is nothing new in what he says." Ibsen's "Enemy of the
People," illustrates this point very well. The crowd votes that Doctor
Stockman may not speak about the baths, the real point at issue. Indeed,
the mayor takes the floor and officially announces that the doctor's
statement that the water is bad is "unreliable and exaggerated." Then
the president of the Householder's Association makes an address accusing
the doctor of secretly "_aiming at revolution_." When finally Doctor
Stockman speaks and tells his fellow citizens the real meaning of their
conduct, and utters a few plain truths about "the compact majority," the
crowd saves its face, not by proving the doctor false, but by howling
him down, voting him an "enemy of the people," and throwing stones
through his windows.

A crowd is like an unsound banking institution. People are induced to
carry their deposits of faith in it, and so long as there is no unusual
withdrawing of accounts the insolvent condition may be covered up. Many
uneasy depositors would like to get their money out if they could do so
secretly, or without incurring the displeasure of the others. Meanwhile
all insist that the bank is perfectly safe and each does all he can to
compel the others to stay in. The thing they all most fear is that some
one will "start a run on the bank," force it to liquidate, and everyone
will lose. So the crowd functions in its way just so long as its members
may be cajoled into an appearance of continued confidence in its ideals
and values. The spiritual capital of each depends on the confidence of
the others. As a consequence they all spend most of their time exhorting
one another to be good crowd-men, fearing and hating no one so much as
the person who dares raise the question whether the crowd could really
meet its obligations.

The classic illustration of the manner in which the crowd is led to
discredit the witness to values contrary to its own, is the oration of
Mark Antony in Shakespeare's "Julius Cæsar." It is by this means alone
that Antony is able to turn the minds of the Roman citizens into the
crowd state. It will be remembered that the address of Brutus, just
before this, while not at all a bit of crowd-oratory, left a favorable
impression. The citizens are convinced that "This Cæsar was a tyrant."
When Antony goes up to speak, he thanks them "for Brutus' sake." They
say, "'Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus here." He can never make
them his crowd unless he can destroy Brutus' influence. This is
precisely what he proceeds gradually to do.

At first with great courtesy--"The noble Brutus hath told you Cæsar was
ambitious; if it were so it was a grievous fault ... for Brutus is an
honorable man, so are they all, all honorable men." This sentence is
repeated four times in the first section; Cæsar was a good faithful
friend to Antony, "But ... and Brutus is an honorable man." Again Cæsar
refused the crown, but "Brutus is an honorable man." Cæsar wept when the
poor cried, "sure, Brutus is an honorable man, I speak not to disprove
what he says" but "men have lost their reason" and "my heart is in the
coffin there with Cæsar." The citizens are sorry for the weeping Antony;
they listen more intently now. Again--"If I were disposed to stir your
hearts and minds to mutiny and rage"--but that would be to wrong Brutus
and Cassius, "Who you all know are honorable men"--this time said with
more marked irony. Rather than wrong such honorable men, Antony prefers
to "wrong the dead, to wrong myself--and you." That sentence sets Brutus
squarely in opposition to the speaker and his audience. Cæsar's will is
mentioned--if only the commons knew what was in it, but Antony will not
read it, "you are not wood, you are not stones, but men." The speaker
now resists their demand to hear the will, he ought not have mentioned
it. He fears he has, after all, wronged "the honorable men whose daggers
have stabbed Cæsar." The citizens have caught the note of irony now; the
honorable men are "traitors," "villains," "murderers."

From this point on the speaker's task is easy; they have become a crowd.
They think only of revenge, of killing everyone of the conspirators, and
burning the house of Brutus. Antony has even to remind them of the
existence of the will. The mischief is set afloat the moment Brutus is
successfully discredited.

The development of the thought in this oration is typical. Analysis of
almost any propagandist speech will reveal some, if not all, the steps
by which Brutus is made an object of hatred. _The crowd hates in order
that it may believe in itself._



Wherever conscious thinking is determined by unconscious mechanisms, and
all thinking is more or less so, it is dogmatic in character. Beliefs
which serve an unconscious purpose do not require the support of
evidence. They persist because they are demanded. This is a common
symptom of various forms of psychoneurosis. Ideas "haunt the mind" of
the patient; he cannot rid himself of them. He may know they are
foolish, but he is compelled to think them. In severe cases, he may hear
voices or experience other hallucinations which are symbolic of the
obsessive ideas. Or his psychic life may be so absorbed by his one fixed
idea that it degenerates into the ceaseless repetition of a gesture or a
phrase expressive of this idea.

In paranoia the fixed ideas are organized into a system. Brill says:

    I know a number of paranoiacs who went through a stormy period
    lasting for years, but who now live contentedly as if in another
    world. Such transformations of the world are common in paranoia.
    They do not care for anything, as nothing is real to them. They
    have withdrawn their sum of libido from the persons of their
    environment and the outer world. The end of the world is the
    projection of this internal catastrophe. Their subjective world
    came to an end since they withdrew their love from it. By a
    secondary rationalization, the patients then explain whatever
    obtrudes itself upon them as something intangible and fit it in
    with their own system. Thus one of my patients who considers
    himself a sort of Messiah denies the reality of his own parents
    by saying that they are only shadows made by his enemy, the
    devil, whom he has not yet wholly subdued. Another paranoiac in
    the Central Islip State Hospital, who represented himself as a
    second Christ, spends most of his time sewing out on cloth crude
    scenes containing many buildings, interspersed with pictures of
    the doctors. He explained all this very minutely as the _new
    world system_.... Thus the paranoiac builds up again with his
    delusions a new world in which he can live.... (Italics mine.)

    However, a withdrawal of libido is not an exclusive occurrence
    in paranoia, nor is its occurrence anywhere necessarily followed
    by disastrous consequences. Indeed, in normal life there is a
    constant withdrawal of libido from persons and objects without
    resulting in paranoia or other neuroses. It merely causes a
    special psychic mood. The withdrawal of the libido as such
    cannot therefore be considered as pathogenic of paranoia. It
    requires a special character to distinguish the paranoiac
    withdrawal of libido from other kinds of the same process. This
    is readily found when we follow the further utilization of the
    libido thus withdrawn. Normally, we immediately seek a
    substitute for the suspended attachment, and until one is found
    the libido floats freely in the psyche and causes tensions which
    influence our moods. In hysteria the freed sum of libido
    becomes transformed into bodily innervations of fear. Clinical
    indications teach us that in paranoia a special use is made of
    the libido which is withdrawn from its object ... the freed
    libido in paranoia is thrown back on the ego and serves to
    magnify it.

Note the fact that there is a necessary relation between the fixed ideal
system of the paranoiac and his withdrawal of interest in the outside
world. The system gains the function of reality for him in the same
measure that, loving not the world nor the things that are in the world,
he has rendered our common human world unreal. His love thrown back upon
himself causes him to create another world, a world of "pure reason," so
to speak, which is more congenial to him than the world of empirical
fact. In this system he takes refuge and finds peace at last. Now we see
the function, at least so far as paranoia is concerned, of the ideal
system. As Brill says, it is a curative process of a mind which has
suffered "regression" or turning back of its interest from the affairs
of ordinary men and women, to the attachments of an earlier stage in its
history. To use a philosophical term, the paranoiac is the Simon-pure
"solipsist." And as _a priori_ thinking tends, as Schiller has shown,
ever to solipsism, we see here the grain of truth in G. K. Chesterton's
witty comparison of rationalism and lunacy.

"Regression," or withdrawal of the libido, is present to some degree I
believe in all forms of the neurosis. But we are informed that a
withdrawal of the libido may, and frequently does, occur also in normal
people. Knowledge of the neurosis here, as elsewhere, serves to throw
light on certain thought processes of people who are considered normal.
Brill says that "normally we seek a substitute for the suspended
attachment." New interests and new affections in time take the places of
the objects from which the feelings have been torn. In analytical
psychology the process by which this is achieved is called a

Now the crowd is in a sense a "transference phenomenon." In the
temporary crowd or mob this transference is too transitory to be very
evident, though even here I believe there will generally be found a
certain _esprit de corps_. In permanent crowds there is often a marked
transference to the other members of the group. This is evident in the
joy of the new convert or the newly initiated, also in such terms of
affection as "comrade" and "brother." I doubt, however, if this
affection, so far as it is genuine among individuals of a certain crowd,
is very different from the good will and affection which may spring up
anywhere among individuals who are more or less closely associated, or
that it ever really extends beyond the small circle of personal friends
that everyone normally gains through his daily relations with others.

But to the crowd-mind this transference is supposed to extend to all the
members of the group; they are comrades and brothers not because we like
them and know them intimately, but because they are fellow members. In
other words, this transference, so far as it is a crowd phenomenon as
such, is not to other individuals, but to the idea of the crowd itself.
It is not enough for the good citizen to love his neighbors in so far as
he finds them lovable; he must love his country. To the churchman the
Church herself is an object of faith and adoration. One does not become
a humanitarian by being a good fellow; he must love "humanity"--which is
to say, the bare abstract idea of everybody. I remember once asking a
missionary who was on his way to China what it was that impelled him to
go so far in order to minister to suffering humanity. He answered, "It
is love." I asked again, "Do you really mean to say that you care so
much as that for Chinese, not one of whom you have ever seen?" He
answered, "Well, I--you see, I love them through Jesus Christ." So in a
sense it is with the crowd-man always; he _loves through the crowd_.

The crowd idealized as something sacred, as end in itself, as something
which it is an honor to belong to, is to some extent a disguised object
of our self-love. But the idea of the crowd disguises more than
self-love. Like most of the symbols through which the unconscious
functions, it can serve more than one purpose at a time. The idea of the
crowd also serves to disguise the parental image, and our own imaginary
identification or reunion with it. The nation is to the crowd-man the
"Fatherland," the "mother country," "Uncle Sam"--a figure which serves
to do more than personalize for cartoonists the initials U. S. Uncle Sam
is also the father-image thinly disguised. The Church is "the Mother,"
again the "Bride." Such religious symbols as "the Heavenly Father" and
the "Holy Mother" also have the value of standing for the parent image.
For a detailed discussion of these symbols, the reader is referred to
Jung's _Psychology of the Unconscious_.

In another connection I have referred to the fact that the crowd stands
to the member _in loco parentis_. Here I wish to point out the fact that
such a return to the parent image is commonly found in the
psychoneurosis and is what is meant by "regression." I have also dwelt
at some length on the fact that it is by securing a modification in the
immediate social environment, ideally or actually, that the crowd
permits the escape of the repressed wish. Such a modification in the
social at once sets the members of the crowd off as a "peculiar people."
Interest tends to withdraw from the social as a whole and center in the
group who have become a crowd. The Church is "in the world but not of
it." The nation is an end in itself, so is every crowd. Transference to
the idea of the crowd differs then from the normal substitutes which we
find for the object from which affection is withdrawn. It is itself a
kind of regression. In the psychoneurosis--in paranoia most clearly--the
patient's attempt to rationalize this shifting of interest gives rise to
the closed systems and ideal reconstructions of the world mentioned in
the passage quoted from Brill.

Does the crowd's thinking commonly show a like tendency to construct an
imaginary world of thought-forms and then take refuge in its ideal
system? As we saw at the beginning of our discussion, it does. The
focusing of general attention upon the abstract and universal is a
necessary step in the development of the crowd-mind.

The crowd does not think in order to solve problems. To the crowd-mind,
as such, there are no problems. It has closed its case beforehand. This
accounts for what Le Bon termed the "credulity" of the crowd. But the
crowd believes only what it wants to believe and nothing else. Anyone
who has been in the position of a public teacher knows how almost
universal is the habit of thinking in the manner of the crowd and how
difficult it is to get people to think for themselves. One frequently
hears it said that the people do not think, that they do not want to
know the truth.

Ibsen makes his Doctor Stockman say:

    What sort of truths are they that the majority usually supports?
    They are truths that are of such advanced age that they are
    beginning to break up.... These "majority truths" are like last
    year's cured meat--like rancid tainted ham; and they are the
    origin of the moral scurvy that is rampant in our
    communities.... The most dangerous enemy of truth and freedom
    among us is the compact majority, yes, the damned compact
    liberal majority ... the majority has might on its side
    unfortunately, but _right_ it has never.

It is not really because so many are ignorant, but because so few are
able to resist the appeal which the peculiar logic of crowd-thinking
makes to the unconscious, that the cheap, the tawdry, the half-true
almost exclusively gain popular acceptance. The average man is a
dogmatist. He thinks what he thinks others think he is thinking. He is
so used to propaganda that he can hardly think of any matter in other
terms. It is almost impossible to keep the consideration of any subject
of general interest above the dilemmas of partisan crowds. People will
wherever possible change the discussion of a mooted question into an
antiphonal chorus of howling mobs, each chanting its ritual as ultimate
truth, and hurling its shibboleths in the faces of the others. Pursuit
of truth with most people consists in repeating their creed. Nearly
every movement is immediately made into a cult. Theology supplants
religion in the churches. In popular ethics a dead formalism puts an end
to moral advance. Straight thinking on political subjects is
subordinated to partisan ends. Catch-phrases and magic formulas become
substituted for scientific information. Even the Socialists, who feel
that they are the intellectually elect--and I cite them here as an
example in no unfair spirit, but just because so many of them are really
well-informed and "advanced" in their thinking--have been unable to save
themselves from a doctrinaire economic orthodoxy of spirit which is
often more dogmatic and intolerant than that of the "religious folks" to
whose alleged "narrow-mindedness" every Socialist, even while repeating
his daily chapter from the Marxian Koran, feels himself superior.

The crowd-mind is everywhere idealistic, and absolutist. Its truths are
"given," made-in-advance. Though unconsciously its systems of logic are
created to enhance the self-feeling, they appear to consciousness as
highly impersonal and abstract. As in the intellectualist philosophies,
forms of thought are regarded as themselves objects of thought. Systems
of general ideas are imposed upon the minds of men apparently from
without. Universal acceptance is demanded. Thought becomes stereotyped.
What ought to be is confused with what is, the ideal becomes more real
than fact.

In the essays on "Pragmatism" William James showed that the rationalist
system, even that of the great philosopher, is in large measure
determined by the thinker's peculiar "temperament." Elsewhere he speaks
of the "Sentiment of Rationality." For a discussion of the various types
of philosophical rationalism, the reader is referred to the criticisms
by William James, F. C. S. Schiller, Dewey, and other Pragmatists. It is
sufficient for our purpose to note the fact that the rationalist type of
mind everywhere shows a tendency to assert the unreality of the world of
everyday experience, and to seek comfort and security in the
contemplation of a logically ordered system or world of "pure reason."
Ideals, not concrete things, are the true realities. The world with
which we are always wrestling is but a distorted manifestation, a
jumbled, stereotyped copy of what James ironically referred to as "the
de luxe edition which exists in the Absolute." The parable of the cave
which Plato gives in the _Republic_ represents ordinary knowledge as a
delusion, and the empirically known world as but dancing shadows on the
wall of our subterranean prison.

R. W. Livingstone, who sees in Platonism, from the very beginning, a
certain world-weariness and turning away of the Greek spirit from the
healthy realism which had formerly characterized it, says:

    For if Greece showed men how to trust their own nature and lead
    a simply human life, how to look straight in the face of the
    world and read the beauty that met them on the surface, certain
    Greek writers preached a different lesson from this. In
    opposition to directness they taught us to look past the
    "unimaginary and actual" qualities of things to secondary
    meanings and inner symbolism. In opposition to liberty and
    humanism they taught us to mistrust our nature, to see in it
    weakness, helplessness, and incurable taint, to pass beyond
    humanity to communion with God, to live less for this world than
    for one to come.... Perhaps to some people it may seem
    surprising that this writer is Plato.

According to this view reality may be found only by means of "pure
knowledge," and, to give a familiar quotation from the Phædo:

    If we would have pure knowledge of anything we must be quit of
    the body; the soul in herself must behold things in themselves;
    and then we shall attain the wisdom which we desire and of which
    we say that we are lovers; not while we live, but after death;
    for if, while in company with the body, the soul cannot have
    pure knowledge, one of two things follows--either knowledge is
    not to be obtained at all, or if at all after death.

Intellectualism may not always be so clearly other-worldly as Plato
shows himself to be in this passage. But it commonly argues that behind
the visible world of "illusory sense experience" lies the true ground
and cause--an unseen order in which the contradictions of experience are
either unknown or harmonized, an external and unchangeable "Substance,"
a self-contained Absolute to which our ephemeral personalities with
their imperfections and problems are unknown. A "thing in itself," or
principle of Being which transcends our experience.

This type of thinking, whether it be known as Idealism, Rationalism,
Intellectualism, or Absolutism, finds little sympathy from those who
approach the study of philosophy from the standpoint of psychology. The
following passages taken from _Studies in Humanism_ by Schiller, show
that even without the technique of the analytical method, it was not
hard to detect some of the motives which prompted the construction of
systems of this sort. The partisanism of one of these motives is rather
suggestive for our study of the mind of the crowd. Says our author:

    Logical defects rarely kill beliefs to which men, for
    psychological reasons, remain attached.... This may suggest to
    us that we may have perhaps unwittingly misunderstood
    Absolutism, and done it a grave injustice.... What if its real
    appeal was not logical but psychological?...

    The history of English Absolutism distinctly bears out these
    anticipations. It was originally a deliberate importation from
    Germany, with a purpose. And this purpose was a religious
    one--that of counteracting the antireligious developments of
    Science. The indigenous philosophy, the old British empiricism,
    was useless for this purpose. For though a form of
    intellectualism, its sensationalism was in no wise hostile to
    Science. On the contrary, it showed every desire to ally itself
    with, and to promote, the great scientific movement of the
    nineteenth century, which penetrated into and almost overwhelmed
    Oxford between 1859 and 1870.

    But this movement excited natural and not unwarranted alarm in
    that great center of theology. For Science, flushed with its
    hard-won liberty, ignorant of philosophy, and as yet unconscious
    of its proper limitations, was decidedly aggressive and
    overconfident. It seemed naturalistic, nay, materialistic, by
    the law of its being. The logic of Mill, the philosophy of
    Evolution, the faith in democracy, in freedom, in progress (on
    material lines), threatened to carry all before them.

    What was to be done? Nothing directly; for on its own ground
    Science seemed invulnerable, and had the knack of crushing the
    subtlest dialectics by the knockdown force of sheer scientific
    fact. But might it not be possible to change the venue, to
    shift the battleground to a region _ubi instabilis terra unda_
    (where the land afforded no firm footing), where the frozen sea
    could not be navigated, where the very air was thick with mists
    so that phantoms might well pass for realities--the realm, in
    short, of metaphysics?...

    So it was rarely necessary to do more than recite the august
    table of _a priori_ categories in order to make the most
    audacious scientist feel that he had got out of his depth; while
    at the merest mention of the Hegelian dialectic all the
    "advanced thinkers" of the time would flee affrighted.

Schiller's sense of humor doubtless leads him to exaggerate somewhat the
deliberateness of this importation of German metaphysics. That these
borrowed transcendental and dialectical systems served their purpose in
the warfare of traditional theologies against Science is but half the
truth. The other half is that these logical formulas provided certain
intelligent believers with a defense, or safe refuge, in their own inner

That this is the case, Schiller evidently has little doubt. After
discussing Absolutism itself as a sort of religion, and showing that its
"catch-words" taken at their face value are not only emotionally barren,
but also logically meaningless because "inapplicable to our actual
experience," he then proceeds to an examination of the unconscious
motives which determine this sort of thinking. His description of these
motives, so far as it goes, is an excellent little bit of analytical
psychology. He says:

    How then can Absolutism possibly be a religion? It must appeal
    to psychological motives of a different sort, rare enough to
    account for its total divergence from the ordinary religious
    feelings and compelling enough to account for the fanaticism
    with which it is held and the persistence with which the same
    old round of negations has been reiterated through the ages. Of
    such psychological motives we shall indicate the more important
    and reputable.

    (1) It is decidedly flattering to one's spiritual pride to feel
    oneself a "part" or "manifestation" or "vehicle" or
    "reproduction" of the Absolute Mind, and to some this feeling
    affords so much strength and comfort and such exquisite delight
    that they refrain from inquiring what these phrases mean.... It
    is, moreover, the strength of this feeling which explains the
    blindness of Absolutists toward the logical defects of their own

    (2) There is a strange delight in wide generalization merely as
    such, which, when pursued without reference to the ends which it
    subserves, and without regard to its actual functioning, often
    results in a sort of logical vertigo. This probably has much to
    do with the peculiar "craving for unity" which is held to be the
    distinctive affliction of philosophers. At any rate, the thought
    of an all-embracing One or Whole seems to be regarded as
    valuable and elevating quite apart from any definite function it
    performs in knowing, or light it throws on any actual problem.

    (3) The thought of an Absolute Unity is cherished as a guarantee
    of cosmic stability. In face of the restless vicissitudes of
    phenomena it seems to secure us against falling out of the
    Universe. It assures us _a_ _priori_--and that is its supreme
    value--that the cosmic order cannot fall to pieces and leave us
    dazed and confounded among the debris.... We want to have an
    absolute assurance _a priori_ concerning the future, and the
    thought of the absolute seems designed to give it. It is
    probably this last notion that, consciously or unconsciously,
    weighs most in the psychology of the Absolutists' creed.

In this connection the reader will recall the passage quoted from
Adler's _The Neurotic Constitution_, in which it was shown that the
fictitious "guiding-lines" or rational systems of both the neurotic and
normal are motivated by this craving for security. But it makes all the
difference in the world whether the system of ideas is used, as in
science and common sense, to solve real problems in an objective world,
or is created to be an artificial and imaginary defense of the ego
against a subjective feeling of insecurity; whether, in a word, the
craving for security moves one to do something calculated to render the
forces with which he must deal concretely more congenial and hospitable
to his will, or makes him content to withdraw and file a demur to the
challenge of the environment in the form of theoretical denial of the
reality of the situation.

There is no denying the fact that Absolute Idealism, if not taken too
seriously, may have the function for some people of steadying their
nerves in the battle of life. And though, as I believe, logically
untenable, it not infrequently serves as a rationalization of
faith-values which work out beneficially, and, quite apart from their
metaphysical trappings, may be even indispensable. Yet when carried to
its logical conclusions such thinking inevitably distorts the meaning of
personal living, robs our world and our acts of their feeling of
reality, serves as an instrument for "regression" or withdrawal of
interest from the real tasks and objects of living men and women, and in
fact functions for much the same purpose, if not precisely in the same
way, as do the ideal systems of the psychopath.

In justice to idealism it should be added that this is by no means the
only species of Rationalism which may lead to such psychic results.
There are various paths by which the craving for artificial security may
lead to such attempts to reduce the whole of possible experience to
logical unity that the realities of time and change and of individual
experience are denied. How many deterministic theories, with all their
scientific jargon, are really motivated by an inability to accept a
world with an element of chance in it. There is a sense in which all
science by subsuming like individuals in a common class, and thus
ignoring their individuality, in so far as they are alike in certain
respects, gains added power over all of them. There is a sense, too, in
which science, by discovering that whenever a given combination of
elements occurs, a definitely foreseen result will follow, is justified
in ignoring time and treating certain futures as if they were already
tucked up the sleeves of the present. It should be remembered that this
sort of determinism is purely methodological, and is, like all thinking,
done for a purpose--that of effecting desirable ends in a world made up
of concrete situations.

When this purpose becomes supplanted by a passion to discount all future
change in general--when one imagines that he has a formula which enables
him to write the equation of the curve of the universe, science has
degenerated into scientificism, or head-in-the-sand philosophy. The
magic formula has precisely the same psychic value as the "absolute." I
know a number of economic determinists, for instance, who just cannot
get out of their heads the notion that social evolution is a process
absolutely underwritten, guaranteed, and predictable, without the least
possible doubt. In such a philosophy of history as this the individual
is of course a mere "product of his environment," and his role as a
creator of value is nil. On this "materialistic" theory, the individual
is as truly a mere manifestation of impersonal evolutionary forces as he
is, according to orthodox Platonism, a mere manifestation of the
abstract idea of his species. Notwithstanding the professed
impersonalism of this view, its value for consolation in minimizing the
causes of the spiritual difference in men--that is, its function for
enhancing the self-feeling of some people, is obvious. That such an idea
should become a crowd-idea is not to be wondered at. And this leads me
to my point. _It is no mere accident that the crowd takes to
rationalistic philosophies like a duck to water._

The crowd-man, however unsophisticated he may be, is a Platonist at
heart. He may never have heard the word epistemology, but his theory of
knowledge is essentially the same as Plato's. Religious crowds are, to
one familiar with the Dialogues, astonishingly Platonic. There is the
same habit of giving ontological rather than functional value to general
ideas, the same other-worldliness, the same moral dilemmas, the same
contempt for the material, for the human body, for selfhood; the same
assertion of finality, and the conformist spirit.

Reformist crowds differ only superficially from religious crowds.
Patriotic crowds make use of a different terminology, but their mental
habits are the same. It has become a cult among crowds with tendencies
toward social revolution to paint their faces with the colors of a
borrowed nineteenth-century materialism. But all this is mere swagger
and "frightfulness," an attempt to make themselves look terrible and
frighten the bourgeois. I am sure that no one who has seen all this
radical rigmarole, as I have had occasion to see it, can be deceived by
it. These dreadful materialist doctrines of the radical crowd are wooden
guns, no thicker than the soap-box. As a matter of fact, the radical
crowds are extremely idealistic. With all their talk of proletarian
opposition to intellectualism, Socialists never become a crowd without
becoming as intellectualist as Fichte or Hegel. There is a sense in
which Marx himself never succeeded in escaping Hegel's dilemmas, he only
followed the fashion in those days of turning them upside down.

With radical crowds as with conservative, there is the same substitution
of a closed system of ideas for the shifting phenomena of our empirical
world; the same worship of abstract forms of thought, the same
uncompromising spirit and insistence upon general uniformity of
opinions; the same orthodoxy. All orthodoxy is nothing other than the
will of the crowd to keep itself together. With all kinds of crowds,
also, there is the same diverting of attention from the personal and the
concrete to the impersonal and the general; the same flight from reality
to the transcendental for escape, for consolation, for defense, for
vindication; the same fiction that existence is at bottom a sort of
logical proposition, a magic formula or principle of Being to be
correctly copied and learned by rote; the same attempt to create the
world or find reality by thinking rather than by acting.

The intellectualist bias of the average man is doubtless due in great
part to the fact that theology, and therefore the religious education of
the young, both Christian and Jewish, has throughout the history of
these religions been saturated with Platonism. But then, the universal
sway of this philosopher may be explained by the fact that there is
something in his abstractionism which is congenial to the creed-making
propensities of the crowd-mind. The great _a priori_ thinkers, Plato,
St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Anselm, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Green,
etc., have often been called solitary men, but it is significant that
their doctrines survive in popularized form in the creeds and
shibboleths of permanent crowds of all descriptions. While humanists,
nominalists, empiricists, realists, pragmatists, men like Protagoras,
Epicurus, Abelard, Bacon, Locke, Hume, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Bergson,
James, have always had a hard time of it. They are considered
destructive, for the reason that the tendency of their teaching is to
disintegrate the crowd-mind and call one back to himself. Their names
are seldom mentioned in popular assemblies except to discredit them.
Yet it is on the whole these latter thinkers who orient us in our real
world, make us courageously face the facts with which we have to deal,
stimulate our wills, force us to use our ideas for what they
are--instruments for better living,--inspire us to finer and more
correct valuations of things, and point out the way to freedom for those
who dare walk in it.

All this, however, is the very thing that the crowd-mind is running
headlong away from. As a crowd we do not wish to think empirically. Why
should we seek piecemeal goods by tedious and dangerous effort, when we
have only to do a little trick of attention, and behold The Good,
abstract, perfect, universal, waiting just around the corner in the
realm of pure reason, ready to swallow up and demolish all evil? Are we
not even now in possession of Love, Justice, Beauty, and Truth by the
sheer magic of thinking of them in the abstract, calling them
"principles" and writing the words with the initial letters in capitals?
The very mental processes by which a group of people becomes a crowd
change such abstract nouns from mere class names into copies of
supermundane realities.

In wholesome thinking principles are of course necessary. They are what
I might call "leading ideas." Their function is to lead to more
satisfactory thinking--that is, to other ideas which are desired. Or
they are useful in leading us to actions the results of which are
intended and wished for. They may also be principles of valuation
guiding us in the choice of ends. If there were no substantial agreement
among us concerning certain principles we could not relate our conduct
to one another at all; social life would be impossible. But necessary as
such leading ideas are, they are means rather than ends. Circumstances
may demand that we alter them or make exceptions to their application.

To the crowd-mind a principle appears as an end in itself. It must be
vindicated at all costs. To offend against it in one point is to be
guilty of breaking the whole law. Crowds are always uncompromising about
their principles. They must apply to all alike. Crowds are no respecters
of persons.

As crowd-men we never appear without some set of principles or some
cause over our heads. Crowds crawl under their principles like worms
under stones. They cover up the wrigglings of the unconscious, and
protect it from attack. Every crowd uses its principles as universal
demands. In this way it gets unction upon other crowds, puts them in the
wrong, makes them give assent to the crowd's real purpose by challenging
them to deny the righteousness of the professed justifications of that
purpose. It is said that the Sioux Indians, some years ago, used to put
their women and children in front of their firing line. The braves could
then crouch behind these innocent ones and shoot at white men, knowing
that it would be a violation of the principles of humanity for the white
soldiers to shoot back and risk killing women and children. Crowds
frequently make just such use of their principles. About each crowd,
like the circle of fire which the gods placed about the sleeping
Brunhilde, there is a flaming hedge of logical abstractions, sanctions,
taboos, which none but the intellectually courageous few dare cross. In
this way the slumbering critical faculties of the crowd-mind are
protected against the intrusion of realities from outside the cult. The
intellectual curiosity of the members of the group is kept within proper
bounds. Hostile persons or groups dare not resist us, for in so doing
they make themselves enemies of Truth, of Morality, of Liberty, etc.
Both political parties, by a common impulse, "drape themselves in the
Flag." It is an interesting fact that the most antagonistic crowds
profess much the same set of principles. The "secondary rationalization"
of crowds, both Northern and Southern, at the time of the Civil War,
made use of our traditional principles of American Liberty, and
Christian Morality. We have seen both pacifist and militarist crowds
setting forth their manifestoes in terms of New Testament teaching. Each
religious sect exists only to teach "the one system of doctrine
logically deduced from Scripture."

As an illustration of this sort of reasoning, I give here a few passages
from a propagandist publication in which the crowd-will to dominate
takes the typical American method of striving to force its cult ideas
upon the community as a whole by means of restrictive moralist
legislation--in this case attempt is made to prohibit the exhibition of
motion pictures on Sunday. That the demand for such legislation is for
the most part a pure class-crowd phenomenon, designed to enhance the
self-feeling and economic interests of the "reformers," by keeping the
poor from having a good time, is I think, rather obvious. The reasoning
here is interesting, as the real motive is so thinly disguised by
pietistic platitudes that the two follow each other in alternate

    (1) Sunday Movies are not needed. The people have six days and
    six nights each week on which to attend the movies. Is not that
    plenty of time for all?

    (2) Sunday Movie Theaters commercialize the Christian Sabbath.
    While "the Sabbath was made for man," _yet it is God's day_. We
    have no right to sell it for business purposes. It is a day for
    rest and worship, not a day for greed and gain. Sunday would,
    of course, be the best day in the week financially for the
    movies. It would also be the best day in the week for the open
    saloons and horse-racing, but that is no reason why these should
    be allowed on Sunday. _The Sabbath must not be commercialized._

    (3) _Sunday Movie Theaters destroy the rest and quiet of many
    people, especially those who live in the residential district_
    of cities and in the neighborhood where such motion-picture
    theaters are located. Great crowds pour along the streets near
    such theaters, often breaking the Sunday quiet of that part of
    the city by loud and boisterous talk.

    Thousands of people every year are moving away from the downtown
    noisy districts of the cities out into the quiet residential
    districts in order to have quiet Sundays. But when a
    motion-picture theater comes and locates next to their homes, or
    in their block, as has been done in many cases, and great noisy,
    boisterous crowds surge back and forth before their homes all
    Sunday afternoon and evening, going to the movies, they are
    being robbed of _that for which they paid their money when they
    bought a home in that quiet part of the city_....

    (4) ... Anything that injures the Christian Sabbath injures the
    Christian churches, and certainly Sunday motion-picture
    theaters, wherever allowed, do injure the Christian Sabbath....

    Dr. Wilbur F. Crafts of Washington, D. C., probably the greatest
    authority on the Sabbath question in this country, says, "The
    Sabbath-keeping nations are the strongest physically, mentally,
    morally, _financially_, and politically." Joseph Cook said, "It
    is no accident that the nations that keep the Sabbath most
    carefully are those where there is the most political freedom."
    _Sabbath-breaking nations gradually lose their political

    (5) Sunday Movie Theaters injure the Christian Sabbath and thus
    injure the morals of the people. _Anything that injures the
    morals of the people, injures the nation itself._ From a
    _patriotic_ standpoint, we ought to stand for strict observance
    of the Christian Sabbath, as past experience has shown and the
    testimony of many witnesses proves that a disregard of the
    Christian Sabbath produces crime and immorality and tends to
    destroy the free institutions which have helped to make our
    nation great....

    Fundamentally, all such vicious laws are _unconstitutional_.

    _Sunday Movie Theaters disregard the rights of labor_.... Canon
    William Sheafe Chase has aptly said, "No man has the Christ
    spirit who wants a better time on Sunday than he is willing to
    give everyone else."...

    Col. Fairbanks, the famous scale manufacturer, said: "I can tell
    by watching the men at work Monday which spent Sunday in sport
    and which at home, church, or Sabbath-school. The latter _do
    more and better work_."

    Superintendents of large factories in Milwaukee and elsewhere
    have said, "When our men go on a Sunday excursion, some cannot
    work Monday, and many who work cannot earn their wages, while
    _those who had no sport Sunday do their best day's work
    Monday_." (Italics mine.)

We need not be surprised to find that the closed ideational system which
in the first instance is a refuge from the real, becomes in turn a
device for imposing one's will upon his fellows. The believer's ego is
served in both instances. It is interesting to note also that this
self-feeling appears in crowd-thinking as its very opposite. _The
greatest enemy of personality is the crowd._ The crowd does not want
valuable men; it wants only useful men. Everyone must justify his
existence by appealing to the not-self. One may do nothing for his own
sake. He may not even strive for spiritual excellence for such a reason.
He must live for "principle," for "the great cause," for impersonal
abstractions--which is to say, he must live for his crowd, and so make
it easier for the other members to do the same with a good face.

The complex of ideas in which the crowd-mind as we have seen takes
refuge, being necessarily made up of abstract generalizations, serves
the crowd-will to social dominance through the very claim to
universality which such ideas exert. Grant that an idea is an absolute
truth, and it follows, of course, that it must be true on all occasions
and for everyone. The crowd is justified, therefore, in sacrificing
people to its ideal--itself. The idea is no longer an instrument of
living; it is an imperative. It is not yours to use the idea; the idea
is there to use you. You have ceased to be an end. Anything about you
that does not partake of the reality of this idea has no right to be,
any experience of yours which happens to be incommensurable with this
idea loses its right to be; for experience as such has now only a
"phenomenal existence." The crowd, by identifying its will to power
with this idea, becomes _itself absolute_. Your personal self, as an
end, is quite as unwelcome to the Absolute as to the crowd. There must
be no private property in thought or motive. By making everybody's
business my business, I have made my business everybody's business.
There may be only one standard--that of our crowd, which, because of its
very universal and impersonal character is really nobody's.

The absolutism of the crowd-mind with its consequent hostility to
conscious personality finds a perfect rationalization in the ethical
philosophy of Kant. The absolutism of the idea of Duty is less
skillfully elaborated in its popular crowd-manifestations, but in its
essentials it is always present, as propaganda everywhere when carefully
analyzed will show. We must not be deceived by Kant's assertion that the
individual is an end. This individual is not you or I, or anyone; it is
a mere logical abstraction. By declaring that everyone is equally an
end, Kant ignores all personal differences, and therefore the fact of
individuality as such. We are each an end in respect to those qualities
only in which we are identical--namely, in that we are "rational
beings." But this rational being is not a personal intelligence; it is a
fiction, a bundle of mental faculties assumed _a priori_ to exist, and
then treated as if it were universally and equally applicable to all
actually existing intelligences.

In arguing that "I am never to act otherwise than so that I could also
will that my maxim should become a universal law," Kant may be easily
understood as justifying any crowd in seeking to make its peculiar
maxims universal laws. Who but a Rationalist or a crowd-man presumes to
have found the "universal law," who else would have the effrontery to
try to legislate for every conscience in existence? But this presumption
has its price. In thus universalizing my moral will, I wholly
depersonalize it. He says:

    It is of extreme importance to remember that we must not allow
    ourselves to think of deducing the reality of this principle
    from the particular attributes of human nature. For duty is to
    be a practical unconditional necessity of action; it must
    therefore hold for all rational beings (to whom an imperative
    can apply at all), and for this reason only be also a law for
    all human wills. On the contrary, whatever it deduces from the
    particular natural characteristics of humanity, from certain
    feelings and propensions, nay, even if possible from any
    particular tendency proper to human reason, and which need not
    necessarily hold for the will of every rational being, this may
    indeed supply us with a maxim but not with a law; with a
    subjective principle on which we may have a propension or
    inclination to act, but not with an objective principle on which
    we should be _enjoined_ to act, _even though all our
    propensions, inclinations, and natural dispositions were
    opposed_ to it. In fact, the _sublimity and intrinsic dignity_
    of the command in duty _are so much the more evident the less
    subjective impulses favor it, and the more they oppose it_
    [italics here are mine], without being able in the slightest
    degree to weaken the obligation of the law or to diminish its

    ... An action done from duty derives its moral worth _not from
    the purpose_ which is to be attained by it, but from the maxim
    by which it is determined. It (this moral worth) cannot lie
    anywhere but in the _principle of The Will_, without regard to
    the ends which can be attained by such action.

This loss of the conscious self in the universal, this turning away from
the empirically known, this demand that an _a priori_ principle be
followed to its deadly practical conclusion _regardless of the ends_ to
which it leads, is of utmost importance for our study. It is precisely
what the paranoiac does after his own fashion. In crowd-thinking it is
often made the instrument of wholesale destruction and human slaughter.
The mob is ever motivated by this logic of negation, and of automatic
behavior. It is thus that compulsive thinking sways vast hordes of men
and women, impelling them, in the very name of truth or righteousness,
to actions of the most atrocious character. It is this which robs most
popular movements of their intelligent purposiveness, unleashes the
fanatic and the bigot, and leads men to die and to kill for a phrase.
This way of thinking points straight to Salem, Massachusetts, to the
torture-chamber, the pile of fagots and the mill pond at Rosmersholm.

The habit of thinking as a crowd is so widespread that it is impossible
to trace the influence of its rationalistic negations in the daily
mental habits of most of us. We play out our lives as if we were but
acting a part which some one had assigned to us. The fact that we are
ourselves realities, as inevitable as falling rain, and with the same
right to be as the rocks and hills, positively startles us. We feel that
we must plead extenuation, apologize for our existence, as if the end
and aim of living were to serve or vindicate a Good which, being
sufficient in itself and independent of us, can never be realized as
actually good for anybody. We behave as if we were unprofitable
servants, cringing before wrathful ideas which, though our own
creations, we permit to lord it over us. Our virtues we regard not as
expressions of ourselves or as habitual ways of reaching desirable
goods, but as if they were demanded of us unwillingly by something not
self. We should remind ourselves that these big words we idolize have no
eyes to see us and no hearts to care what we do, that they are but
symbols of ideas which we might find very useful if we dared to become
masters of them. The most common use we make of such ideas is to beat
one another and ourselves into line with them, or enforce upon
ourselves and others the collection of a debt which was contracted only
by our unconscious desire to cheat at cards in the game of civilization.

A conscious recognition of this desire and its more deliberate and
voluntary resistance in ourselves rather than in our neighbors, a candid
facing of the fact of what we really are and really want, and a mutual
readjustment of our relations on this recognized basis would doubtless
deliver us from the compulsion of crowd-thinking in somewhat the same
way that psychoanalysis is said to cure the neurotic by revealing to him
his unconscious wish.

That some such cure is an imperative social need is evident. To-day the
mob lurks just under the skin of most of us, both ignorant and educated.
The ever-increasing frequency of outbreaks of mob violence has its
source in the crowd-thinking which is everywhere encouraged. The mob
which may at any time engulf us is, after all, but the logical
conclusion and sudden ripening of thought processes which are commonly
regarded as highly respectable, idealistic, and moral.



The crowd-mind is seen at its best and at its worst in revolution. To
many minds, revolution is so essentially a crowd phenomenon that the
terms revolution and crowd-rule are almost synonymous. "Hurrah, the mob
rules Russia," cried certain radicals in the spring of 1917--"Let the
people rule everywhere." Others, more conservative, saw in every
extravagant deed and atrocity alleged to have happened in Russia only
the thing logically to be expected where the mob rules. The idea of
revolution is itself so commonly a crowd-idea that the thinking--if
thinking it may be called--of most people on this subject depends
principally upon which crowd we happen to belong to, the crowd which
sustains the ego-feeling of its members by the hope of revolution, or
the crowd which, for similar reason, brands everything which opposes its
interests, real or imaginary, as "anarchy" and "Bolshevism."

If the word "revolution" be taken to mean fundamental change in men's
habits of thought, and life, and the forms of their relations to one
another, then it may be said that great "revolutions may be and have
been achieved with a relatively small degree of crowd-thinking and mob
violence." Much of the normal development of civilization, for instance,
the great scientific advance of the nineteenth century, the spread of
culture, the creation of artistic values, the rise in the standard of
living, is change of this sort. Such change is, however, gradual. It is
brought about by countless concrete adaptations, by thinking always
toward realizable ends. New and often unforeseeable results are thus
reached; but they are reached, as in all organic growth and in all sound
thinking, by a series of successful adjustments within the real. True
progress is doubtless made up of changes of this sort. But for the
course of progress to run on uninterrupted and undefeated we should have
to be, both in our individual and social behavior, the reasonable beings
which certain nineteenth-century utilitarians mistook us for.

It is the fool thing, the insincere thing, that more commonly happens in
matters social and political. The adjustment reached is not often a
solution of a social problem worked out deliberately on the
"greatest-happiness" principle. It is commonly a _status quo_, or
balance of power among contending crowds, each inspired by the fiction
of its own importance, by self-idealization, and desire to rule. It is
an unstable equilibrium usually held in place for the time by a dominant
crowd. This dominant crowd may itself be composed of quarreling
factions, but these parties, so long as they share enough of the
supremacy to keep up their self-feeling, so long, in fact, as their
members may even be able to make themselves believe that they, too, are
in the upper set, or so long as they continue to hope for success in the
social game as now played, unite in repeating the catchwords which
justify their crowd in its supremacy. The dominant group identifies its
own interests with the general welfare. And in the sense that some sort
of order, or any at all, is to be preferred to social chaos, there is an
element of truth in this identification.

The fact remains, however, that the dominant crowd possesses always much
of the crowd-spirit which originally secured for it its enviable
position. Its ideas, like those of all crowds, are devices for
sustaining the self-feeling of its members, for protecting itself, for
keeping the group together, for justification. They are only
secondarily, if at all, instruments for dealing with new and perplexing
social situations. It cannot be denied that a certain set of opinions,
prejudices, mannerisms, ceremonies "go with" the social position which
corresponds to them. They are the ready-made habits of the "set" or
class. They are badges by which the "gentleman" is distinguished, the
evening clothes of the psyche, as it were. Many of these crowd-forms
represent true values of living, some of them are useful in our dealings
with reality; if this were not so, if such spiritual tattooings or
ceremonial forms were wholly harmful, the crowd which performed them
would be at such a disadvantage that it could not hold its own. But that
considerations of utility--other than the function which such
ceremonialism is known to have for the unconscious always--do not
directly govern these forms of thought and behavior is seen in the fact
that so many of them, as Sumner says of "folkways," are either harmful
or useless in dealing with matters of fact.

The dominant crowd, therefore, in just so far as it must remain a crowd
in order to secure its own position of supremacy, must strive to force
all social realities into the forms of its own conflicts and dilemmas.
Inevitably the self-feeling of a great many people, who are forced by
the dominant crowd to conform and labor with no compensation, is hurt.
They cannot but contrast their own lot with that of their more fortunate
neighbors. Of all things, people probably resist most the feeling of
inferiority. Any suggestion that the difference in social position is
due to a similar difference in personal worth or in ability is hotly
resented. The resentment is in no wise abated by the fact that in some
cases this suggestion may be true. Compensations are at once created by
the unconscious. In mediæval times "all men were brothers and were equal
before the altars of the Church and in heaven." Thus distinctions of
merit, other than those which prevailed in the social order, were set up
in the interest of the common man.

As the influence of the Renaissance directed general attention from the
realm of the spiritual to practical affairs of earth, these
compensations changed from thoughts of the future world to dreams of the
future of this world. The injured self-feeling dwells upon the economic
or political inequalities which flow from the dominance of the ruling
crowd. The injustices and acts of exploitation, which are certainly
neither new nor rare occurrences in human relations, are seized upon as
if it were these things, not the assumption to superiority, which were
the issue at stake.

At the time of the French Revolution the Third Estate, or Bourgeois,
which showed itself quite as capable of exploiting the poor as ever were
the older aristocrats, saw itself only as part of the wronged and
exploited "people." The sufferings of the poor, which it was frequently
even then profiting in quite as heartily, to say the least, as the
titled nobility, were represented as the grievance of all mankind
against the hated nobility. That the ideas of "liberty, equality, and
fraternity" which these good tradesmen preached may easily become the
sort of compensatory ideas we have been discussing is shown by the fact
of the genuine astonishment and indignation of the burghers when later
their employees made use of this same phrase in the struggles between
labor and capital. Sans-culottism had quite as many psychological
motives as economic behind it.

How pompous, hateful, and snobbish were those titled folk with their
powdered wigs, carriages, fine clothes, and their exclusive social
gatherings to which honest citizens, often quite as wealthy as
themselves, were not invited. If the "people"--that is, the burghers
themselves--only had a chance they would be just as fine ladies and
gentlemen as those who merely inherited their superiority. Down with the
aristocrats! All men were equal and always had been. There must be
fraternity and the _carier ouvert les talents_, in other words,
brotherhood and free competition.

I am sure, from all I have ever seen or read of social revolt and
unrest, that this injured self-feeling, or defense against the sense of
personal inferiority, while not the only motive, is the most powerful
one at work. It crops out everywhere, in the layman's hatred of the
clergy during the Reformation, in that curious complex of ideas whereby
the uneducated often look upon a college diploma as something little
short of magical, and defend their ego against this ridiculously
exaggerated mark of distinction and accompanying feeling of
self-reproach by a slur at "high-brows." Few people realize how general
this feeling is; the trick of making fun of the educated is one of the
commonest forms of crowd-humor in America, both in vaudeville and in
popular oratory. I have previously pointed out the fact that the
religious revival in our day is to a great extent characterized by a
popular resistance to scholars. No one can read Mr. Sunday's sermons and
deny this fact. The City of New York gave the largest majority in its
history to the candidate for the office of mayor who made opposition to
"experts" the main issue in his campaign. Scores of times I have heard
popular speakers resort to this trick to gain favor with their
audiences, and I cannot remember ever having known such sentiments to
fail to gain applause--I am not speaking now of strictly academic
groups, but of general gatherings.

The point of interest here is that these same people have a most
extravagant notion of the value of the academic training which they
encourage the crowd speaker in ridiculing. I have made it a practice of
talking with a great many people personally and drawing them out on this
point, and I have found that this is almost uniformly the case. F. B., a
cigar maker by trade, says, "Oh, if I had only had sense enough to go on
to school when I had the opportunity!" E. L., a mechanic, says, "I might
have been somebody, if I had been given any chance to get an education."
R., a sort of jack-of-all-trades, says, "If I only had N.'s education,
I'd be a millionaire." B., a farmer with limited intellectual interests,
says, "I tell you, my boys are not going to be like me; they have got to
go to college." G., a waiter, says, "I don't know much," and then
proceeds to impress me with the latest bit of academic information which
he has picked up. C., a printer, who has been moderately successful,
says: "I'd give ten thousand dollars right this minute if I knew Greek;
now there is ---- and there is ----, neighbors of mine, they're highly
educated. When I'm with them I'm ashamed and feel like a dub."

When, on such occasions, I repeatedly say that the average academic
student really learns hardly anything at all of the classic languages,
and cite the small fruits of my own years of tedious study as an
example, the effect produced is invariably comforting--until I add that
one need not attend a university seven years or even four to become
educated, but that nearly everyone with ability to learn and with
genuine intellectual interests may achieve a remarkable degree of
learning. The answer of the perplexed person is then often an
extenuation. "Well, you see, a busy person or a working man is so tired
after the day's work that he has no energy left for study," or it is,
"Wait till the working class have more leisure, then they, too, can be
cultivated." Passing over this extenuation, which ignores the fact that
some of the best informed and clearest thinking people one meets are
working people, while the average university graduate leads anything but
an intellectual life, it can hardly be denied, I think, that our crowd
cult of anti-"highbrowism" is really a defense mechanism against an
inner feeling of inferiority. Now the interesting thing about this
feeling of inferiority is the exaggerated notion of the superiority of
the college-trained, which is entertained chiefly by the uneducated
themselves. What appears here is in fact nothing other than a cheapening
of the idea of superiority. Personal excellence is something which
anyone may attain; it is not something congenital, but something to be
added on; one "gets an education," possesses something of advantage,
merely by a few years of conventional study of books. Anyone might do
that, therefore. "I, too, if I only cared to, or had been given
opportunity, might now be famous." "The difference between myself and
the world's greatest genius is not a spiritual chasm which I could not
myself, at least hypothetically, cross." "It is rather an 'acquired
character,' a mere fruit of special opportunity--which in a few cases it
doubtless may be--but it is something external; at bottom we are all

Many facts may be advanced to corroborate the results of our analysis
here. The crowd always resents the Carlyle, William James, Nietzsche,
Goethe theory of genius. Genius is not congenital superiority. It is the
result of hard work. The genius is not a unique personal fact, he is a
"representative man." He says just what his age is thinking. The
inarticulate message of his contemporaries simply becomes articulate in
some one, and behold a genius. In other words, I suppose, all Vienna,
messenger boys and bootblacks especially, were suddenly fascinated by
Schiller's "Ode to Joy" and went about whistling improvised musical
renderings of the theme of this poem, till the deaf Beethoven heard and
wrote these whistlings down in the form of the Ninth Symphony.

According to the crowd, Luther did not create the Reformation, or
Petrarch the Renaissance; these movements themselves created their
leaders and founders; all that the genius did was to interpret and
faithfully obey the People's will. Ergo, to be a genius one need only
study hard enough to be able to tell the people what they already think.
The superiority of genius is therefore no different from that of any
educated person; except in degree of application. Anyone of us might
possess this superiority. In other words, the "intellectual
snobbishness" which the crowd resents is nothing else than the
crowd-man's own fiction of self-importance, projected upon those whose
imagined superiority he envies. It is recognized, even exaggerated by
the unlearned, because it is precisely the sort of superiority which the
ignorant man himself, in his ignorance, imagines that he himself would
display if he "only had the chance," and even now possesses

We have made the foregoing detour because I think it serves to
illustrate, in a way, the psychic processes behind much revolutionary
propaganda and activity. I would not attempt to minimize the extent of
the social injustice and economic slavery which a dominant crowd,
whether ecclesiastical, feudal, or capitalistic, is guilty of in its
dealings with its subjects. But every dominant crowd, certain sections
of the "proletariat" as quickly as any other, will resort to such
practices, and will alike justify them by moral catchwords the minute
its supremacy over other crowds gives it opportunity. Therefore there is
a certain amount of tautology in denouncing the "master class" for its
monstrous abuses. That the real point at issue between the dominant
crowd and the under crowd is the assumed personal superiority of the
members of the former, rather than the economic "exploitation" which it
practices, is shown by the fact that the French Revolution was led by
wealthy bourgeois, and that the leading revolutionary element in the
working class to-day consists, not of the "down and out" victims of
capitalist exploitation, but of the members of the more highly skilled
and better paid trades, also of certain intellectuals who are not
"proletarians" at all.

And now we come to our point: the fiction of superiority of the dominant
crowd, just as in the case of the assumed personal superiority of the
intellectuals, is resented by the under crowd because it is _secretly
recognized_ by the under crowd. Of course the dominant crowd, like all
crowds, is obsessed by its feelings of self-importance, and this feeling
is apparently vindicated by its very social position. But the fiction is
recognized at its full face value, and therefore resented by the under
crowds, because that is precisely the sort of personal supremacy to
which they also aspire.

One commonly hears it said to-day, by those who have made the catchwords
of democracy their crowd cult, that the issue in modern society is
between democracy and capitalism. In a sense this may be true, but only
in a superficial sense; the real issue is between the personal self as a
social entity and the crowd. Capitalism is, to my mind, the logical
first fruit of so-called democracy. Capitalism is simply the social
supremacy of the trader-man crowd. For a hundred years and more
commercial ability--that of organizing industry and selling goods--has
been rewarded out of all proportion to any other kind of ability,
because, in the first place, it leads to the kind of success which the
ordinary man most readily recognizes and envies--large houses, fine
clothes, automobiles, exclusive clubs, etc. A Whittier may be ever so
great a poet, and yet sit beside the stove in the general store of his
little country village, and no one thinks he is so very wonderful. Some
may envy him his fame, but few will envy and therefore be fascinated by
that in him which they do not understand. But a multimillionaire in
their community is understood; everyone can see and envy his success; he
is at once both envied and admired.

Moreover, the commercial ability is the sort which the average man most
commonly thinks he possesses in some degree. While, therefore, he
grumbles at the unjust inequalities in wealth which exist in modern
society, and denounces the successful business man as an exploiter and
fears his power, the average man will nevertheless endure all this, much
in the same spirit that a student being initiated into a fraternity will
take the drubbing, knowing well that his own turn at the fun will come
later. It is not until the members of the under crowd begin to suspect
that their own dreams of "aping the rich" may never come true that they
begin to entertain revolutionary ideas. In other words, forced to
abandon the hope of joining the present dominating crowd, they begin to
dream of supplanting and so dispossessing this crowd by their own crowd.

That the dominant crowd is just as much to blame for this state of
affairs as the under crowd, perhaps more so, is shown by the history of
every period preceding a revolutionary outbreak. I will dwell at some
length on this fact later. My point here is that, first, a revolution,
in the sense that the word means a violent uprising against the existing
order, is a psychological crowd-phenomenon--and second, that it takes
two crowds to make a revolution.

Writers, like Le Bon, have ignored the part which the dominant crowd
plays in such events. They have thought of revolution only as the
behavior of the under crowd. They have assumed that the crowd and the
people were the same. Their writings are hardly more than conservative
warnings against the excess and wickedness of the popular mind once it
is aroused. Sumner says:

    Moral traditions are the guides which no one can afford to
    neglect. They are in the mores, and they are lost in every great
    revolution of the mores. Then the men are morally lost.

Le Bon says, writing of the French Revolution:

    The people may kill, burn, ravage, commit the most frightful
    cruelties, glorify its hero to-day and throw him into the gutter
    to-morrow; it is all one; the politicians will not cease to
    vaunt its virtues, its high wisdom, and to bow to its every

    Now in what does this entity really consist, this mysterious
    fetich which revolutionists have revered for more than a

    It may be decomposed into two distinct categories. The first
    includes the peasants, traders, and workers of all sorts who
    need tranquillity and order that they may exercise their
    calling. This people forms the majority, but a majority which
    never caused a revolution. Living in laborious silence, it is
    ignored by historians.

    The second category, which plays a capital part in all national
    disturbances, consists of a subversive social residue dominated
    by a criminal mentality. Degenerates of alcoholism and poverty,
    thieves, beggars, destitute "casuals," indifferent workers
    without employment--these constitute the dangerous bulk of the
    armies of insurrection.... To this sinister substratum are due
    the massacres which stain all revolutions.... To elements
    recruited from the lowest dregs of the populace are added by
    contagion a host of idle and indifferent persons who are simply
    drawn into the movement. They shout because there are men
    shouting, and revolt because there is a revolt, without having
    the vaguest idea of the cause of the shouting or revolution. The
    suggestive power of the environment absolutely hypnotized them.

This idea, which is held with some variation by Sumner, Gobineau,
Faguet, and Conway, is, I believe, both unhistorical and
unpsychological, because it is but a half-truth. This substratum of the
population does at the moment of revolution become a dangerous mob. Such
people are unadjusted to any social order, and the least deviation from
the routine of daily life throws them off their balance. The relaxation
of authority at the moment when one group is supplanting another in
position of social control, is to these people like the two or three
days of interregnum between the pontificates of Julius and Leo,
described by Cellini. Those who need some one to govern them, and they
are many, find their opportunity in the general disturbance. They
suddenly react to the revolutionary propaganda which up to this minute
they have not heeded, they are controlled by revolutionary crowd-ideas
in a somnambulistic manner, and like automatons carry these ideas
precipitately to their deadly conclusion. But this mob is not the really
revolutionary crowd and in the end it is always put back in its place by
the newly dominant crowd. The really revolutionary crowd consists of the
group who are near enough the dominant crowd to be able to envy its
"airs" with some show of justification, and are strong enough to dare
try issue with it for supreme position. Madame Rolland, it will be
remembered, justified her opposition to aristocrats on the principle of
equality and fraternity, but she could never forget her resentment at
being made, in the home of a member of this aristocracy, to eat with the

What Le Bon and others seem to ignore is that the ruling class may be
just as truly a crowd as the insurrectionary mob, and that the violent
behavior of revolutionary crowds is simply the logic of crowd-thinking
carried to its swift practical conclusion.

It is generally assumed that a revolution is a sudden and violent change
in the form of government. From what has been said it will be seen that
this definition is too narrow. History will bear me out in this. The
Protestant Reformation was certainly a revolution, as Le Bon has shown,
but it affected more than the government or even the organization of the
Church. The French Revolution changed the form of the government in
France several times before it was done, passing through a period of
imperial rule and even a restoration of the monarchy. But the revolution
as such survived. Even though later a Bourbon or a prince of the House
of Orleans sat on the throne of France, the restored king or his
successor was hardly more than a figurehead. A new class, the Third
Estate, remained in fact master of France. There had been a change in
the ownership of the land; power through the control of vested property
rested with the group which in 1789 began its revolt under the
leadership of Mirabeau. A new dictatorship had succeeded the old. And
this is what a revolution is--_the dictatorship of a new crowd_. The
Russian revolutionists now candidly admit this fact in their use of the
phrase "the dictatorship of the proletariat." Of course it is claimed
that this dictatorship is really the dictatorship of "all the people."
But this is simply the old fiction with which every dominant crowd
disguises seizure of power. Capitalist republicanism is also the rule of
all the people, and the pope and the king, deriving their authority from
God, are really but "the servants of all."

As we have seen, the crowd mind as such wills to dominate. Society is
made up of struggle groups, or organized crowds, each seeking the
opportunity to make its catchwords realities and to establish itself in
the position of social control. The social order is always held intact
by some particular crowd which happens to be dominant. A revolution
occurs when a new crowd pushes the old one out and itself climbs into
the saddle. When the new crowd is only another faction within the
existing dominant crowd, like one of our established political parties,
the succession will be accomplished without resort to violence, since
both elements of the ruling crowd recognize the rules of the game. It
will also not result in far-reaching social changes for the same reason.
A true revolution occurs when the difference between the dominant crowd
and the one which supplants it is so great as to produce a general
social upheaval. The Reformation, the French Revolution, and the
"Bolshevist" _coup d'etat_ in Russia, all were of this nature. A new
social leadership was established and secured by a change in each case
in the personnel of the ownership of such property as would give the
owners the desired control. In the first case there was a transfer of
property in the church estates, either to the local congregations, or
the state, or the denomination. In the second case the property
transferred was property in land, and with the Russian revolutionists
landed property was given to the peasants and vested capital turned
over to the control of industrial workers.

Those who lay all emphasis on this transfer of property naturally see
only economic causes in revolutionary movements. Economics, however, is
not a science of impersonal things. It treats rather of men's relations
to things, and hence to one another. It has to do with valuations and
principles of exchange and ownership, all of which need psychological
restatement. The transfer of the ownership of property in times of
revolution to a new class is not an end, it is a means to a new crowd's
social dominance. The doctrines, ideals, and principles believed by the
revolutionary crowd also serve this end of securing its dominance, as do
the social changes which it effects, once in power.

Revolutions do not occur directly from abuses of power, for in that case
there would be nothing but revolution all the time, since every dominant
crowd has abused its power. It is an interesting fact that revolution
generally occurs after the abuses of which the revolutionists complain
have been in great measure stopped--that is, after the ruling crowd has
begun to make efforts at reform. The Reformation occurred in the
pontificate of Leo X. If it had been the result of intolerable abuse
alone, it would have happened in the time of Alexander VI, Borgia. The
French Revolution fell upon the mild head of Louis XVI, though the
wrongs which it tried to right mostly happened in the reign of his
predecessor. In most cases the abuses, the existence of which a
revolutionary crowd uses for propaganda purposes, are in turn repeated
in new form by itself after it becomes dominant. The Reformers in the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries resorted to much the same kind of
persecution from which they had themselves earlier suffered. The
Constituent Assembly, though it had demanded liberty, soon set up a more
outrageous tyranny through its own committees than any that the Louies
had dreamed of. Bolshevists in capitalist countries are the greatest
advocates of free speech; in Russia they are the authors of a very
effective press-censorship.

No, it is hardly the abuses which men suffer from their ruling crowds
which cause insurrection. People have borne the most terrible outrages
and suffered in silence for centuries. Russia itself is a good example
of this.

_A revolution occurs when the dominant crowd begins to weaken._ I think
we find proof of this in the psychology of revolutionary propaganda. A
general revolution is not made in a day, each such cataclysm is preceded
by a long period of unrest and propaganda of opposition to the existing
order and its beneficiaries. The Roman Republic began going to pieces
about a hundred years before the battle of Actium. The social unrest
which followed the Punic Wars and led to the revolt of the brothers
Gracchi was never wholly checked during the century which followed. The
dominant party had scarcely rid itself of these troublesome "demagogues"
than revolt broke out among the slave population of Sicily. This was
followed by the revolt of the Italian peasants, then again by the
insurrection of Spartacus, and this in turn by the civil war between
Marius and Sulla, the conspiracy of Catiline, the brief triumph of
Julius Cæsar over the Senate, the revenge of the latter in the
assassination of Cæsar, and the years of turmoil during the Second

It is doubtful if there was at any time a very clear or widespread
consciousness of the issues which successively arose during that unhappy
century. It would seem that first one counter-crowd and then another,
representing various elements of the populace, tried issue with the
ruling crowd. The one factor which remained constant through all this
was the progressive disintegration of the dominant party. The supremacy
of the _Patres Conscripti et Equites_ became in fact a social
anachronism the day that Tiberius Gracchus demanded the expropriation of
the landed aristocracy. The ideas whereby the dominant crowd sought to
justify its pre-emptions began to lose their functional value. Only the
undisguised use of brute force was left. Such ideas ceased to convince.
Men of unusual independence of mind, or men with ambitious motives, who
had grown up within the dominant crowd, began to throw off the spell of
its control-ideas, and, by leaving it, to weaken it further from within.
No sooner was this weakness detected by other groups than every sort of
grievance and partisan interest became a moral justification for efforts
to supplant the rulers. The attempt of the dominant crowd to retain its
hold by repeating its traditional justification-platitudes, unchanged,
but with greater emphasis, may be seen in the orations of Cicero. It
would be well if some one besides high-school students and their Latin
teachers were to take up the study of Cicero; the social and
psychological situation which this orator and writer of moral essays
reveals has some suggestive similarities to things which are happening

The century and more of unrest which preceded both the Reformation and
the French Revolution is in each instance a long story. But in both
there is the same gradual loss of prestige on the part of the dominant
crowd; the same inability of this crowd to change with the changes of
time; to find new sanctions for itself when the old ones were no longer
believed; the same unadaptability, the same intellectual and moral
bankruptcy, therefore, the same gradual disintegration from within; the
same resort to sentimentalism and ineffective use of force, the same
circle of hungry counter-crowds waiting around with their tongues
hanging out, ready to pounce upon that before which they had previously
groveled, and to justify their ravenousness as devotion to principle;
the same growing fearlessness, beginning as perfectly loyal desire to
reform certain abuses incidental to the existing order, and advancing,
with every sign of disillusionment or weakness, to moral indignation,
open attack upon fundamental control ideas, bitter hostility, augmented
by the repressive measures taken by the dominant crowd to conserve a
_status quo_ which no longer gained assent in the minds of a growing
counter-crowd; finally force, and a new dominant crowd more successful
now in justifying old tyrannies by principles not yet successfully

In the light of these historical analogies the record of events during
the last seventy-five years in western Europe and America is rather
discomforting reading, and I fear the student of social psychology will
find little to reassure him in the pitiable lack of intellectual
leadership, the tendency to muddle through, the unteachableness and
general want of statesmanlike vision displayed by our present dominant
crowds. If a considerable number of people of all classes, those who
desire change as well as those who oppose it, could free their thinking
from the mechanisms of the crowd-mind, it might be possible to find the
working solution of some of our pressing social problems and save our
communities from the dreadful experience of another revolution. Our hope
lies in the socially minded person who is sufficiently in touch with
reality to be also a non-crowd man.

Anyone who is acquainted with the state of the public mind at present,
knows that _a priori_ arguments against revolution as such are not
convincing, except to those who are already convinced on other ground.
The dominant crowd in each historical epoch gained its original
supremacy by means of revolution. One can hardly make effective use of
the commonplace antirevolutionary propaganda of defense of a certain
order which has among its most ardent supporters people who are proud to
call themselves sons and daughters of the Revolution. Skeptics at once
raise the question whether, according to such abstract social ethics,
revolutionists become respectable only after they are successful or have
been a long time dead. In fact, the tendency to resort to such reasoning
is one among many symptoms that the conservative mind has permitted
itself to become quite as much a crowd-phenomenon as has the radical

The correct approach here is psychological and pragmatic. There is an
increasingly critical social situation, demanding far-reaching
reconstructive change; only the most hopeless crowd-man would presume to
deny this fact. The future all depends upon the mental processes with
which we attempt to meet this situation. Nothing but useless misery can
result from dividing crowd against crowd. Crowd-thinking, as I have
said, does not solve problems. It only creates ideal compensations and
defense devices for our inner conflicts. Conservative crowd-behavior has
always done quite as much as anything else to precipitate a
revolutionary outbreak. Radical crowd-behavior does not resolve the
situation, it only inverts it. Any real solution lies wholly outside
present crowd-dilemmas. What the social situation demands most is a
different kind of thinking, a new education, an increasing number of
people who understand themselves and are intellectually and morally
independent of the tyranny of crowd-ideas.

From what has been said above, it follows that revolutionary propaganda
is not directly the cause of insurrection. Such propaganda is itself an
effect of the unconscious reaction between a waning and a crescent
crowd. It is a symptom of the fact that a large number of people have
ceased to believe in or assent to the continued dominance of the present
controlling crowd and are looking to another.

There is always a tendency among conservative crowds to hasten their own
downfall by the manner in which they deal with revolutionary propaganda.
The seriousness of the new issue is denied; the crowd seeks to draw
attention back to the old issue which it fought and won years ago in the
hour of its ascendancy. The fact that the old charms and shibboleths no
longer work, that they do not now apply, that the growing counter-crowd
is able to psychoanalyze them, discover the hidden motives which they
disguise, and laugh at them, is stoutly denied. The fiction is
maintained to the effect that present unrest is wholly uncalled-for,
that everything is all right, that the agitators who "make people
discontented" are alien and foreign and need only be silenced with a
time-worn phrase, or, that failing, shut up by force or deported, and
all will be well.

I do not doubt that before the Reformation and the French Revolution
there were ecclesiastics and nobles aplenty who were quite sure that the
masses would never have known they were miserable if meddling disturbers
had not taken the trouble to tell them so. Even an honest critical
understanding of the demands of the opposing crowd is discouraged,
possibly because it is rightly felt that the critical habit of mind is
as destructive of one crowd-complex as the other and the old crowd
prefers to remain intact and die in the last ditch rather than risk
dissolution, even with the promise of averting a revolution. Hence the
Romans were willing to believe that the Christians worshiped the head of
an ass. The mediæval Catholics, even at Leo's court, failed to grasp the
meaning of the outbreak in north Germany. Thousands saw in the
Reformation only the alleged fact that the monk Luther wanted to marry a
wife. To-day one looks almost in vain among business men, editors, and
politicians for a more intelligent understanding of socialism. A crowd
goes down to its death fighting bogies, and actually running upon the
sword of its real enemy, because a crowd, once its constellation of
ideas is formed, _never learns anything_.

The crowd-group contains in itself, in the very nature of
crowd-thinking, the germs which sooner or later lay it low. When a crowd
first becomes dominant, it carries into a place of power a number of
heterogeneous elements which have, up to this time, been united in a
great counter-crowd because of their common dissatisfaction with the old
order. Gradually the special interests of these several groups become
separated. The struggle for place is continued as a factional fight
within the newly ruling crowd. This factional struggle greatly
complicates every revolutionary movement. We witness this in the
murderously hostile partisan conflicts which broke out in the
revolutionary Assemblies in France. It is seen again in the Reformation,
which had hardly established itself when the movement was rent by
intense sectarian rivalries of all sorts. The same is true of Russia
since the fall of the Tsar, and of Mexico ever since the overthrow of
the Diaz regime. If these factional struggles go so far as to result in
schism--that is, in a conscious repudiation by one or more factions of
the revolutionary creed which had formerly united them all, there is
disintegration and in all probability a return to the old ruling crowd.

This reaction may also be made possible by a refusal of one faction to
recognize the others as integral parts of the newly triumphant crowd. If
the new crowd after its victory can hold itself together, the revolution
is established. It then becomes the task of the leading faction in the
newly dominant crowd to grab the lion's share of the spoils for itself,
give the other factions only so much prestige as will keep alive in
their minds the belief that they, too, share in the new victory for
"humanity" and hold the new social order together, while at the same
time justifying its own leadership by the compulsive power of the idea
which they all alike believe. This belief, as we have seen, is the _sine
qua non_ of the continued existence of any crowd. A dominant crowd
survives so long as its belief is held uncritically and repeated and
acted upon automatically both by the members of the crowd and its
victims. When the factions which have been put at a disadvantage by the
leading faction renounce the belief, or awake to the fact that they
"have been cheated," disintegration begins.

Between the crowd's professed belief and the things which it puts into
practice there is a great chasm. Yet the fiction is uniformly maintained
that the things done are the correct and faithful application of the
great principles to which the crowd is devoted. We saw in our study of
crowd-ideas in general that such ideas are not working programs, but are
screens which disguise and apparently justify the real unconscious
motive of crowd-behavior. The crowd secures its control, first, by
proclaiming in the most abstract form certain generally accepted
principles, such as freedom, righteousness, brotherly love--as though
these universal "truths" were its own invention and exclusive monopoly.
Next, certain logical deductions are made from these principles which,
when carried to their logical conclusions regardless of fact or the
effect produced, make the thing which the crowd really wants and does
appear to be a vindication of the first principles. It is these
inferences which go to make up the conscious thinking or belief of the
crowd. Thus in the revolutionary convention in France all agree to the
principles of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. Fidelity to these
principles would to a non-crowd mean that the believer should not try to
dictate to his fellows what they must believe and choose, that he would
exercise good will in his dealings with them and show them the same
respect which he wished them to have for himself. But the crowd does not
understand principles in this manner. Do all agree to the great slogan
of the revolution? Well, then, fidelity to Liberty, Equality, and
Fraternity demands that the enemies of these principles and the crowd's
definition of them be overthrown. The Mountain is the truly faithful
party, hence to the guillotine with the Gironde. This chasm between
crowd faith and crowd practice is well illustrated in the case of those
Southern patriots in America who were ready to fight and die for the
rights of man as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, but
refused to apply the principle of the inalienable rights of all men to
their own black slaves. Or, again in the case of nineteenth-century
capitalism, liberty must be given to all alike. Liberty means equal
opportunity. Equal opportunity means free competition in business. Free
competition exists only where there is an "incentive"; hence the
investor must be encouraged and his gains protected by law. Therefore
anti-capitalistic doctrines must be suppressed as subversive of our free
institutions. Immigrants to whom for a generation we have extended the
hospitality of our slums and labor camps, and the opportunity of freely
competing with our well-intrenched corporations, must be made to feel
their ingratitude if they are so misguided as to conclude, from the fact
that hundreds of leading radicals have been made to serve jail
sentences, while after thirty years of enforcing the antitrust law not a
single person has ever been sent to prison, that possibly this is not a
free land.

Or again--one convicts himself of being a crowd-man who shows partiality
among crowds--the principle of democracy is generally accepted. Then
there should be industrial democracy as well as political--hence the
"Dictatorship of the Proletariat"--for the workers are "the people."
Parliamentary assemblies elected by all the people do not necessarily
represent labor. Organized labor, therefore, though a minority of the
whole, should establish "industrial democracy" by force. So, according
to Bolshevist crowd-logic, democracy means the rule of a minority by
means of force.

Now it is this fictitious, paranoiac, crowd-logic which one must be able
to dispel before he can extricate himself from the clutches of his
crowd. If he subjects the whole fabric of abstractions to critical
analysis, revalues it, puts himself above it, assumes a pragmatic
attitude toward whatever truths it contains, dares to test these truths
by their results in experience and to use them for desired ends; if, in
short, he scrutinizes his own disguised impulses, brings them to
consciousness as what they are, and refuses to be deceived as to their
real import, even when they appear dressed in such sheep's clothing as
absolutes and first principles, he becomes a non-crowd man, a social
being in the best sense.

Those, however, who continue to give assent to the crowd's first
principles, who still accept its habit of _a priori_ reasoning, merely
substituting for its accepted deductions others of their own which in
turn serve to conceal and justify their own unconscious desires, will
turn from the old crowd only to be gobbled up by a new and
counter-crowd. Such people have not really changed. They denounce the
old crowd on the ground that "it has not lived up to its principles." It
is a significant fact that a crowd's rule is generally challenged in
the name of the very abstract ideas of which it has long posed as the

For instance, there is liberty. Every crowd demands it when it is
seeking power; no crowd permits it when it is in power. A crowd which is
struggling for supremacy is really trying to free itself and as many
people as possible from the control of another crowd. Naturally, the
struggle for power appears to consciousness as a struggle for liberty as
such. The controlling crowd is correctly seen to be a tyrant and
oppressor. What the opposition crowd does not recognize is its own wish
to oppress, hidden under its struggle for power. We have had occasion to
note the intolerance of the crowd-mind as such. A revolutionary crowd,
with all its lofty idealism about liberty, is commonly just as
intolerant as a reactionary crowd. It must be so in order to remain a
crowd. Once it is triumphant it may exert its pressure in a different
direction, but the pinch is there just the same. Like its predecessor,
it must resort to measures of restraint, possibly even a "reign of
terror," in order that the new-won "liberty"--which is to say, its own
place at the head of the procession--may be preserved. The denial of
freedom appears therefore as its triumph, and for a time people are
deceived. They think they are free because everyone is talking about

Eventually some one makes the discovery that people do not become free
just by repeating the magic word "liberty." A disappointed faction of
the newly emancipated humanity begins to demand its "rights." The crowd
hears its own catchwords quoted against itself. It proceeds to prove
that freedom exists by denouncing the disturbers and silencing them, if
necessary, by force. The once radical crowd has now become reactionary.
Its dream of world emancipation is seen to be a hoax. Lovers of freedom
now yoke themselves in a new rebel crowd so that oppressed humanity may
be liberated from the liberators. Again, the will to power is clothed in
the dream symbols of an emancipated society, and so on around and around
the circle, until people learn that with crowds freedom is impossible.
For men to attain to mastery of themselves is as abhorrent to one crowd
as to another. The crowd merely wants freedom to be a crowd--that is, to
set up its own tyranny in the place of that which offends the
self-feeling of its members.

The social idealism of revolutionary crowds is very significant for our
view of the crowd-mind. There are certain forms of revolutionary belief
which are repeated again and again with such uniformity that it would
seem the unconscious of the race changes very little from age to age.
The wish-fancy which motivates revolutionary activity always appears to
consciousness as the dream of an ideal society, a world set free; the
reign of brotherly love, peace, and justice. The folly and wickedness of
man is to cease. There will be no more incentive for men to do evil. The
lion and the lamb shall lie down together. Old extortions and tyrannies
are to be left behind. There is to be a new beginning, poverty is to be
abolished, God's will is to be done in earth, or men are at last to live
according to reason, and the inalienable rights of all are to be
secured; or the co-operative commonwealth is to be established, with no
more profit-seeking and each working gladly for the good of all. In
other words, the mind of revolutionary crowds is essentially
_eschatological_, or Messianic. The crowd always imagines its own social
dominance is a millennium. And this trait is common to revolutionary
crowds in all historical periods.

We have here the psychological explanation of the Messianic faith which
is set forth with tremendous vividness in Biblical literature. The
revolutionary import of the social teaching of both the Hebrew and
Christian religions is so plain that I do not see how any honest and
well-informed person can even attempt to deny it. The telling
effectiveness with which this element in religious teaching may be used
by clever radicals to convict the apologists of the present social
order by the words out of their own mouths is evident in much of the
socialist propaganda to-day. The tendency of the will to revolt, to
express itself in accepted religious symbols, is a thing to be expected
if the unconscious plays the important part in crowd-behavior that we
have contended that it does.

The eighth-century Hebrew prophet mingles his denunciations of those who
join house to house and field to field, who turn aside the way of the
meek, and sit in Samaria in the corner of a couch and on the silken
cushions of a bed, who have turned justice to wormwood and cast down
righteousness to the earth, etc., etc.,--reserving his choicest woes of
course for the foreign oppressors of "my people"--with promises of "the
day of the Lord" with all that such a day implies, not only of triumph
of the oppressed over their enemies, but of universal happiness.

Similarly the same complex of ideas appears in the writings which deal
with the Hebrew "Captivity" in the sixth century B.C., with the revolt
of the Maccabeans, and again in the impotent hatred against the Romans
about the time of the origin of Christianity.

The New Testament dwells upon some phase of this theme on nearly every
page. Blessed are ye poor, and woe unto you who are rich, you who laugh
now. The Messiah has come and with him the Kingdom of the Heavens, but
at present the kingdom is revealed only to the believing few, who are in
the world, but not of it. However, the Lord is soon to return; in fact,
this generation shall not pass away until all these things be
accomplished. After a period of great trial and suffering there is to be
a new world, and a new and holy Jerusalem, coming down from the skies
and establishing itself in place of the old. All the wicked, chiefly
those who oppress the poor, shall be cast into a lake of fire. There
shall be great rejoicing, and weeping and darkness and death shall be no

The above sketch of the Messianic hope is so brief as to be hardly more
than a caricature, but it will serve to make my point clear, that
_Messianism is a revolutionary crowd phenomenon_. This subject has been
presented in great detail by religious writers in recent years, so that
there is hardly a member of the reading public who is not more or less
familiar with the "social gospel." My point is that _all revolutionary
propaganda is "social gospel_." Even when revolutionists profess an
antireligious creed, as did the Deists of the eighteenth century, and as
do many modern socialists with their "materialist interpretation of
history," nevertheless the element of irreligion extends only to the
superficial trappings of the revolutionary crowd-faith, and even here
is not consistent. At bottom the revolutionists' dream of a new world is

I am using the word "religious" in this connection in its popular sense,
meaning no more than that the revolutionary crowd rationalizes its dream
of a new world-order in imagery which repeats over and over again the
essentials of the Biblical "day of the Lord," or "kingdom of heaven" to
be established in earth. This notion of cosmic regeneration is very
evident in the various "utopian" socialist theories. The Fourierists and
St. Simonists of the early part of the nineteenth century were extremely
Messianic. So-called "scientific socialists" are now inclined to
ridicule such idealistic speculation, but one has only to scratch
beneath the surface of present-day socialist propaganda to find under
its materialist jargon the same old dream of the ages. A great
world-change is to come suddenly. With the triumph of the workers there
will be no more poverty or ignorance, no longer any incentive to men to
do evil to one another. The famous "Manifesto" is filled with such
ideas. Bourgeois society is doomed and about to fall. Forces of social
evolution inevitably point to the world-wide supremacy of the working
class, under whose mild sway the laborer is to be given the full product
of his toil, the exploitation of children is to cease, true liberty
will be achieved, prostitution, which is somehow a bourgeois
institution, is to be abolished, everyone will be educated, production
increased till there is enough for all, the cities shall no more lord it
over the rural communities, all alike will perform useful labor, waste
places of the earth will become cultivated lands and the fertility of
the soil will be increased in accordance with a common plan, the state,
an instrument of bourgeois exploitation, will cease to exist; in fact,
the whole wicked past is to be left behind, for as

    The Communist revolution is the most radical rupture with
    traditional property relations, no wonder that its development
    involves the most radical rupture with traditional ideas.

In fine,

    In place of the old bourgeois society with its classes and class
    antagonisms we shall have an association in which the free
    development of each is the condition for the free development of

Le Bon says of the French Revolution:

    The principles of the Revolution speedily inspired a wave of
    mystic enthusiasm analogous to those provoked by the various
    religious beliefs which had preceded it. All they did was to
    change the orientation of a mental ancestry which the centuries
    had solidified.

    So there is nothing astonishing in the savage zeal of the men of
    the Convention. Their mystic mentality was the same as that of
    the Protestants at the time of the Reformation. The principal
    heroes of the Terror--Couthon, Saint Just, Robespierre,
    etc.--were apostles. Like Polyeuctes destroying the altars of
    the false gods to propagate his faith, they dreamed of
    converting the globe.... The mystic spirit of the leaders of the
    Revolution was betrayed in the least details of their public
    life. Robespierre, convinced that he was supported by the
    Almighty, assured his hearers in a speech that the Supreme Being
    had "decreed the Republic since the beginning of time."

A recent writer, after showing that the Russian revolution has failed to
put the Marxian principles into actual operation, says of Lenin and his

    They have caught a formula of glittering words; they have
    learned the verbal cadences which move the masses to ecstasy;
    they have learned to paint a vision of heaven that shall
    outflare in the minds of their followers the shabby realities of
    a Bolshevik earth. They are master phraseocrats, and in Russia
    they have reared an empire on phraseocracy.

    The alarmists who shriek of Russia would do well to turn their
    thoughts from Russia's socialistic menace. The peril of Russia
    is not to our industries, but to our states. The menace of the
    Bolsheviki is not an economic one, it is a political menace. It
    is the menace of fanatic armies, drunken with phrases and
    sweeping forward under Lenin like a Muscovite scourge. It is the
    menace of intoxicated proletarians, goaded by invented visions
    to seek to conquer the world.

    In Nicolai Lenin the Socialist, we have naught to fear. In
    Nicolai Lenin the political chief of Russia's millions, we may
    well find a menace, for his figure looms over the world. His
    Bolshevik abracadabra has seduced the workers of every race. His
    stealthy propaganda has shattered the morale of every army in
    the world. His dreams are winging to Napoleonic flights, and
    well he may dream of destiny; for in an age when we bow to
    phrases, it is Lenin who is the master phraseocrat of the world.

Passing over the question of Lenin's personal ambitions, and whether our
own crowd-stupidity, panic, and wrong-headed Allied diplomacy may not
have been contributing causes of the menace of Bolshevism, it can hardly
be denied that Bolshevism, like all other revolutionary crowd-movements,
is swayed by a painted vision of heaven which outflares the miseries of
earth. _Every revolutionary crowd of every description is a pilgrimage
set out to regain our lost Paradise._

Now it is this dream of paradise, or ideal society, which deserves
analytical study. Why does it always appear the minute a crowd is
sufficiently powerful to dream of world-power? It will readily be
conceded that this dream has some function in creating certain really
desirable social values. But such values cannot be the psychogenesis of
the dream. If the dream were ever realized, I think William James was
correct in saying that we should find it to be but a "sheep's heaven
and lubberland of joy," and that life in it would be so "mawkish and
dishwatery" that we should gladly return to this world of struggle and
challenge, or anywhere else, if only to escape the deadly inanity.

We have already noted the fact that this dream has the function of
justifying the crowd in its revolt and will to rule. But this is by no
means all. The social idealism has well been called a dream, for that is
just what it is, the daydream of the ages. It is like belief in fairies,
or the Cinderella myth. It is the Jack-and-the-beanstalk philosophy. The
dream has exactly the same function as the Absolute, and the ideal
world-systems of the paranoiac; _it is an imaginary refuge from the
real_. Like all other dreams, it is the realization of a wish. I have
long been impressed with the static character of this dream; not only is
it much the same in all ages, but it is always regarded as the great
culmination beyond which the imagination cannot stretch. Even those who
hold the evolutionary view of reality and know well that life is
continuous change, and that progress cannot be fixed in any passing
moment, however sweet, are generally unable to imagine progress going on
after the establishment of the ideal society and leaving it behind.

Revolutionary propaganda habitually stops, like the nineteenth-century
love story, with a general statement, "and so they lived happily ever
after." It is really the end, not the beginning or middle of the story.
It is the divine event toward which the whole creation moves, and having
reached it, _stops_. Evolution having been wound up to run to just this
end, time and change and effort may now be discontinued. There is
nothing further to do. In other words, the ideal is lifted clear out of
time and all historical connections. As in other dreams, the empirically
known sequence of events is ignored. Whole centuries of progress and
struggle and piecemeal experience are telescoped into one imaginary
symbolic moment. The moment now stands for the whole process, or rather
it is _substituted_ for the process. We have taken refuge from the real
into the ideal. The "Kingdom of Heaven," "Paradise," "The Return to Man
in the State of Nature," "Back to Primitive New Testament Christianity,"
"The Age of Reason," "Utopia," the "Revolution," the "Co-operative
Commonwealth," all mean psychologically the same thing. And that thing
is not at all a scientific social program, but a symbol of an easier and
better world where desires are realized by magic, and everyone's check
drawn upon the bank of existence is cashed. _Social idealism of
revolutionary crowds is a mechanism of compensation and escape for
suppressed desires._

Is there any easier way of denying the true nature and significance of
our objective world than by persuading ourselves that that world is even
now doomed, and is bound suddenly to be transformed into the land of our
heart's desire? Is it not to be expected that people would soon learn
how to give those desires greater unction, and to encourage one another
in holding to the fictions by which those desires could find their
compensation and escape, by resorting to precisely the crowd-devices
which we have been discussing?

The Messianists of Bible times expected the great transformation and
world cataclysm to come by means of a divine miracle. Those who are
affected by the wave of premillennialism which is now running through
certain evangelical Christian communions are experiencing a revival of
this faith with much of its primitive terminology.

Evolutionary social revolutionists expect the great day to come as the
culmination of a process of economic evolution. This is what is meant by
"evolutionary and revolutionary socialism." The wish-fancy is here
rationalized as a doctrine of evolution by revolution. Thus the
difference between the social revolutionist and the Second Adventist is
much smaller than either of them suspects. As Freud would doubtless say,
the difference extends only to the "secondary elaboration of the
manifest dream formation"--the latent dream thought is the same in both
cases. The Adventist expresses the wish in the terminology of a
prescientific age, while the social revolutionist makes use of modern
scientific jargon. Each alike finds escape from reality in the
contemplation of a new-world system. The faith of each is a scheme of
redemption--that is, of "compensation." Each contemplates the sudden,
cataclysmic destruction of the "present evil world," and its replacement
by a new order in which the meek shall inherit the earth. To both alike
the great event is destined, in the fullness of time, to come as a thief
in the night. In the one case it is to come as the fulfillment of
prophecy; in the other the promise is underwritten and guaranteed by
impersonal forces of "economic evolution."

This determinism is in the one case what Bergson calls "radical
finalism," and in the other "radical mechanism." But whether the
universe exists but to reel off a divine plan conceived before all
worlds, or be but the mechanical swinging of the shuttle of cause and
effect, what difference is there if the point arrived at is the same? In
both cases this point was fixed before the beginning of time, and the
meaning of the universe is just that and nothing else, since that is
what it all comes to in the end.

Whether the hand which turns the crank of the world-machine be called
that of God or merely "Evolution," it is only a verbal difference; it is
in both cases "a power not ourselves which makes for righteousness." And
the righteousness? Why, it is just the righteousness of our own
crowd--in other words, the crowd's bill of rights painted in the sky by
our own wish-fancy, and dancing over our heads like an aurora borealis.
It is the history of all crowds that this dazzling pillar of fire in the
Arctic night is hailed as the "rosy-fingered dawn" of the Day of the

Or, to change the figure somewhat, the faithful crowd has but to follow
its fiery cloud to the promised land which flows with milk and honey;
then march for an appointed time about the walls of the wicked bourgeois
Jericho, playing its propaganda tune until the walls fall down by magic
and the world is ours. _No revolution is possible without a miracle and
a brass band._

I have no desire to discourage those who have gone to work at the real
tasks of social reconstruction--certainly no wish to make this study an
apology for the existing social order. In the face of the ugly facts
which on every hand stand as indictments of what is called "capitalism,"
it is doubtful if anyone could defend the present system without
recourse to a certain amount of cynicism or cant. The widespread social
unrest which has enlisted in its service so much of the intellectual
spirit of this generation surely could never have come about without
provocation more real than the work of a mere handful of
"mischief-making agitators." The challenge to modern society is not
wholly of crowd origin.

But it is one thing to face seriously the manifold problems of
reconstruction of our social relations, and it is quite another thing to
persuade oneself that all these entangled problems have but one
imaginary neck which is waiting to be cut with a single stroke of the
sword of revolution in the hands of "the people." Hundreds of times I
have heard radicals, while discussing certain evils of present society,
say, "All these things are but symptoms, effects; to get rid of them you
must remove the cause." That cause is always, in substance, the present
economic system.

If this argument means that, instead of thinking of the various phases
of social behavior as isolated from one another, we should conceive of
them as so interrelated as to form something like a more or less
causally connected organic whole, I agree. But if it means something
else--and it frequently does--the argument is based upon a logical
fallacy. The word "system" is not a causal term; it is purely
descriptive. The facts referred to, whatever connections we may discover
among them, are not the effects of a mysterious "system" behind the
facts of human behavior; the facts themselves, taken together, are the

The confusion of causal and descriptive ideas is a habit common to both
the intellectualist philosopher and the crowd-minded. It enables people
to turn their gaze from the empirical Many to the fictitious One, from
the real to the imaginary. The idea of a system behind, over, outside,
and something different from the related facts which the term "system"
is properly used to describe, whether that system be a world-system, a
logical system, or a social system, whether it be capitalism or
socialism, "system" so conceived is a favorite crowd-spook. It is the
same logical fallacy as if one spoke of the temperature of this May day
as the effect of the climate, when all know that the term climate is
simply (to paraphrase James) the term by which we characterize the
temperature, weather, etc., which we experience on this and other days.
We have already seen to what use the crowd-mind puts all such

A popular revolutionary philosophy of history pictures the procession of
the ages as made up of a pageant of spook-social systems, each distinct
from the others and coming in its appointed time. But social systems do
not follow in a row, like elephants in a circus parade--each huge beast
with its trunk coiled about the end of his predecessor's tail. The
greater part of this "evolutionary and revolutionary" pageantry is
simply dream-stuff. Those who try to march into Utopia in such an
imaginary parade are not even trying to reconstruct society; they are
sociological somnambulists.

The crowd-mind clings to such pageantry because, as we saw in another
connection, the crowd desires to believe that evolution guarantees its
own future supremacy. It then becomes unnecessary to solve concrete
problems. One need only possess an official program of the order of the
parade. In other words, the crowd must persuade itself that only one
solution of the social problem is possible, and that one inevitable--its

Such thinking wholly misconceives the nature of the social problem. Like
all the practical dilemmas of life, this problem, assuming it to be in
any sense a single problem, is real just because more than one solution
is possible. The task here is like that of choosing a career. Whole
series of partially foreseen possibilities are contingent upon certain
definite choices. Aside from our choosing, many sorts of futures may be
equally possible. Our intervention at this or that definite point is an
act by which we will one series of possibilities rather than another
into reality. But the act of intervention is never performed once for
all. Each intervention leads only to new dilemmas, among which we must
again choose and intervene. It is mainly in order to escape from the
necessity of facing this terrifying series of unforeseeable dilemmas
that the crowd-man walketh in a vain show.

In pointing out the futility of present-day revolutionary
crowd-thinking, I am only striving to direct, in however small a degree,
our thought and energies into channels which lead toward desired
results. It is not by trombones that we are to redeem society, nor is
the old order going to tumble down like the walls of Jericho, and a
complete new start be given. Civilization cannot be wiped out and begun
all over again. It constitutes the environment within which our
reconstructive thinking must, by tedious effort, make certain definite
modifications. Each such modification is a problem in itself, to be
dealt with, not by belief in miracle, but by what Dewey calls "creative
intelligence." Each such modification must be achieved by taking all the
known facts, which are relevant, into account. As such it is a new
adaptation, and the result of a series of such adaptations may be as
great and radical a social transformation as one may have the courage
to set as the goal of a definite policy of social effort. But there is a
world of difference between social thinking of this kind, where faith is
a working hypothesis, and that which ignores the concrete problems that
must be solved to reach the desired goal, and, after the manner of
crowds, dreams of entering fairyland, or of pulling a new world _en
bloc_ down out of the blue, by the magic of substituting new tyrannies
for old.

Revolutionary crowd-thinking is not "creative intelligence." It is
_hocus-pocus_, a sort of social magic formula like the "mutabor" in the
Arabian Nights; it is an _Aladdin's-lamp_ philosophy. And here we may
sum up this part of our argument. The idea of the revolution is to the
crowd a symbol, the function of which is compensation for the burdens of
the struggle for existence, for the feeling of social inferiority, and
for desires suppressed by civilization. It is an imaginary escape from
hard reality, a new-world system in which the ego seeks refuge, a
defense mechanism under the compulsive influence of which crowds behave
like somnambulistic individuals. It is the apotheosis of the under crowd
itself and the transcendental expression and justification of its will
to rule. It is made up of just those broad generalizations which are of
use in keeping that crowd together. It gives the new crowd unction in
its fight with the old, since it was precisely these same dream-thoughts
which the old crowd wrote on its banners in the day when it, too, was
blowing trumpets outside the walls of Jericho.



So much for the psychology of the revolutionary propaganda. Now let us
look at what happens in the moment of revolutionary outbreak. We have
dwelt at some length on the fact that a revolution occurs when a new
crowd succeeds in displacing an old one in position of social control.
At first there is a general feeling of release and of freedom. There is
a brief period of ecstasy, of good will, a strange, almost mystical
magnanimity. A flood of oratory is released in praise of the "new day of
the people." Everyone is a "comrade." Everyone is important. There is an
inclination to trust everyone. This Easter-morning state of mind
generally lasts for some days--until people are driven by the pinch of
hunger to stop talking and take up again the routine tasks of daily
living. We have all read how the "citizens" of the French Revolution
danced in the streets for sheer joy in their new-won liberty. Those who
were in Petrograd during the days which immediately followed the
downfall of the Tsar bear witness to a like almost mystical sense of the
general goodness of human kind and of joy in human fellowship.

With the return to the commonplace tasks of daily life, some effort, and
indeed further rationalization, is needed to keep up the feeling that
the new and wonderful age has really come to stay. Conflicts of interest
and special grievances are viewed as involving the vital principles of
the Revolution. People become impatient and censorious. There is a
searching of hearts. People watch their neighbors, especially their
rivals, to make sure that nothing in their behavior shall confirm the
misgivings which are vaguely felt in their own minds. The rejoicing and
comradeship which before were spontaneous are now demanded. Intolerance
toward the vanquished crowd reappears with increased intensity, not a
little augmented by the knowledge that the old enemies are now at "the
people's" mercy.

There is a demand for revenge for old abuses. The displaced crowd likely
as not, foreseeing the doom which awaits its members, seeks escape by
attempting a counter-revolution. A propaganda of sympathy is carried on
among members of this same class who remain in the dominant crowd in
communities not affected by the revolution. There is secret plotting
and suspicion of treason on every hand. People resort to extravagant
expressions of their revolutionary principles, not only to keep up their
own faith in them, but to show their loyalty to the great cause. The
most fanatical and uncompromising members of the group gain prominence
because of their excessive devotion. By the very logic of
crowd-thinking, leadership passes to men who are less and less competent
to deal with facts and more and more extreme in their zeal. Hence the
usual decline from the Mirabeaus to the Dantons and Cariers, and from
these to the Marats and Robespierres, from the Milukoffs to the
Kerenskys and from the Kerenskys to the Trotzkys. With each excess the
crowd must erect some still new defense against the inevitable
disclosure of the fact that the people are not behaving at all as if
they were living in the kingdom of heaven. With each farther deviation
from the plain meaning of facts, the revolution must resort to more
severe measures to sustain itself, until finally an unsurmountable
barrier is reached, such as the arrival on the scene of a Napoleon. Then
the majority are forced to abandon the vain hope of really attaining
Utopia, and content themselves with fictions to the effect that what
they have really _is_ Utopia--or with such other mechanisms as will
serve to excuse and minimize the significance of existing facts and put
off the complete realization of the ideal until some future stage of
progress. It is needless to add that those who have most profited by the
revolutionary change are also most ready to take the lead in persuading
their neighbors to be content with these rational compromises.

Meanwhile, however, the revolutionary leaders have set up a dictatorship
of their own, which, while necessary to "save the revolution," is itself
a practical negation of the revolutionary dream of a free world. This
dictatorship, finally passing into the hands of the more competent
element of the revolutionary crowd, justifies itself to the many;
professing and requiring of all a verbal assent to the revolutionary
creed of which its very existence is a fundamental repudiation. This
group becomes in time the nucleus about which society finally settles
down again in comparative peace and equilibrium.

In general, then, it may be said that a revolution does not and cannot
realize the age-long dream of a world set free. Its results may be
summed up as follows: a newly dominant crowd, a new statement of old
beliefs, new owners of property in the places of the old, new names for
old tyrannies. Looking back over the history of the several great tidal
waves of revolution which have swept over the civilization which is
to-day ours, it would appear that one effect of them has been to
intensify the hold which crowd-thinking has upon all of us, also to
widen the range of the things which we submit to the crowd-mind for
final judgment. In confirmation of this it is to be noted that it is on
the whole those nations which have been burnt over by both the
Reformation and the eighteenth-century revolution which exhibit the most
chauvian brand of nationalism and crowd-patriotism. It is these same
nations also which have most highly depersonalized their social
relationships, political structures, and ideals. It is these nations
also whose councils are most determined by spasms of crowd-propaganda.

The modern man doubtless has a sense of self in a degree unknown--except
by the few--in earlier ages, but along with this there exists in "modern
ideas," a complete system of crowd-ideas with which the conscious self
comes into conflict at every turn. Just how far the revolutionary crowds
of the past have operated to provide the stereotyped forms in which
present crowd-thinking is carried on, it is almost impossible to learn.
But that their influence has been great may be seen by anyone who
attempts a psychological study of "public opinion."

Aside from the results mentioned, I think the deposit of revolutionary
movements in history has been very small. It may be that, in the
general shake-up of such a period, a few vigorous spirits are tossed
into a place where their genius has an opportunity which it would
otherwise have failed to get. But it would seem that on the whole the
idea that revolutions help the progress of the race is a hoax. Where
advancement has been achieved in freedom, in intelligence, in ethical
values, in art or science, in consideration for humanity, in
legislation, it has in each instance been achieved by unique
individuals, and has spread chiefly by personal influence, never gaining
assent except among those who have power to recreate the new values won
in their own experience.

Whenever we take up a new idea as a crowd, we at once turn it into a
catchword and a fad. Faddism, instead of being merely a hunger for the
new is rather an expression of the crowd-will to uniformity. To be
"old-fashioned" and out of date is as truly to be a nonconformist as to
be a freak or an originator. Faddism is neither radicalism nor a symptom
of progress. It is a mark of the passion for uniformity or _the
conservatism of the crowd-mind_. It is change; but its change is

It is often said that religious liberty is the fruit of the Reformation.
If so it is an indirect result and one which the reformers certainly
did not desire. They sought liberty only for their own particular
propaganda, a fact which is abundantly proved by Calvin's treatment of
Servetus and of the Anabaptists, by Luther's attitude toward the Saxon
peasants, by the treatment of Catholics in England, by the whole history
of Cromwell's rule, by the persecution of Quakers and all other
"heretics" in our American colonies--Pennsylvania, I believe,
excepted--down to the date of the American Revolution.

It just happened that Protestantism as _the religion of the bourgeois_
fell into the hands of a group, who, outside their religious-crowd
interests were destined to be the greatest practical beneficiaries of
the advancement of applied science. Between applied science and science
as a cultural discipline--that is, science as a humanistic study--the
line is hard to draw. The Humanist spirit of the sciences attained a
certain freedom, notwithstanding the fact that the whole Reformation was
really a reactionary movement against the Renaissance; in spite,
moreover, of the patent fact that the Protestant churches still,
officially at least, resist the free spirit of scientific culture.

It is to the free spirits of the Italian Renaissance, also to the
Jeffersons and Franklins and Paines, the Lincolns and Ingersolls, the
Huxleys and Darwins and Spencers, the men who dared alone to resist the
religious crowd-mind and to undermine the abstract ideas in which it had
intrenched itself, to whom the modern world owes its religious and
intellectual liberty.

The same is true of political liberty. England, which is the most free
country in the world to-day, never really experienced the revolutionary
crowd-movement of the eighteenth century. Instead, the changes came by a
process of gradual reconstruction. And it is with just such an
opportunist reconstructive process that England promises now to meet and
solve the problems of the threatened social revolution. In contrast with
Russia, Socialism in England has much ground for hope of success. The
radical movement in England is on the whole wisely led by men who with
few exceptions can think realistically and pragmatically, and refuse to
be swept off their feet by crowd-abstractions. The British Labor party
is the least crowd-minded of any of the socialistic organizations of our
day. The Rochdale group has demonstrated that if it is co-operation that
people desire as a solution of the economic problem, the way to solve it
is to co-operate along definite and practicable lines; the co-operators
have given up belief in the miracle of Jericho. The British trade-union
movement has demonstrated the fact that organization of this kind
succeeds in just the degree that it can rise above crowd-thinking and
deal with a suggestion of concrete problems according to a statesmanlike
policy of concerted action.

To be sure it cannot be denied that the social reconstruction in England
is seriously menaced by the tendency to crowd-behavior. At best it
reveals hardly more than the superior advantage to the whole community
of a slightly less degree of crowd-behavior; but when compared with the
Socialist movement in Russia, Germany, and the United States, it would
seem that radicalism in England has at least a remote promise of
reaching a working solution of the social problem; and that is more than
can at present be said for the others.

In the light of what has been said about the psychology of revolution, I
think we may hazard an opinion about the vaunted "Dictatorship of the
Proletariat"--an idea that has provided some new catchwords for the
crowd which is fascinated by the soviet revolution in Russia. Granting
for the sake of argument that such a dictatorship would be desirable
from any point of view--I do not see how the mere fact that people work
proves their capacity to rule, horses also work--would it be possible? I
think not. Even the temporary rule of Lenin in Russia can hardly be
called a rule of the working class. Bolshevist propaganda will have it
that such a dictatorship of the working class is positively necessary
if we are ever to get away from the abuses of present "capitalistic
society." Moreover, it is argued that this dictatorship of the organized
workers could not be undemocratic, for since vested property is to be
abolished and everyone forced to work for his living, all will belong to
the working class, and therefore the dictatorship of the proletariat is
but the dictatorship of all.

In the first place, assuming that it is the dictatorship of all who
survive the revolution, this dictatorship of all over each is not
liberty for anyone; it may leave not the tiniest corner where one may be
permitted to be master of himself. The tyranny of all over each is as
different from freedom as is pharisaism from spiritual living.

Again, what is there to show that this imagined dictatorship of all is
to be shared equally by all, and if not have we not merely set up a new
privileged class--the very thing which the Socialist Talmud has always
declared it is the mission of the workers to destroy forever? While the
workers are still a counter-crowd, struggling for power against the
present ruling class, they are of course held together by a common
cause--namely, their opposition to capital. But with labor's triumph,
everybody becomes a worker, and there is no one longer to oppose. That
which held the various elements of labor together in a common crowd of
revolt has now ceased to exist, "class consciousness" has therefore no
longer any meaning. Labor itself has ceased to exist _as a class_ by
reason of its very triumph. What then remains to hold its various
elements together in a common cause? Nothing at all. The solidarity of
the workers vanishes, when the struggle which gave rise to that
solidarity ceases. There remains now nothing but the humanitarian
principle of the solidarity of the human race. Solidarity has ceased to
be an economic fact, and has become purely "ideological."

Since by hypothesis everyone is a worker, the dictatorship of the
workers is a dictatorship based not on labor as such, but upon a
universal human quality. It would be quite as truly a dictatorship of
everyone if based upon any other common human quality--say, the fact
that we are all bipeds, that we all have noses, or the fact of the
circulation of the blood. As the purely proletarian character of this
dictatorship becomes meaningless, the crowd-struggle switches from that
of labor as a whole against capital, to a series of struggles within the
dominant labor group itself.

The experience of Russia has even now shown that if the soviets are to
save themselves from nation-wide bankruptcy, specially trained men must
be found to take charge of their industrial and political activities.
Long training is necessary for the successful management of large
affairs, and becomes all the more indispensable as industry, education,
and political affairs are organized on a large scale. Are specially
promising youths to be set apart from early childhood to prepare
themselves for these positions of authority? Or shall such places be
filled by those vigorous few who have the ambition and the strength to
acquire the necessary training while at the same time working at their
daily tasks? In either case an _intellectual class_ must be developed.
Does anyone imagine that this new class of rulers will hesitate to make
use of every opportunity to make itself a privileged class?

"But what opportunity can there be," is the reply, "since private
capital is to be abolished?" Very well, there have been ruling classes
before in history who did not enjoy the privilege of owning private
property. The clergy of the Middle Ages was such a class, and their
dominance was quite as effective and as enduring as is that of our
commercial classes today. But let us not deceive ourselves; in a soviet
republic there would be opportunity aplenty for exploitation. As the
solidarity of labor vanished, each important trade-group would enter
into rivalry with the others for leadership in the co-operative
commonwealth. Every economic advantage which any group possessed would
be used in order to lord it over the rest.

For instance, let us suppose that the workers in a strategic industry,
such as the railways, or coal mines, should make the discovery that by
going on a strike they could starve the community as a whole into
submission and gain practically anything they might demand. Loyalty to
the rest of labor would act no more as a check to such ambitions than
does loyalty to humanity in general now. As we have seen, the crowd is
always formed for the unconscious purpose of relaxing the social control
by mechanisms which mutually justify such antisocial conduct on the part
of members of the crowd. There is every reason, both economic and
psychological, why the workers in each industry would become organized
crowds seeking to gain for their particular groups the lion's share of
the spoils of the social revolution. What would there be, then, to
prevent the workers of the railroads or some other essential industry
from exploiting the community quite as mercilessly as the capitalists
are alleged to do at present? Nothing but the rivalry of other crowds
who were seeking the same dominance. In time a _modus vivendi_ would
doubtless be reached whereby social control would be shared by a few of
the stronger unions--and their leaders.

The strike has already demonstrated the fact that in the hands of a
well-organized body of laborers, especially in those trades where the
number of apprentices may be controlled, industrial power becomes a much
more effective weapon than it is in the hands of the present
capitalistic owners.

A new dictatorship, therefore, must inevitably follow the social
revolution, in support of which a favored minority will make use of the
industrial power of the community, just as earlier privileged classes
used military power and the power of private property. And this new
dominance would be just as predatory, and would justify itself, as did
the others, by the platitudes of crowd-thinking. The so-called
dictatorship turns out, on examination, to be the dictatorship of one
section of the proletariat over the rest of it. The dream of social
redemption by such means is a pure _crowd-idea_.



The whole philosophy of politics comes down at last to a question of
four words. Who is to govern? Compared with this question the problem of
the form of government is relatively unimportant. Crowd-men, whatever
political faith they profess, behave much the same when they are in
power. The particular forms of political organization through which
their power is exerted are mere incidentals. There is the same
self-laudation, the same tawdry array of abstract principles, the same
exploitation of under crowds, the same cunning in keeping up
appearances, the same preference of the charlatan for positions of
leadership and authority. Machiavelli's Prince, or Dostoievsky's Grand
Inquisitor, would serve just as well as the model for the guidance of a
Cæsar Borgia, a leader of Tammany Hall, a chairman of the National
Committee of a political party, or a Nicolai Lenin.

Ever since the days of Rousseau certain crowds have persisted in the
conviction that all tyrannies were foisted upon an innocent humanity by
a designing few. There may have been a few instances in history where
such was the case, but tyrannies of that kind have never lasted long.
For the most part the tyrant is merely the instrument and official
symbol of a dominant crowd. His acts are his crowd's acts, and without
his crowd to support him he very soon goes the way of the late Sultan of
Turkey. The Cæsars were hardly more than "walking delegates,"
representing the ancient Roman Soldiers' soviet. They were made and
unmade by the army which, though Cæsars might come and Cæsars might go,
continued to lord it over the Roman world. While the army was pagan,
even the mild Marcus Aurelius followed Nero's example of killing
Christians. When finally the army itself became largely Christian, and
the fiction that the Christians drank human blood, worshiped the head of
an ass, and were sexually promiscuous was no longer good patriotic
propaganda, the Emperor Constantine began to see visions of the Cross in
the sky. The Pope, who is doubtless the most absolute monarch in the
Occident, is, however, "infallible" only when he speaks
_ex-cathedra_--that is, as the "Church Herself." His infallibility is
that of the Church. All crowds in one way or another claim
infallibility. The tyrant Robespierre survived only so long as did his
particular revolutionary crowd in France.

The fate of Savonarola was similar. From his pulpit he could rule
Florence with absolute power just so long as he told his crowd what it
wished to hear, and so long as his crowd was able to keep itself
together and remain dominant. The Stuarts, Hohenzollerns, Hapsburgs, and
Romanoffs, with all their claims to divine rights, were little more than
the living symbols of their respective nation-crowds. They vanished when
they ceased to represent successfully the crowd-will.

In general, then, it may be said that _where the crowd is, there is
tyranny_. Tyranny may be exercised through one agent or through many,
but it nearly always comes from the same source--the crowd. Crowd-rule
may exist in a monarchical form of government, or in a republic. The
personnel of the dominant crowd will vary with a change in the form of
the state, but the spirit will be much the same. Conservative writers
are in the habit of assuming that democracy is the rule of crowds pure
and simple. Whether crowd-government is more absolute in a democracy
than in differently constituted states is a question. The aim of
democratic constitutions like our own is to prevent any special crowd
from intrenching itself in a position of social control and thus
becoming a ruling class. As the experiment has worked out thus far it
can hardly be said that it has freed us from the rule of crowds. It has,
however, multiplied the number of mutually suspicious crowds, so that no
one of them has for long enjoyed a sufficiently great majority to make
itself clearly supreme, though it must be admitted that up to the
present the business-man crowd has had the best of the deal. The story
of the recent Eighteenth Amendment shows how easy it is for a determined
crowd, even though in a minority, to force its favorite dogmas upon the
whole community. We shall doubtless see a great deal more of this sort
of thing in the future than we have in the past. And if the various
labor groups should become sufficiently united in a "proletarian" crowd
there is nothing to prevent their going to any extreme.

We are passing through a period of socialization. All signs point to the
establishment of some sort of social state or industrial commonwealth.
No one can foresee the extent, to which capital now privately owned is
to be transferred to the public. It is doubtful if anything can be done
to check this process. The tendency is no sooner blocked along one
channel than it begins to seep through another. In itself there need be
nothing alarming about this transition. If industry could be better
co-ordinated and more wisely administered by non-crowd men for the
common good, the change might work out to our national advantage.

It is possible to conceive of a society in which a high degree of social
democracy, even communism, might exist along with a maximum of freedom
and practical achievement. But we should first have to get over our
crowd-ways of thinking and acting. People would have to regard the state
as a purely administrative affair. They would have to organize for
definite practical ends, and select their leaders and administrators
very much as certain corporations now do, strictly on the basis of their
competency. Political institutions would have to be made such that they
could not be seized by special groups to enhance themselves at the
expense of the rest. Partisanship would have to cease. Every effort
would have to be made to loosen the social control over the individual's
personal habits. The kind of people who have an inner gnawing to
regulate their neighbors, the kind who cannot accept the fact of their
psychic inferiority and must consequently make crowds by way of
compensation, would have to be content to mind their own business.
Police power would have to be reduced to the minimum necessary to
protect life and keep the industries running. People would have to
become much more capable of self-direction as well as of voluntary
co-operation than they are now. They would have to be more resentful of
petty official tyranny, more independent in their judgments and at the
same time more willing to accept the advice and authority of experts.
They would have to place the control of affairs in the hands of the type
of man against whose dominance the weaker brethren have in all ages
waged war--that is, the free spirits and natural masters of men. All pet
dogmas and cult ideas that clashed with practical considerations would
have to be swept away.

Such a conception of society is, of course, wholly utopian. It could not
possibly be realized by people behaving and thinking as crowds. With our
present crowd-making habits, the process of greater socialization of
industry means only increased opportunities for crowd-tyranny. In the
hands of a dominant crowd an industrial state would be indeed what
Herbert Spencer called the "coming slavery."

As it is, the state has become overgrown and bureaucratic. Commissions
of all sorts are being multiplied year by year. Public debts are piled
up till they approach the point of bankruptcy. Taxes are increasing in
the same degree. Statutes are increased in number until one can hardly
breathe without violating some decree, ordinance, or bit of sumptuary
legislation. Every legislative assembly is constantly besieged by the
professional lobbyists of a swarm of reformist crowds. Busybodies of
every description twist the making and the enforcement of law into
conformity with their peculiar prejudices. Censorships of various kinds
are growing in number and effrontery. Prohibition is insincerely put
forth as a war measure. Ignorant societies for the "suppression of vice"
maul over our literature and our art. Parents of already more children
than they can support may not be permitted lawfully to possess
scientific knowledge of the means of the prevention of conception. The
government, both state and national, takes advantage of the war for
freedom to pass again the hated sort of "alien and sedition" laws from
which the country thought it had freed itself a century ago. A host of
secret agents and volunteer "guardians of public safety" are ready to
place every citizen under suspicion of disloyalty to the government. Any
advocacy of significant change in established political practices is
regarded as sedition. An inquisition is set up for the purpose of
inquiring into people's private political opinions. Reputable citizens
are, on the flimsiest hearsay evidence or rumor that they entertain
nonconformist views, subjected to public censure by notoriety-seeking
"investigation commissions"--and by an irresponsible press. Only members
of an established political party in good standing are permitted to
criticize the acts of the President of the United States. Newspapers and
magazines are suppressed and denied the privilege of the mails at the
whim of opinionated post-office officers or of ignorant employees of the
Department of Justice. An intensely patriotic weekly paper in New York,
which happened to hold unconventional views on the subject of religion,
has had certain issues of its paper suppressed for the offense of
publishing accounts of the alleged misconduct of the Y. M. C. A.

The stupidity and irresponsibility of the Russian spy-system which has
grown up in this country along with our overweening state is illustrated
by an amusing little experience which happened to myself several months
after the signing of the armistice with Germany. All through the trying
months of the war the great audience at Cooper Union had followed me
with a loyalty and tolerance which was truly wonderful. Though I knew
that many had not always been in hearty accord with my rather
spontaneous and outspoken Americanism, the Cooper Union Forum was one of
the few places in America where foreign and labor elements were present
in large numbers in which there was no outbreak or demonstration of any
kind which could possibly be interpreted as un-American. We all felt
that perhaps the People's Institute with its record of twenty years'
work behind it had been of some real service to the nation in adhering
strictly to its educational method and keeping its discussions wholly
above the level of any sort of crowd-propaganda.

However, in the course of our educational work, it became my task to
give to a selected group of advanced students a course of lectures upon
the Theory of Knowledge. The course was announced with the title, "How
Free Men Think," and the little folder contained the statement that it
was to be a study of the Humanist logic, with Professor F. C. S.
Schiller's philosophical writings to be used as textbooks. The
publication of this folder announcing the course was held up by the
printer, and we learned that he had been told not to print it by some
official personage whose identity was not revealed. Notwithstanding the
fact that Schiller is professor of philosophy in Corpus Christi College,
Oxford, and is one of the best-known philosophical writers in the
English-speaking world, and holds views practically identical with what
is called the "American School," led by the late William James, it
developed that the government agents--or whoever they were--objected to
the publication of the announcement on the ground that they _thought
Schiller was a German_. Such is our intellectual freedom regarding
matters which have no political significance whatever, in a world made
"safe for democracy." But we must not permit ourselves to despair or
grow weary of life in this "safety first" world--waves of
pseudo-patriotic panic often follow on the heels of easily won victory.
Crowd-phenomena of such intensity are usually of short duration, as
these very excesses soon produce the inevitable reaction.

The question, however, arises, is democracy more conducive to freedom
than other forms of political organization? To most minds the terms
"liberty" and "democracy" are almost synonymous. Those who consider that
liberty consists in having a vote, in giving everyone a voice regardless
of whether he has anything to say, will have no doubts in the matter.
But to those whose thinking means more than the mere repetition of
eighteenth-century crowd-ideas, the question will reduce itself to this:
Is democracy more conducive to crowd-behavior than other forms of
government? Le Bon and those who identify the crowd with the masses
would answer with an _a priori_ affirmative. I do not believe the
question may be answered in any such off-hand manner. It is a question
of fact rather than of theory. Theoretically, since we have
demonstrated I think that the crowd is not the common people as such,
but is a peculiar form of psychic behavior, it would seem that there is
no logical necessity for holding that democracy must always and
everywhere be the rule of the mob. And we have seen that other forms of
society may also suffer from crowd-rule. I suspect that the repugnance
which certain aristocratic, and bourgeois writers also, show for
democracy is less the horror of crowd-rule as such, than dislike of
seeing control pass over to a crowd other than their own. Theoretically
at least, democracy calls for a maximum of self-government and personal
freedom. The fact that democracy is rapidly degenerating into tyranny of
all over each may be due, not to the democratic ideal itself, but the
growing tendency to crowd-behavior in modern times. It may be that
certain democratic ideals are not so much causes as effects of
crowd-thinking and action. It cannot be denied that such ideals come in
very handy these days in the way of furnishing crowds with effective
catchwords for their propaganda and of providing them with ready-made
justifications for their will to power. I should say that democracy has
_indirectly permitted_, rather than directly caused, an extension in the
range of thought and behavior over which the crowd assumes

In comparing democracy with more autocratic forms of government, this
extent or range of crowd-control over the individual is important. Of
course, human beings will never permit to one another a very large
degree of personal freedom. It is to the advantage of everyone in the
struggle for existence to reduce his neighbors as much as possible to
automatons. In this way one's own adjustment to the behavior of others
is made easier. If we can induce or compel all about us to confine their
actions to perfect routine, then we may predict with a fair degree of
accuracy their future behavior, and be prepared in advance to meet it.
We all dread the element of the unexpected, and nowhere so much as in
the conduct of our neighbors. If we could only get rid of the humanly
unexpected, society would be almost fool-proof. Hence the resistance to
new truths, social change, progress, nonconformity of any sort; hence
our orthodoxies and conventions; hence our incessant preaching to our
neighbors to "be good"; hence the fanaticism with which every crowd
strives to keep its believers in line. Much of this insistence on
regularity is positively necessary. Without it there could be no social
or moral order at all. It is in fact the source and security of the
accepted values of civilization, as Schiller has shown.

But the process of keeping one another in line is carried much farther
than is necessary to preserve the social order. It is insisted upon to
the extent that will guarantee the survival, even the dominance, of the
spiritually sick, the morally timid, the trained-animal men, those who
would revert to savagery, or stand utterly helpless the moment a new
situation demanded that they do some original thinking in the place of
performing the few stereotyped tricks which they have acquired; the
dog-in-the-manger people, who because they can eat no meat insist that
all play the dyspeptic lest the well-fed outdistance them in the race of
life or set them an example in following which they get the stomach
ache; the people who, because they cannot pass a saloon door without
going in and getting drunk, cannot see a moving-picture, or read a
modern book, or visit a bathing beach without being tormented with their
gnawing promiscuous eroticism, insist upon setting up their own
perverted dilemmas as the moral standard for everybody.

Such people exist in great numbers in every society. They are always
strong for "brotherly love," for keeping up appearances, for removing
temptation from the path of life, for uniform standards of belief and
conduct. Each crowd, in its desire to become the majority, to hold the
weaker brethren within its fold, and especially as everyone of us has a
certain amount of this "little brother" weakness in his own nature,
which longs to be pampered if only the pampering can be done without
hurting our pride--the crowd invariably plays to this sort of thing and
bids for its support. As the little brother always expresses his
survival-values in terms of accepted crowd-ideas, no crowd can really
turn him down without repudiating its abstract principles. In fact, it
is just this weakness in our nature which, as we have seen, leads us to
become crowd-men in the first place. Furthermore, we have seen that any
assertion of personal independence is resented by the crowd because it
weakens the crowd-faith of all.

The measure of freedom granted to men will depend, therefore, upon how
many things the crowd attempts to consider its business. There is a law
of inertia at work here. In monarchical forms of government, where the
crowd-will is exercised through a single human agent, the monarch may be
absolute in regard to certain things which are necessary to his own and
his crowd's survival. In such matters "he can do no wrong"; there is
little or no appeal from his decisions. But the very thoroughness with
which he hunts down nonconformity in matters which directly concern his
authority, leaves him little energy for other things. Arbitrary power
is therefore usually limited to relatively few things, since the
autocrat cannot busy himself with everything that is going on. Within
the radius of the things which the monarch attempts to regulate he may
be an intolerable tyrant, but so long as he is obeyed in these matters,
so long as things run on smoothly on the surface, there are all sorts of
things which he would prefer not to have brought to his attention, as
witness, for instance, the letter of Trajan to the younger Pliny.

With a democracy it is different. While the exercise of authority is
never so inexorable--indeed democratic states frequently pass laws for
the purpose of placing the community on record "for righteousness,"
rather than with the intention of enforcing such laws--the number of
things which a democracy will presume to regulate is vastly greater than
in monarchical states. As sovereignty is universal, everybody becomes
lawmaker and regulator of his neighbors. As the lawmaking power is
present everywhere, nothing can escape its multieyed scrutiny. All sorts
of foibles, sectional interests, group demands, class prejudices become
part of the law of the land. A democracy is no respecter of persons and
can, under its dogma of equality before the law, admit of no exceptions.
The whole body politic is weighed down with all the several bits of
legislation which may be demanded by any of the various groups within
it. An unusual inducement and opportunity are thus provided for every
crowd to force its own crowd-dilemmas upon all.

The majority not only usurps the place of the king, but it tends to
subject the whole range of human thought and behavior to its
authority--everything, in fact, that anyone, disliking in his neighbors
or finding himself tempted to do, may wish to "pass a law against."
Every personal habit and private opinion becomes a matter for public
concern. Custom no longer regulates; all is rationalized according to
the logic of the crowd-mind. Public policy sits on the doorstep of every
man's personal conscience. The citizen in us eats up the man. Not the
tiniest personal comfort may yet be left us in private enjoyment. All
that cannot be translated into propaganda or hold its own in a
legislative lobby succumbs. If we are to preserve anything of our
personal independence, we must organize ourselves into a crowd like the
rest and get out in the streets and set up a public howl. Unless some
one pretty soon starts a pro-tobacco crusade and proves to the
newspaper-reading public that the use of nicotine by everybody in equal
amount is absolutely necessary for the preservation of the American
home, for economic efficiency and future military supremacy, we shall
doubtless all soon be obliged to sneak down into the cellar and smoke
our pipes in the dark.

Here we see the true argument for a written constitution, and also, I
think, a psychological principle which helps us to decide what should be
in a constitution and what should not. The aim of a constitution is to
put a limit to the number of things concerning which a majority-crowd
may lord it over the individual. I am aware that the appeal to the
Constitution is often abused by predatory interests which skulk behind
its phraseology in their defense of special economic privilege. But,
nevertheless, people in a democracy may be free only so long as they
submit to the dictation of the majority in _just and only those few
interests concerning which a monarch, were he in existence, would take
advantage of them for his personal ends_. There are certain political
and economic relations which cannot be left to the chance exploitation
of any individual or group that happens to come along. Some one is sure
to come along, for you may be sure that if there is a possible
opportunity to take advantage, some one will do it sooner or later.

Now because people have discovered that there is no possible individual
freedom in respect to certain definite phases of their common life which
are always exposed to seizure by exploiters, democrats have substituted
a tyranny of the majority for the tyranny of the one or the favored few
which would otherwise be erected at these points. Since it is necessary
to give up freedom in these regions anyway, there is some compensation
in spreading the tyrannizing around so that each gets a little share of
it. But every effort should be made to _limit the tyranny of the
majority to just these points_. And the line limiting the number of
things that the majority may meddle with must be drawn as hard and fast
as possible, since every dominant crowd, as we have seen, will squeeze
the life out of everything human it can get its hands on. The minute a
majority finds that it can extend its tyranny beyond this strictly
constitutionally limited sphere, nothing remains to stop it; it becomes
worse than an autocracy. Tyranny is no less abhorrent just because the
number of tyrants is increased. A nation composed of a hundred million
little tyrants snooping and prying into every corner may be democratic,
but, personally, if that ever comes to be the choice I think I should
prefer one tyrant. He might occasionally look the other way and leave me
a free man, long enough at least for me to light my pipe.

True democrats will be very jealous of government. Necessary as it is,
there is no magic about government, no saving grace. Government cannot
redeem us from our sins; it will always require all the decency we
possess to redeem the government. Government always represents the moral
dilemmas of the worst people, not the best. It cannot give us freedom;
it can give or grant us nothing but what it first takes from us. It is
we who grant to the government certain powers and privileges necessary
for its proper functioning. We do not exist for the government; it
exists for us. We are not its servants; it is our servant. Government at
best is a useful and necessary machine, a mechanism by which we protect
ourselves from one another. It has no more rights and dignities of its
own than are possessed by any other machine. Its laws should be obeyed,
for the same reason that the laws of mechanics should be
obeyed--otherwise the machine will not run.

As a matter of fact it is not so much government itself against which
the democrat must be on guard, but the various crowds which are always
seeking to make use of the machinery of government in order to impose
their peculiar tyranny upon all and invade the privacy of everyone. By
widening the radius of governmental control, the crowd thus pinches down
the individuality of everyone with the same restrictions as are imposed
by the crowd upon its own members.

Conway says:

    Present-day Democracy rests on a few organized parties. What
    would a democracy be like if based on millions of independent
    Joneses each of whom decided to vote this or that way as he
    pleased? The dominion of the crowd would be at an end, both for
    better and for worse. We shall not behold any such revolution in
    the world as we know it....

    Thus we must conclude that the crowd by its very nature tends,
    and always must tend, to diminish (if possible, to the vanishing
    point) the freedom of its members, and not in one or two
    respects alone, but in all. The crowd's desire is to swallow up
    the individuality of its members and reduce them one and all to
    the condition of crowd units whose whole life is lived according
    to the crowd-pattern and is sacrificed and devoted to

    An excellent illustration of this crowd-dominance crops up in my
    afternoon paper.... It appears that in certain parts of the
    country artisans, by drinking too much alcohol, are reducing
    their capacity of doing their proper work, which happens at the
    moment to be of great importance to the country at war. Many
    interferences with liberty are permitted in war time by general
    consent. It is accordingly proposed to put difficulties in the
    way of these drinkers by executive orders. One would suppose
    that the just way to do this would be to make a list of the
    drinkers and prohibit their indulgence. But this is not the way
    the crowd works. To it everyone of its constituent members is
    like another, and all must be drilled and controlled alike....
    Whatever measure is adopted must fall evenly on all classes,
    upon club, restaurant and hotel as upon public house. Could
    anything be more absurd? Lest a gunmaker or a shipbuilder in
    Glasgow should drink too much, Mr. Asquith must not take a glass
    of sherry with his lunch at the Athenæum!...

    We live in days when crowd dominion over individuals has been
    advancing at a headlong pace.... If he is not to drink in London
    lest a Glasgow engineer should get drunk, why should not his
    eating be alike limited? Why not the style and cut of his
    clothes? Why not the size and character of his house? He must
    cause his children to be taught at least the minimum of muddled
    information which the government calls education. He must insure
    for his dependents the attention of an all-educated physician,
    and the administration of drugs known to be useless. If the
    crowd had its way every mother and infant would be under the
    orders of inspectors, regardless of the capacity of the parent.
    We should all be ordered about in every relation of life from
    infancy to manhood.... Freedom would utterly vanish, and this,
    not because the crowd can arrange things better than the
    individual. It cannot. It lacks the individual's brains. The
    ultimate reason for all this interference is the crowd's desire
    to swallow up and control the unit. The instinct of all crowds
    is to dominate, to capture and overwhelm the individual, to make
    him their slave, to absorb all his life for their service.

The criticism has often been made of democracy that it permits too much
freedom; the reverse of this is nearer the truth. It was de Tocqueville,
I think, who first called attention to the "tyranny of the majority" in
democratic America. Probably one of the most comprehensive and
discriminating studies that have ever been made of the habits and
institutions of any nation may be found in the work of this observing
young Frenchman who visited our country at the close of its first half
century of political independence. De Tocqueville's account of Democracy
in America is still good reading, much of it being applicable to the
present. This writer was in no sense an unfriendly critic. He praised
much that he saw, but even in those days (the period of 1830) he was not
taken in by the fiction that, because the American people live under
laws of their own making, they are therefore free. Much of the following
passages taken here and there from Chapters XIV and XV is as true today
as it was when it was written:

    America is therefore a free country in which, lest anybody be
    hurt by your remarks, you are not allowed to speak freely of
    private individuals, of the State, or the citizens, or the
    authorities, of public or private undertakings, in short of
    anything at all, except perhaps the climate and the soil, and
    even then Americans will be found ready to defend both as if
    they had concurred in producing them.

    The American submits without a murmur to the authority of the
    pettiest magistrate. This truth prevails even in the trivial
    details of national life. An American cannot converse--he speaks
    to you as if he were addressing a meeting. If an American were
    condemned to confine himself to his own affairs, he would be
    robbed of one-half of his existence; his wretchedness would be

    The moral authority of the majority in America is based on the
    notion that there is more intelligence and wisdom in a number of
    men united than in a single individual.... The theory of
    equality is thus applied to the intellects of men.

    The French, under the old regime, held it for a maxim that the
    King could do no wrong. The Americans entertain the same opinion
    with regard to the majority.

    In the United States, all parties are willing to recognize the
    rights of the majority, because they all hope at some time to be
    able to exercise them to their own advantage. The majority
    therefore in that country exercises a prodigious actual
    authority and a power of opinion which is nearly as great (as
    that of the absolute autocrat). No obstacles exist which can
    impair or even retard its progress so as to make it heed the
    complaints of those whom it crushes upon its path. This state of
    things is harmful in itself and dangerous for the future.

    As the majority is the only power which it is important to
    court, all its projects are taken up with the greatest ardor;
    but no sooner is its attention distracted than all this ardor

    There is no power on earth so worthy of honor in itself, or
    clothed with rights so sacred, that I would admit its
    uncontrolled and all-predominant authority.

    In my opinion the main evil of the present democratic
    institutions of the United States does not arise, as is so often
    asserted in Europe, from their weakness, but from their
    irresistible strength.... I am not so much alarmed by the
    excessive liberty which reigns in that country, as by the
    inadequate securities which one finds against tyranny. When an
    individual or party is wronged in the United States, to whom can
    he apply for redress?

    It is in the examination of the exercise of thought in the
    United States that we clearly perceive how far the power of the
    majority surpasses all the powers with which we are acquainted
    in Europe. At the present time the most absolute monarchs in
    Europe cannot prevent certain opinions hostile to their
    authority from circulating in secret through their dominions and
    even in their courts.

    It is not so in America. So long as the majority is undecided,
    discussion is carried on, but as soon as its decision is
    announced everyone is silent....

    I know of no country in which there is so little independence of
    mind and real freedom of discussion as in America. In America
    the majority raises formidable barriers around the liberty of
    opinion. Within these barriers an author may write what he
    pleases, but woe to him if he goes beyond them. Not that he is
    in danger of an _auto-da-fe_, but he is exposed to continued
    obloquy and persecution. His political career is closed for
    ever. Every sort of compensation, even that of celebrity, is
    refused him. Those who think like him have not the courage to
    speak out, and abandon him to silence. He yields at length,
    overcome by the daily effort which he has to make, and subsides
    into silence as if he felt remorse for having spoken the truth.

    Fetters and headsmen were coarse instruments ... but
    civilization has perfected despotism itself. Under absolute
    despotism of one man, the body was attacked to subdue the soul,
    but the soul escaped the blows and rose superior. Such is not
    the course adopted in democratic republics; there the body is
    left free, but the soul is enslaved....

    The ruling power in the United States is not to be made game of.
    The smallest reproach irritates its sensibilities. The slightest
    joke which has any foundation in truth renders it indignant.
    Everything must be the subject of encomium. No writer, whatever
    his eminence, can escape paying his tribute of adoration to his
    fellow citizens.

    The majority lives in the perpetual utterance of self-applause,
    and there are certain truths which Americans can only learn from
    strangers, or from experience. If America has not yet had any
    great writers, the reason is given in these facts--there can be
    no literary genius without freedom of opinion, and freedom of
    opinion does not exist in America.

Such passages as the above, quoted from the words of a friendly student
of American democracy, show the impression which, notwithstanding our
popular prattle about freedom, thoughtful foreigners have since the
beginning received. And de Tocqueville wrote long before crowd-thinking
had reached anything like the development we see at present. To-day the
tyrannizing is not confined to the majority-crowd. All sorts of
minority-crowds, impatient of waiting until they can by fair means
persuade the majority to agree with them, begin to practice coercion
upon everyone within reach the minute they fall into possession of some
slight advantage which may be used as a weapon. From the industrial side
we were first menaced by the "invisible government" of organized vested
interests; now, by a growing tendency to government by strikes.
Organized gangs of all sorts have at last learned the amusing trick of
pointing a pistol at the public's head and threatening it with
starvation, and up go its hands, and the gang gains whatever it wants
for itself, regardless of anyone else. But this "hold-up game" is by no
means confined to labor. Capitalistic soviets have since the beginning
of the war taken advantage of situations to enhance their special
crowd-interests. The following, quoted from a letter written during the
war to the _Atlantic Monthly_, by a thoroughly American writer, Charles
D. Stewart, describes a type of mob rule which existed in almost every
part of the nation while we were fighting for freedom abroad:

    Carlyle said that "Of all forms of government, a government of
    busybodies is the worst." This is true. It is worse than
    Prussianism, because that is one form of government, at least;
    and worse than Socialism, because Socialism would be run by law,
    anyway. But government by busybodies has neither head nor tail;
    working outside the law, it becomes lawless; and having no law
    to support it, it finally depends for its enforcement upon
    hoodlums and mob rule. When the respectable and wealthy elements
    are resorting to this sort of government, abetted by the
    newspapers and by all sorts of busybody societies intent upon
    "government by public sentiment," we finally have a new thing in
    the world and a most obnoxious one--mob rule by the rich; with
    the able assistance of the hoodlums--always looking for a

    It starts as follows:

    The government wishes a certain amount of money. It therefore
    appeals to local pride; it sets a "quota," which has been
    apportioned to each locality, and promises of a fine
    "over-the-top" flag to be hoisted over the courthouse. All well
    and good; local pride is a very fine thing, competition is

    But the struggle that ensues is not so much local pride as it
    looks to be.

    Milwaukee, for instance, a big manufacturing center, is noted
    for its German population. This, the local proprietors fear, may
    affect its trade. It may be boycotted to some extent. A
    traveling man comes back and says that a certain dealer in
    stoves refuses to buy stoves made in Milwaukee!

    Ha!--Milwaukee must redeem its reputation; it must always go
    over the top: it must be able to affix this stamp to all its

    Now, as the state has a quota, and the county and city has each
    its quota, so each individual must have his quota. Each
    individual must be "assessed" to buy a certain quota [government
    war loan] of bonds. Success must be made sure: the manufacturers
    must see the honor of Milwaukee, and Wisconsin, maintained.

    It is not compulsory to give a certain "assessed" amount to the
    Y. M. C. A.; and the government does not make a certain quota of
    bonds compulsory on citizens--oh, no! it is not compulsory, only
    you must abide by your assessment. And we will see that you do.
    No excuse accepted....

    Picture to yourself the following "collection committee"
    traveling out of the highly civilized, "kultured" city of

    Twenty-five automobiles containing sixty to seventy respectable
    citizens of Milwaukee.

    One color guard (a flag at the head) with two home guardsmen in
    citizens' clothes.

    Two deputy sheriffs.

    One "official" photographer.

    One "official" stenographer.

    One banker (this personage to make arrangements to lend a farmer
    the money in case he protests that he has subscribed too much

    This phalanx, entirely lawless, moves down upon a farmer who is
    urging two horses along a cloddy furrow, doing his fall plowing.

    They form a semicircle about him; the speechmaker says, "Let us
    salute the flag" (watching him to see that he does it promptly);
    and while his horses stand there the speechmaker delivers a
    speech. He must subscribe his "assessed" amount--no excuses
    accepted. If he owes for the farm, and has just paid his
    interest, and has only fifteen dollars to go on with, it makes
    no difference. He must subscribe the amount of his "assessment,"
    and "sign here."

    If not, what happens? The farmer all the time, of course, is
    probably scared out of his wits, or does not know what to make
    of this delegation of notables bearing down upon his solitary
    task in the fields. But if he argues too much, he finds this.
    They have a large package of yellow placards reading:


    And they put them all over his place. He probably signs.

    Now bear in mind that this method is not practiced merely
    against farmers who have made unpatriotic remarks, or have
    refused to support the war. It is practiced against a farmer who
    has taken only one hundred dollars when he was assessed a
    hundred and fifty--and this is to make him "come across" with
    the remainder.

    You might ask, Is this comic opera or is it government?

    And now we come to the conclusion. Imagine yourself either a
    workman in Milwaukee, or a farmer out in the country. You are
    dealt with in this entirely Prussian manner--possibly the
    committee, which knows little of your financial difficulties in
    your home, has just assessed you arbitrarily.

    Your constitutional rights do not count. There is no remedy. If
    you are painted yellow, the District Attorney will pass the
    buck--he knows what the manufacturer expects of him, and the
    financier. The state officers of these drives, Federal
    representatives, are always Milwaukee bankers.

    But for you there is no remedy if you are "assessed" too high.

    With the Y. M. C. A., and other religious society drives, the
    same assessment scheme is worked. You cannot give to the
    Y. M. C. A. You are told right off how much you are to pay.

It would seem that in our democracy freedom consists first of freedom to
vote; second, of freedom to make commercial profit; third, of freedom to
make propaganda; fourth, of freedom from intellectual and moral
responsibility. Each of these "liberties" is little more than a
characteristic form of crowd-behavior. The vote, our most highly prized
modern right, is nearly always so determined by crowd-thinking that as
an exercise of individual choice it is a joke. Men are herded in droves
and delivered by counties in almost solid blocks by professional traders
of political influence. Before each election a campaign of crowd-making
is conducted in which every sort of vulgarity and insincerity has
survival value, in which real issues are so lost in partisan propaganda
as to become unrecognizable. When the vote is cast it is commonly a
choice between professional crowd-leaders whose competency consists in
their ability to Billy Sundayize the mob rather than in any marked
fitness for the office to which they aspire--also between the horns of a
dilemma which wholly misstates the issue involved and is trumped up
chiefly for purposes of political advertising. Time and again the
franchise thus becomes an agency by which rival crowds may fasten their
own tyrannies upon one another.

Freedom to make commercial profit, to get ahead of others in the race
for dollars, is what democracy generally means by "opportunity." Nothing
is such a give-away of the modern man as the popular use of the word
"individualism." It is no longer a philosophy of _becoming_ something
genuine and unique, but of _getting_ something and using it according to
your own whims and for personal ends regardless of the effect upon
others. This pseudo-individualism encourages the rankest selfishness and
exploitation to go hand in hand with the most deadly spiritual
conformity and inanity. Such "individualism" is, as I have pointed out,
a crowd-idea, for it is motivated by a cheaply disguised ideal of
personal superiority through the mere fact of possessing things.
Paradoxical as it may appear at first sight, this is really the old
crowd notion of "equality," for, great as are the differences of wealth
which result, every man may cherish the fiction that he possesses the
sort of ability necessary for this kind of social distinction. Such
superiority thus has little to do with personal excellence; it is the
result of the external accident of success. One man may still be "as
good as another."

Against this competitive struggle now there has grown up a counter-crowd
ideal of collectivism. But here also the fiction of universal spiritual
equality is maintained; the competitive struggle is changed from an
individual to a gang struggle, while the notion that personal worth is
the result of the environment and may be achieved by anyone whose belly
is filled still persists. Proletarians for the most part wish,
chinch-bug fashion, to crawl into the Elysian fields now occupied by the
hated capitalists. The growing tendency to industrial democracy will
probably in the near future cut off this freedom to make money, which
has been the chief "liberty" of political democracy until now, but
whether liberty in general will be the gainer thereby remains to be
seen. One rather prominent Socialist in New York declares that liberty
is a "myth." He is correct, in so far as the democratic movement, either
political or social, is a crowd-phenomenon. Socialist agitators are
always demanding "liberty" nevertheless, but the liberty which they
demand is little more than freedom to make their own propaganda. And
this leads us to the third liberty permitted by modern democracy.

The "freedom of speech" which is everywhere demanded in the name of
democracy is not at all freedom in the expression of individual opinion.
It is only the demand for advertising space on the part of various
crowds for the publication of their shibboleths and propaganda. Each
crowd, while demanding this freedom for itself, seeks to deny it to
other crowds, and all unite in denying it to the non-crowd man wherever
possible. The Puritan's "right to worship according to the dictates of a
man's own conscience" did not apply to Quakers, Deists, or Catholics.
When Republicans were "black abolitionists" they would have regarded any
attempt to suppress _The Liberator_, as edited by William Lloyd
Garrison, as an assault upon the constitutional liberties of the whole
nation. But they are not now particularly interested in preserving the
constitutional liberties of the nation as represented in the right of
circulation of _The Liberator_, edited by Max Eastman. In Jefferson's
time, when Democrats were accused of "Jacobinism," they invoked the
"spirit of 1776" in opposition to the alien and sedition laws under
which their partisan propaganda suffered limitation. To-day, when they
are striving to outdo the Republicans in "Americanization propaganda,"
they actually stand sponsor for an espionage law which would have made
Jefferson or Andrew Jackson froth at the mouth. Socialists are convinced
that liberty is dead because Berger and Debs are convicted of uttering
opinions out of harmony with temporarily dominant crowd-ideas of
patriotism. But when Theodore Dreiser was put under the ban for the
crime of writing one of the few good novels produced in America, I do
not recall that Socialists held any meetings of protest in Madison
Square Garden. I have myself struggled in vain for three hours or more
on a street corner in Green Point trying to tell liberty-loving
Socialists the truth about the Gary schools. When the politicians in our
legislative assemblies were tricked into passing the obviously unliberal
Eighteenth Amendment, I was much interested in learning how the bulk of
the Socialists in the Cooper Union audiences felt about it. As I had
expected, they regarded it as an unpardonable infringement of personal
freedom, as a typical piece of American Puritan hypocrisy and
pharisaism. But they were, on the whole, in favor of it because they
thought it would be an aid to Bolshevist propaganda, since it would make
the working class still more discontented! Such is liberty in a
crowd-governed democracy.... It is nothing but the _liberty of crowds to
be crowds_.

The fourth liberty in democratic society to-day is freedom from moral and
intellectual responsibility. This is accomplished by the magic of
substituting the machinery of the law for self-government, bureaucratic
meddlesomeness for conscience, crowd-tyranny for personal decency.
Professor Faguet has called democracy the "cult of incompetence" and the
"dread of responsibility." He is not far wrong, but these epithets apply
not so much to democracy as such as to democracy under the heel of the
crowd. The original aim of democracy, so far as its philosophical
thinkers conceived of it, was to set genius free from the trammels of
tradition, realize a maximum of self-government, and make living
something of an adventure. But crowds do not so understand democracy.
Every crowd looks upon democracy simply as a scheme whereby it may have
its own way. We have seen that the crowd-mind as such is a device for
"kidding" ourselves, for representing the easiest path to the
enhancement of our self-feeling as something highly moral, for making
our personal right appear like universal righteousness, for dressing up
our will to lord it over others, as if it were devotion to impersonal
principle. As we have seen, the crowd therefore insists upon universal
conformity; goodness means only making everyone alike. By taking refuge
in the abstract and ready-made system of crowd-ideas, the unconscious
will to power is made to appear what it is not; the burden of
responsibility is transferred to the group with its fiction of absolute
truth. Le Bon noted the fact of the irresponsibility of crowds, but
thought that such irresponsibility was due to the fact that the crowd,
being an anonymous gathering, the individual could lose his identity in
the multitude. The psychology of the unconscious has provided us with
what I think is a better explanation, but the fact of irresponsibility
remains and is evident in all the influence of crowd-thinking upon
democratic institutions. The crowd-ideal of society is one in which
every individual is protected not only against exploitation, but against
temptation--protected therefore _against himself_. The whole tendency of
democracy in our times is toward just such inanity. Without the least
critical analysis of accepted moral dilemmas, we are all to be made
moral in spite of ourselves, regardless of our worth, without effort on
our part, moral in the same way that machines are moral, by reducing the
will to mere automatic action, leaving no place for choice and
uncertainty, having everyone wound up and oiled and regulated to run at
the same speed. Each crowd therefore strives to make its own moral
ideas the law of the land. Law becomes thus a sort of anthology of
various existing crowd-hobbies. In the end moral responsibility is
passed over to legislatures, commissions, detectives, inspectors, and
bureaucrats. Anything that "gets by" the public censor, however rotten,
we may wallow in with a perfect feeling of respectability. The right and
necessity of choosing our way is superseded by a system of statutory
taboos, which as often as not represent the survival values of the
meanest little people in the community--the kind who cannot look upon a
nude picture without a struggle with their perverted eroticism, or
entertain a significant idea without losing their faith.

The effect of all this upon the intellectual progress and the freedom of
art in democratic society is obvious, and is just what, to one who
understands the mechanisms of the crowd-mind, might be expected. No
wonder de Tocqueville said he found less freedom of opinion in America
than elsewhere. Explain it as you will, the fact is here staring us in
the face. Genius in our democracy is not free. It must beg the
permission of little crowd-men for its right to exist. It must stand,
hat in hand, at the window of the commissioner of licenses and may gain
a permit for only so much of its inspiration as happens to be of
use-value to the uninspired. It must play the conformist, pretend to be
hydra-headed rather than unique, useful rather than genuine, a servant
of the "least of these" rather than their natural master. It must
advertise, but it may not prophesy. It may flatter and patronize the
stupid, but it may not stand up taller than they. In short, democracy
everywhere puts out the eyes of its Samson, cuts off his golden-rayed
locks, and makes him grind corn to fill the bellies of the Philistines.

From the beginning of the nineteenth century until now it has been
chiefly the business man, the political charlatan, the organizer of
trade, the rediscoverer of popular prejudices who have been preferred in
our free modern societies. Keats died of a broken heart; Shelley and
Wagner were exiled; Beethoven and Schubert were left to starve; Darwin
was condemned to hell fire; Huxley was denied his professorship;
Schopenhauer was ostracized by the élite; Nietzsche ate his heart out in
solitude; Walt Whitman had to be fed by a few English admirers, while
his poems were prohibited as obscene in free America; Emerson was for
the greater part of his life _persona non grata_ at his own college;
Ingersoll was denied the political career which his genius merited; Poe
lived and died in poverty; Theodore Parker was consigned to perdition;
Percival Lowell and Simon Newcomb lived and died almost unrecognized by
the American public. Nearly every artist and writer and public teacher
is made to understand from the beginning that he will be popular in just
the degree that he strangles his genius and becomes a vulgar,
commonplace, insincere clown.

On the other hand steel manufacturers and railroad kings, whose business
record will often scarcely stand the light, are rewarded with fabulous
millions and everyone grovels before them. When one turns from the
"commercialism," which everywhere seems to be the dominant and most
sincere interest in democratic society, when one seeks for spiritual
values to counterbalance this weight of materialism, one finds in the
prevailing spirit little more than a cult of naïve sentimentality.

It can hardly be denied that if Shakespeare, Boccaccio, Rabelais,
Montaigne, Cassanova, Goethe, Dostoievsky, Ibsen, Tolstoi, Rousseau, St.
Augustine, Milton, Nietzsche, Swinburne, Rossetti, or even Flaubert,
were alive and writing his masterpiece in America to-day, he would be
instantly silenced by some sort of society for the prevention of vice,
and held up to the public scorn and ridicule as a destroyer of our
innocence and a corrupter of public morals. The guardians of our
characters are ceaselessly expurgating the classics lest we come to harm
reading them. I often think that the only reason why the Bible is
permitted to pass through our mails is because hardly anyone ever reads

It is this same habit of crowd-thinking which accounts to a great extent
for the dearth of intellectual curiosity in this country. From what we
have seen to be the nature of the crowd-mind, it is to be expected that
in a democracy in which crowds play an important part the condition
described by de Tocqueville will generally prevail. There is much truth
in his statement that it seems at first as if the minds of all the
Americans "were formed upon the same model." Spiritual variation will be
encouraged only in respect to matters in which one crowd differs from
another. The conformist spirit will prevail in all. Intellectual
leadership will inevitably pass to the "tight-minded." There will be
violent conflicts of ideas, but they will be crowd ideas.

The opinions about which people differ are for the most part ready-made.
They are concerned with the choice of social mechanisms, but hardly with
valuations. With nearly all alike, there is a notion that mankind may be
redeemed by the magic of externally manipulating the social environment.
There is a wearisome monotony of professions of optimism, idealism,
humanitarianism, with little knowledge of what these terms mean.

I am thinking of all those young people who, in the decade and a half
which preceded the war, represented the finished product of our
colleges and universities. What a stretch of imagination is needed
before one may call these young people educated! How little of
intellectual interest they have brought back from school to their
respective communities! How little cerebral activity they have stirred
up! Habits of study, of independent thinking, have seldom been acquired.
The "educated" have possibly gained a little in social grace; they have
in some cases learned things which are of advantage to them in the
struggle for position. Out of the confused mass of unassimilated
information which they dimly remember as the education which they "got,"
a sum of knowledge doubtless remains which is greater in extent than
that possessed by the average man, but, though greater in extent, this
knowledge is seldom different in kind. There is the same superficiality,
the same susceptibility to crowd-thinking on every subject. The mental
habits of American democracy are probably best reflected to-day by the
"best-seller" novel, the _Saturday Evening Post_, the Chautauqua, the
Victrola, the moving picture.

Nearly everyone in America can read, for the "schoolhouse is the bulwark
of democratic freedom." However, with the decrease in illiteracy there
has gone a corresponding lowering of literary and intellectual
standards, a growing timidity in telling the truth, and a passion for
the sensationally commonplace. If it be true that before people may be
politically free they must be free to function mentally, one wonders how
much of an aid to liberty the public schools in this country have been,
or if, with their colossal impersonal systems and stereotyped methods of
instruction, they have not rather on the whole succeeded chiefly in
making learning uninteresting, dulling curiosity and killing habits of
independent thinking. There is probably no public institution where the
spirit of the crowd reigns to the extent that it does in the public
school. The aim seems to be to mold the child to type, make him the
good, plodding citizen, teaching him only so much as some one thinks it
is to the public's interest that he should know. I am sure that everyone
who is familiar with the actions of the school authorities in New York
City during the two years, 1918 and 1919, will be impelled to look
elsewhere for much of that liberty which is supposed to go with

Some years ago I conducted a little investigation into the mental habits
of the average high-school graduate. An examination was made of twenty
or more young people who had been out of school one year. This is
doubtless too limited a number to give the findings great general
significance, but I give the results in brief for what they are worth.
These students had been in school for eleven years. I thought that they
ought at least to have a minimum of general cultural information and to
be able to express some sort of opinion about the commonplaces of our
spiritual heritage. The questions asked were such as follow: What is the
difference between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution
of the United States? What is a dicotyledon? Does the name Darwin mean
anything to you? Have you ever heard of William James? What is the
significance of the battle of Tours? Who was Thomas Jefferson? There
were twenty questions in all. The average grade, even with the most
liberal marking, was 44.6. The general average was raised by one pupil
who made a grade of 69. But then we should not be too severe upon the
public-school graduate. One of the brightest college graduates I know
left a large Eastern institution believing that Karl Marx was a
philologist. Another, a graduate from a Western college, thought that
Venus de Milo was an Italian count who had been born without any arms. I
know a prominent physician, whose scientific training is such that he
has been a lecturer in a medical college, who believes that Heaven is
located just a few miles up in the sky, beyond the Milky Way. These are
doubtless exceptional cases, but how many persons with university
degrees are there who have really caught the spirit of the humanistic
culture, or have ever stopped to think why the humanities are taught in
our colleges? How many are capable of discriminating criticism of works
of music, or painting, literature, or philosophy? My own experience
convinces me, and I am sure that other public teachers who have had a
like experience will bear witness to the same lamentable fact, that such
little genuine intellectual interest as there is in this country is
chiefly confined to immigrant Jews, our American youth being, on the
whole, innocent of it. The significance of this fact is obvious, as is
its cause. Due to the conformist spirit of the dominant crowd,
native-born Americans are losing their intellectual leadership.

We must not ignore the fact that there is among the educated here a
small and, let us hope, growing group of youthful "intellectuals." But
in the first place the proportion of these to the whole mass is
tragically small. In the second place intellectual liberalism has been
content for the most part to tag along behind the labor movement, as if
the chief meaning of the intellectual awakening were economic. It is no
disparagement of labor to say that the intellect in this country of
crowds has also other work to do, and that, until it strikes out for
itself, neither the labor movement nor anything else will rise above
commonplace crowd dilemmas. Too much of our so-called intellectualism is
merely the substitution of ready-made proletarian crowd-ideas for the
traditional crowd-ideas which pass for thinking among the middle

All the facts which have been pointed out above are the inevitable
consequences of government by crowds. There can be no real liberty with
crowds because there can be no personal independence. The psychic
mechanisms of the crowd are hostile to conscious personality. The
independent thinker cannot be controlled by catchwords. In our day
intellectual freedom is not smothered in actual martyr fires, but it is
too often strangled in the cradle. The existence of new values, a thing
which will inevitably happen where the human spirit is left free in its
creative impulses, is disturbing to the crowd-mind. Education must
therefore be made "safe for democracy"; it must be guarded carefully
lest the youth become an original personal fact, a new spiritual
creation. I realize the element of truth in the statement often made,
that there is already too much spiritual originality in the youths of
this generation. I am not contending that certain phases of egoism
should not be checked by education. A solid intellectual basis must be
created which will make social living possible. The trouble is,
however, that this task is done too well. It is the merely useful man,
not the unusual man, whom the crowd loves. Skill is encouraged, for,
whether it be skill in serving or in demanding service, skill in itself
does not upset existing crowd-values. Reflection is "wicked" for it
leads to doubt, and doubt is non-gregarious behavior. Education ceases
to be the path of spiritual freedom; it becomes a device for harnessing
the spirit of youth in the treadmill of the survival-values of the
crowd. It is also the revenge of the old against the young, a way of
making them less troublesome. It teaches the rules for success in a
crowd-governed world while taking advantage of the natural credulity of
childhood to draw the curtain with such terrifying mummery about the
figure of wisdom that the average mind, never having the daring or
curiosity to lift it, will remain to its dying day a dullard and a
mental slave without suspecting the fact. Every "dangerous" thought is
denatured and expurgated. The student is skillfully insulated from any
mental shock that might galvanize him into original intellectual life.
The classic languages are taught for purposes of "discipline." After six
or seven years' study of Greek literature in the accepted manner one may
be able to repeat most of the rules of Goodwin's _Greek Grammar_, and
pride himself upon being a cultivated person, knowing in the end less
of the language than a bootblack from modern Athens knows of it, or than
a waiter from Bologna knows of English after one year's residence in
Greenwich Village. And the all-important thing is that never once has
the student been given a glimpse of the beautiful free pagan life which
all this literature is about.

Science is taught that the student, if he has ability, may learn how to
make a geological survey of oil lands, construct and operate a cement
factory, make poison gas, remove infected tonsils, or grow a culture of
bacteria; but should he cease to hold popular beliefs about the origin
of life or the immortality of the soul it is well for him to keep the
tragic fact to himself. Those who teach history, economics, and
political science in such a way as to stimulate independence of thinking
on the part of the students are likely to be dismissed from their
faculties by the practical business men who constitute the boards of
trustees of our institutions of higher learning; the purpose of these
sciences is to make our youth more patriotic. Finally, the average
instructor receives less pay than a policeman, or a headwaiter, and the
unconscious reason for this is all of a piece with the psychology of the
crowd-mind. The ignorant man's resentment toward superiority, or
"highbrowism," is thereby vindicated. Moreover, the integrity of the
complex of ruling crowd-ideas is less endangered. There is less
likelihood of its being undermined in the process of education when
vigorous, independent spirits are diverted from intellectual pursuits by
richer prizes offered in other fields, and the task of instruction
therefore left largely to the underfed and timid who are destined by
temperament to trot between the shafts.

In this discussion of the government of crowds I have ignored
consideration of the mechanisms of political and social organizations
which usually characterize the treatment of this subject. It is not that
I wish to divert attention from the necessity of more practical and just
social arrangements and political forms of organizations. These we must
achieve. But the facts which ultimately make for our freedom or slavery
are of the mind. The statement that we cannot be politically or
economically a free people until we attain mental freedom is a
platitude, but it is one which needs special emphasis in this day when
all attention is directed to the external form of organization.

No tyranny was ever for long maintained by force. All tyrannies begin
and end in the tyranny of ideas uncritically accepted. It is of just
such ideas that the conscious thinking of the crowd consists, and it is
ultimately from the crowd as a psychological mechanism that tyranny as
such proceeds. Democracy in America fails of freedom, not because of our
political constitution, though that would doubtless be modified by a
people who were more free at heart; it fails because freedom of opinion,
intellectual alertness, critical thinking about fundamentals, is not
encouraged. There is, moreover, little promise of greater freedom in the
various revolutionary crowds who to-day want freedom only to add to the
number of crowds which pester us. And for this we have, whether we are
radicals or reactionaries or simply indifferent, no one to blame but
ourselves and our own crowd-thinking.



We have seen that Democracy in and of itself is no more sure a guarantee
of liberty than other forms of government. This does not necessarily
mean that we have been forced by our psychological study into an
argument against the idea of democracy as such. In fact, it cannot be
denied that this form of human association may have decided advantages,
both practical and spiritual, if we set about in the right way to
realize them. It does not follow that, because the franchise is
exercised by all, democracy must necessarily be an orgy of mob rule. If,
under our modern political arrangements, it has been shown that the
crowd presumes to regulate acts and thought processes hitherto
considered purely personal matters, it is also true that the dominance
of any particular crowd has, in the long run, been rendered less
absolute and secure by the more openly expressed hostility of rival
crowds. But crowd-behavior has been known in all historic periods.
Democracy cannot be said to have caused it. It may be a mere accident
of history that the present development of crowd-mindedness has come
along with that of democratic institutions. Democracy has indeed given
new kinds of crowds their hope of dominance. It has therefore been made
into a cult for the self-justification of various modern crowds.

The formula for realizing a more free and humane common life will not be
found in any of the proffered cure-alls and propagandas which to-day
deafen our ears with their din. Neither are we now in such possession of
the best obtainable social order that one would wish to preserve the
_status quo_ against all change, which would mean, in other words, the
survival of the present ruling crowds. Many existing facts belie the
platitudes which these crowds speak in their defense, just as they lay
bare the hidden meaning of the magic remedies which are proposed by
counter-crowds. There is no single formula for social redemption, and
the man who has come to himself will refuse to invest his faith in any
such thing--which does not mean, however, that he will refuse to
consider favorably the practical possibilities of any proposed plan for
improving social conditions.

The first and greatest effort must be to _free democracy from
crowd-mindedness, by liberating our own thinking_. The way out of this
complex of crowd compulsions is the solitary part of self-analysis and
intellectual courage. It is the way of Socrates, and Protagoras, of
Peter Abelard, and Erasmus, and Montaigne, of Cervantes and Samuel
Butler, of Goethe, and Emerson, of Whitman and William James.

Just here I know that certain conservatives will heartily agree with me.
"That is it," they will say; "begin with the individual." Yes, but which
individual shall we begin with? Most of those who speak thus mean, begin
with some other individual. Evangelize the heathen, uplift the poor,
Americanize the Bolshevists, do something to some one which will make
him like ourselves; in other words, bring him into our crowd. The
individual with whom I would begin is myself. Somehow or other if I am
to have individuality at all it will be by virtue of being an
individual, a single, "separate person." And that is a dangerous and at
present a more or less lonely thing to do. But the problem is really one
of practical psychology. We must come out of the crowd-self, just as,
before the neurotic may be normal, he must get over his neurosis. To do
that he must trace his malady back to its source in the unconscious, and
learn the meaning of his conscious behavior as it is related to his
unconscious desires. Then he must do a difficult thing--he must _accept
the fact of himself at its real worth_.

It is much the same with our crowd-mindedness. If psychoanalysis has
therapeutic value by the mere fact of revealing to the neurotic the
hidden meaning of his neurosis, then it would seem that an analysis of
crowd-behavior such as we have tried to make should be of some help in
breaking the hold of the crowd upon our spirits, and thus freeing
democracy to some extent from quackery.

To see behind the shibboleths and dogmas of crowd-thinking the
"cussedness"--that is, the primitive side--of human nature at work is a
great moral gain. At least the "cussedness" cannot deceive us any more.
We have won our greatest victory over it when we drag it out into the
light. We can at least wrestle with it consciously, and maybe, by
directing it to desirable ends, it will cease to be so "cussed," and
become a useful servant. No such good can come to us so long as this
side of our nature is allowed its way only on condition that it paint
its face and we encourage it to talk piously of things which it really
does not mean. Disillusionment may be painful both to the neurotic and
to the crowd-man, but the gain is worth the shock to our pride. The ego,
when better understood, becomes at once more highly personalized because
more conscious of itself, and more truly social because better adjusted
to the demands of others. It is this socialized and conscious selfhood
which is both the aim and the hope of true democracy.

Such analysis may possibly give us the gift to see ourselves as others
do not see us, as we have not wished them to see us, and finally enable
us to see ourselves and others and to be seen by them as we really are.

We shall be free when we cease pampering ourselves, stop lying to
ourselves and to one another, and give up the crowd-mummery in which we
indulge because it happens to flatter our hidden weaknesses! In the end
we shall only begin to solve the social problem when we can cease
together taking refuge from reality in systems made up of general ideas
that we should be using as tools in meeting the tasks from which as
crowd-men and neurotics people run away; when we discontinue making use
of commonly accepted principles and ideals as defense formations for
shameful things in which we can indulge ourselves with a clear
conscience only by all doing them together.

There must be an increase in the number of unambitious men, men who can
rise above vulgar dilemmas and are deaf to crowd propaganda, men capable
of philosophical tolerance, critical doubt and inquiry, genuine
companionship, and voluntary co-operation in the achievement of common
ends, free spirits who can smile in the face of the mob, who know the
mob and are not to be taken in by it.

All this sounds much like the old gospel of conviction of sin and
repentance; perhaps it is just that. We must think differently, change
our minds. Again and again people have tried the wide way and the broad
gate, the crowd-road to human happiness, only to find that it led to
destruction in a _cul-de-sac_. Now let us try the other road, "the
strait and narrow path." The crowd-path leads neither to self-mastery
nor social blessedness. People in crowds are not thinking together; they
are not thinking at all, save as a paranoiac thinks. They are not
working together; they are _only sticking together_. We have leaned on
one another till we have all run and fused into a common mass. The
democratic crowd to-day, with its sweet optimism, its warm "brotherly
love," is a sticky, gooey mass which one can hardly touch and come back
to himself clean. By dissolving everything in "one great union" people
who cannot climb alone expect to ooze into the co-operative commonwealth
or kingdom of heaven. I am sick of this oozing democracy. There must be
something crystalline and insoluble left in democratic America.
Somewhere there must be people with sharp edges that cut when they are
pressed too hard, people who are still solid, who have impenetrable
depths in them and hard facets which reflect the sunlight. They are the
hope of democracy, these infusible ones.

To change the figure, may their tribe increase. And this is the business
of every educator who is not content to be a faker. What we need is not
only more education, but a different kind of education. There is more
hope in an illiterate community where people hate lying than in a
high-school educated nation which reads nothing but trash and is fed up
on advertising, newspapers, popular fiction, and propaganda.

In the foregoing chapter, reference was made to our traditional
educational systems. The subject is so closely related to the mental
habits of democracy that it would be difficult to overemphasize its
importance for our study. Traditional educational methods have more
often given encouragement to crowd-thinking than to independence of
judgment. Thinking has been divorced from doing. Knowledge, instead of
being regarded as the foresight of ends to be reached and the conscious
direction of activity toward such ends, has been more commonly regarded
as the copying of isolated things to be learned. The act of learning has
been treated as if it were the passive reception of information imposed
from without. The subject to be learned has been sequestered and set
apart from experience as a whole, with the result that ideas easily
come to be regarded as things in themselves. Systems of thought are
built up with little or no sense of their connection with everyday
problems. Thus our present-day education prepares in advance both the
ready-made logical systems in which the crowd-mind takes refuge from the
concretely real and the disposition to accept truth second-hand, upon
the authority of another, which in the crowd-man becomes the spirit of

Even science, taught in this spirit may be destructive of intellectual
freedom. Professor Dewey says that while science has done much to modify
men's thoughts, still

    It must be admitted that to a considerable extent the progress
    thus procured has been only technical; it has provided more
    efficient means for satisfying pre-existent desires rather than
    modified the quality of human purposes. There is, for example,
    no modern civilization which is the equal of Greek culture in
    all respects. Science is still too recent to have been absorbed
    into imaginative and emotional disposition. Men move more
    swiftly and surely to the realization of their ends, but their
    ends too largely remain what they were prior to scientific
    enlightenment. This fact places upon education the
    responsibility of using science in a way to modify the habitual
    attitude of imagination and feeling, not leave it just an
    extension of our physical arms and legs....

    The problem of an educational use of science is then to create
    an intelligence pregnant with belief in the possibility of the
    direction of human affairs by itself. The method of science
    ingrained through education in habit means emancipation from
    rule of thumb and from the routine generated by rule of thumb

    That science may be taught as a set of formal and technical
    exercises is only too true. This happens whenever information
    about the world is made an end in itself. The failure of such
    instruction to procure culture is not, however, evidence of the
    antithesis of natural knowledge to humanistic concern, but
    evidence of a wrong educational attitude.

The new kind of education, the education which is to liberate the mind,
will make much of scientific methods. But let us notice what it is to
set a mind free. Mind does not exist in a vacuum, nor in a world of
"pure ideas." The free mind is the functioning mind, the mind which is
not inhibited in its work by any conflict within itself. Thought is not
made free by the mere substitution of naturalistic for theological
dogma. It is possible to make a cult of science itself. Crowd-propaganda
is often full of pseudoscientific jargon of this sort. Specialization in
technical training may produce merely a high-class trained-animal man,
of the purely reflex type, who simply performs a prescribed trick which
he has learned, whenever an expected motor-cue appears. In the presence
of the unexpected such a person may be as helpless as any other animal.
It is possible to train circus dogs, horses, and even horned toads, to
behave in this same way. Much so-called scientific training in our
schools to-day is of this sort. It results not in freedom, but in what
Bergson would call the triumph of mechanism over freedom.

Science, to be a means of freedom--that is, science as culture--may not
be pursued as pure theorizing apart from practical application. Neither
may a calculating utilitarianism gain freedom to us by ignoring, in the
application of scientific knowledge to given ends, a consideration of
the ends themselves and their value for enriching human experience. It
is human interest which gives scientific knowledge any meaning. Science
must be taught in the humanist spirit. It may not ignore this quality of
human interest which exists in all knowledge. To do so is to cut off our
relations with reality. And the result may become a negation of
personality similar to that with which the crowd compensates itself for
its unconscious ego-mania.

The reference just made to Humanism leads us next to a consideration of
the humanities. It has long been the habit of traditional education to
oppose to the teaching of science the teaching of the classic languages
and the arts, as if there were two irreconcilable principles involved
here. Dewey says that

    Humanistic studies when set in opposition to study of nature are
    hampered. They tend to reduce themselves to exclusively literary
    and linguistic studies, which in turn tend to shrink to "the
    classics," to languages no longer spoken.... It would be hard to
    find anything in history more ironical than the educational
    practices which have identified the "humanities" exclusively
    with a knowledge of Greek and Latin. Greek and Roman art and
    institutions made such important contributions to our
    civilization that there should always be the amplest
    opportunities for making their acquaintance. But to regard them
    as _par excellence_ the humane studies involves a deliberate
    neglect of the possibilities of the subject-matter which is
    accessible in education to the masses, and tends to cultivate a
    narrow snobbery--that of a learned class whose insignia are the
    accidents of exclusive opportunity. Knowledge is humanistic in
    quality not because it is _about_ human products in the past,
    but because of what it _does_ in liberating human intelligence
    and human sympathy. Any subject-matter which accomplishes this
    result is humane and any subject-matter which does not
    accomplish it is not even educational.

The point is that it is precisely what a correct knowledge of ancient
civilization through a study of the classics _does_ that our traditional
educators most dread. William James once said that the good which came
from such study was the ability to "know a good man when we see him."
The student would thus become more capable of discriminating
appreciation. He would grow to be a judge of values. He would acquire
sharp likes and dislikes and thus set up his own standards of judgment.
He would become an independent-thinker and therefore an enemy of crowds.
Scholars of the Renaissance knew this well, and that is why in their
revolt against the crowd-mindedness of their day they made use of the
_litteræ humanores_ to smash to pieces the whole dogmatic system of the
Middle Ages.

With the picture of ancient life before him the student could not help
becoming more cosmopolitan in spirit. Here he got a glimpse of a manner
of living in which the controlling ideas and fixations of his
contemporary crowds were frankly challenged. Here were witnesses to
values contrary to those in which his crowd had sought to bring him up
in a docile spirit. Inevitably his thinking would wander into what his
crowd considered forbidden paths. One cannot begin to know the ancients
as they really were without receiving a tremendous intellectual
stimulus. After becoming acquainted with the intellectual freedom and
courage and love of life which are almost everywhere manifest in the
literature of the ancients, something happens to a man. He becomes
acquainted with himself as a valuing animal. Few things are better
calculated to make free spirits than these very classics, once the
student "catches on."

But that is just the trouble; from the Renaissance till now, the
crowd-mind, whether interested politically, morally, or religiously;
whether Catholic, or Protestant, or merely Rationalist, has done its
level best to keep the student from "catching on." Educational
tradition, which is for the most part only systematized crowd-thinking,
has perverted the classics into instruments for producing spiritual
results of the very opposite nature from the message which these
literatures contain. Latin and Greek are taught for _purposes of
discipline_. The task of learning them has been made as difficult and as
uninteresting as possible, with the idea of forcing the student to do
something he dislikes, of whipping his spirit into line and rendering
him subservient to intellectual authority. Thus, while keeping up the
external appearance of culture, the effect is to make the whole thing so
meaningless and unpleasant that the student will never have the interest
to try to find out what it is all about.

I have said that the sciences and classics should be approached in the
"humanistic" spirit. The humanist method must be extended to the whole
subject-matter of education, even to a revaluation of knowing itself. I
should not say _even_, but _primarily_. It is impossible here to enter
into an extended discussion of the humanist theories of knowledge as
contrasted with the traditional or "intellectualist" theories. But since
we have seen that the conscious thinking of the crowd-mind consists in
the main of abstract and dogmatic logical systems, similar to the
"rationalizations" of the paranoiac, it is important to note the bearing
of humanism upon these logical systems wherever they are found.

A number of years ago, while discussing certain phases of this subject
with one of the physicians in charge of a large hospital for the insane,
the significance of education for healthy mental life was brought out
with great emphasis. It was at the time when psychiatrists were just
beginning to make use of analytical psychology in the treatment of
mental and nervous disorders.

"The trouble with a great many of our patients," said my friend, "is the
fact that they have been wrongly educated."

"Do you mean," I said, "that they have not received proper moral

"Yes, but by the proper moral instruction I do not mean quite the same
thing that most people mean by that. It all depends on the way in which
the instruction is given. Many of these patients are the mental slaves
of convention. They have been terrified by it; its weight crushes them;
when they discover that their own impulses or behavior are in conflict
with what they regard as absolute standards, they cannot bear the shock.
They do not know how to use morality; they simply condemn themselves;
they seek reconciliation by all sorts of crazy ideas which develop into
the psychoneurosis. And the only hope there is of cure for them is
re-education. The physician, when it is not too late, often to do any
good has to become an educator."

The practice of psychoanalysis as a therapeutic method is really hardly
anything more than re-education. The patient must first be led to face
the fact of himself as he really is; then he must be taught to revalue
conventional ideas in such a way that he can use these ideas as
instruments with which he may adjust himself in the various relations of
life. This process of education, in a word, is humanistic. It is
pragmatic; the patient is taught that his thinking is a way of
functioning; that ideas are instruments, ways of acting. He learns to
value these tendencies to act and to find himself through the mastery of
his own thinking.

Now we have seen that the neurosis is but one path of escape from this
conflict of self with the imperatives and abstract ideas through which
social control is exercised. The second way is to deny, unconsciously,
the true meaning of these ideas, and this, as we have seen, is
crowd-thinking. Here, as in the other case, the education which is
needed is that which acquaints the subject with the functional nature of
his own thinking, which directs his attention to results, which
dissolves the fictions into which the unconscious takes refuge, by
showing that systems of ideas have no other reality than what they do
and no other meaning than the difference which their being true makes in
actual experience somewhere.

We have previously noted the connection between the intellectualist
philosophies with their closed systems of ideas, their absolutists, and
the conscious thinking of crowds. The crowd finds these systems
ready-made and merely backs into them and hides itself like a hermit
crab in a deserted seashell. It follows that the humanist, however
social he may be, cannot be a crowd-man. He, too, will have his ideals,
but they are not made-in-advance goods which all must accept; they are
good only as they may be made good in real experience, true only when
verified in fact. To such a mind there is no unctuousness, by which
ideas may be fastened upon others without their assent. Nothing is
regarded as so final and settled that the spirit of inquiry should be
discouraged from efforts to modify and improve it.

Generalizations, such as justice, truth, liberty, and all other
intellectualist- and crowd-abstractions, become to the humanist not
transcendental things in themselves, but descriptions of certain
qualities of behavior, actual or possible, existing only where they are
experienced and in definite situations. He will not be swept into a
howling mob by these big words; he will stop to see what particular
things are they which in a given instance are to be called just, what
particular hypothesis is it which it is sought to verify and thus add to
the established body of truth, whose liberty is demanded and what, to be
definite, is it proposed that he shall do with the greater opportunity
for action? Let the crowd yell itself hoarse, chanting its abstract
nouns made out of adjectives, the humanist will know that these are but
words and that the realities which they point to, if they have any
meaning at all, are what "they are known as."

This humanist doctrine of the concreteness of the real is important. It
is a reaffirmation of the reality of human experience. William James,
who called himself a "radical empiricist," made much of this point.
Experience may not be ruled out for the sake of an _a priori_ notion of
what this world ought to be. As James used to say, we shall never know
what this world really is or is to become until the last man's vote is
in and counted. Here, of course, is an emphasis upon the significance of
unique personality which no crowd will grant. Crowds will admit
personality as an abstract principle, but not as an active will having
something of its own to say about the ultimate outcome of things.

Another important point in which humanism corrects crowd-thinking is the
fact that it regards intellect as an instrument of acting, and not as a
mere copyist of realities earthly or supermundane. Dewey says:

    If it be true that the self or subject of experience is part and
    parcel of the course of events, it follows that the self becomes
    a knower. It becomes a mind in virtue of a distinctive way of
    partaking in the course of events. The significant distinction
    is no longer between a knower _and_ the world, it is between
    different ways of being in and of the movement of things;
    between a physical way and a purposive way....

    As a matter of fact the pragmatic theory of intelligence means
    that the function of mind is to project new and more complex
    ends to free experience from routine and caprice. Not the use of
    thought to accomplish purposes already given either in the
    mechanism of the body or in that of the existent state of
    society, but the use of intelligence to liberate and liberalize
    action, is the pragmatic lesson.... Intelligence as intelligence
    is inherently forward looking; only by ignoring its primary
    function does it become a means for an end already given. The
    latter is servile, even when the end is labeled moral,
    religious, esthetic. But action directed to ends to which the
    agent has not previously been attached inevitably carries with
    it a quickened and enlarged spirit. A pragmatic intelligence is
    a creative intelligence, not a routine mechanic.

Hence humanism breaks down the conformist spirit of crowds. From the
simplest to the most complex, ideas are regarded as primarily motor, or,
rather, as guides to our bodily movements among other things in our
environment. James says that the stream of life which runs in at our
eyes and ears is meant to run out at our lips, our feet, and our
fingertips. Bergson says that ideas are like snapshots of a man running.
However closely they are taken together, the movement always occurs
between them. They cannot, therefore, give us reality, or the movement
of life as such, but only cross-sections of it, which serve as guides in
directing the conscious activity of life upon matter. According to James
again, there are no permanently existing ideas, or impersonal ones; each
idea is an individual activity, known only in the thinking, and is
always thought _for a purpose_. As all thinking is purposive, and
therefore partial, emphasizing just those aspects of things which are
useful for our present problem, it follows that the sum total of partial
views cannot give us the whole of reality or anything like a true copy
of it. Existence as a whole cannot be reduced to any logical system. The
One and the Absolute are therefore meaningless and are only logical
fictions, useful, says James, by way of allowing us a sort of temporary
irresponsibility, or "moral holiday."

From all this follows the humanist view of Truth. Truth is nothing
complete and existing in itself independent of human purpose. The word
is a noun made out of an adjective, as I have said. An idea becomes
true, says James, when it fits into the totality of our experience;
truth is what we say about an idea when it works. It must be made true,
by ourselves--that is, verified. Truth is therefore of human origin,
frankly, man-made. To Schiller it is the same as the good; it is the
attainment of satisfactory relations within experience. Or, to quote the
famous humanist creed of Protagoras, as Schiller is so fond of doing,
"Man is the measure of all things." The meaning of the world is
precisely, for all purposes, its meaning for us. Its worth, both logical
and moral, is not something given, but just what we through our activity
are able to assign to it.

The humanist is thus thrown upon his own responsibility in the midst of
concrete realities of which he as a knowing, willing being is one. His
task is to make such modifications within his environment, physical and
social, as will make his own activity and that of others with him richer
and more satisfactory in the future.

The question arises--it is a question commonly put by crowd-minded
people and by intellectual philosophers; Plato asks it of the
Protagoreans--how, if the individual man is the measure of all things,
is there to be any common measure? How any agreement? May not a thing be
good and true for one and not for another? How, then, shall there be any
getting together without an outside authority and an absolute standard?
The answer, as Schiller and James showed, is obvious; life is a matter
of adjustment. We each constitute a part of the other's environment. At
certain points our desires conflict, our valuations are different, and
yet our experience at these points overlaps, as it were. It is to our
common advantage to have agreement at these points. Out of our habitual
adjustments to one another, a body of mutual understanding and agreement
grows up which constitutes the intellectual and moral order of life. But
this order, necessary as it is, is still in the making. It is not
something given; it is not a copy of something transcendent, impersonal,
and final which crowds may write upon their banners and use to gain
uniform submission for anything which they may be able to express in
terms which are general and abstract. This order of life is purely
practical; it exists for us, not we for it, and because we have agreed
that certain things shall be right and true, it does not follow that
righteousness and truth are fixed and final and must be worshiped as
pure ideas in such a way that the mere repetition of these words
paralyzes our cerebral hemispheres.

Doubtless one of the greatest aids of the humanist way of thinking in
bringing the individual to self-consciousness is the way in which it
orients us in the world of present-day events. It inspires one to
achieve a working harmony, not a fictitious haven of rest for the mind
interested only in its relations to its own ideas. The unity which life
demands of us is not that of a perfect rational system. It is rather the
unity of a healthy organism all the parts of which can work together.

Cut up as we are into what Emerson called "fragments of men," I think we
are particularly susceptible to crowd-thinking because we are so
disintegrated. Thought and behavior must always be more or less
automatic and compulsory where there is no conscious co-ordination of
the several parts of it. It is partly because we are the heirs of such a
patchwork of civilization that few people to-day are able to think their
lives through. There can be little organic unity in the heterogeneous
and unrelated aggregation of half-baked information, warring interests,
and irreconcilable systems of valuation which are piled together in the
modern man's thinking.

Life may not be reduced to a logical unity, but it is an organic whole
for each of us, and we do not reach that organic unity by adding
mutually exclusive partial views of it together.

Something happens to one who grasps the meaning of humanism; he becomes
self-conscious in a new way. His psychic life becomes a fascinating
adventure in a real world. He finds that his choices are real events. He
is "set intellectually on fire," as one of our educators has correctly
defined education. As Jung would doubtless say, he has "extroverted"
himself; his libido, which in the crowd seeks to enhance the ego feeling
by means of the mechanism which we have described, now is drawn out and
attached to the outer world through the intellectual channel. Selfhood
is realized in the satisfactoriness of the results which one is able to
achieve in the very fullness of his activity and the richness of his

Such a free spirit needs no crowds to keep up his faith, and he is truly
social, for he approaches his social relationships with intelligent
discrimination and judgments of worth which are his own. He contributes
to the social, not a copy or an imitation, not a childish wish-fancy
furtively disguised, but a psychic reality and a new creative energy. It
is only in the fellowship of such spirits, whatever political or
economic forms their association may take, that we may expect to see the
Republic of the Free.


  Abelard, 153, 283.

  Absolute, the, 143.

  Absolutism, 133, 144.

  Abstract ideas, 2, 49, 160.

  ---- function of, 154, 155.

  Adler, Dr. Alfred, 59.

  ---- _The Neurotic Constitution_, 20, 61, 63.
    (Translated by Bernard Glueck and John A. Land; Moffat, Yard & Co.,
            New York, 1917.)

  Adventist, 211.
    (See also Messianism.)

  Age of Reason, 209.

  Agitators, 192.

  Alcoholic neurosis, 86.

  _Alice in Wonderland_, 2.

  Ambition, 66.

  America, conformist spirit in, 275.

  ---- crowd movements in, 53.

  ---- democracy in, 253, 280.

  ---- education in, 273, 280.

  ---- freedom of opinion in, 268.

  ---- leadership in, 275.

  ---- present condition, 189.

  American colonists, 52.

  ---- Declaration of Independence, 196.

  ---- democracy, mental habits in, 272.

  ---- revolution, 225.

  Americanism, 87.

  Americanisation propaganda, 108.

  Anabaptists, 225.

  Analytical psychology, 12, 294.
    (See also Psychoanalysis, Freud, Jung, Adler, Brill, The

  Anselm, 153.

  _a priori_ ideas in paranoia, 67.

  Arbitrary power, limits of, 246.

  Aristocrats, 182.

  Armenians, persecution of, 107.

  Armistice, the, 115.

  Athletic contests, 82.

  ---- events, symbols of conflict, 113.

  _Atlantic Monthly_, 258.

  Attention, 36.

  ---- direction of, 29.

  ---- function of, 58.

  Augustine, Saint, 153, 270.

  Bacon, Francis, 153.

  Baker, Secretary Newton D., 117, 119.

  Beethoven, 175, 269.

  Behavior, social, 5.

  Belief, crowd a creature of, 31.

  Beliefs, as ends in themselves, 33.

  ---- crowd professions of, 195.

  Berger, Victor, 265.

  Bergson, Henri, 153.

  ---- on sleep, 57.

  ---- _Creative Evolution_, 211, 299.
    (Translated by Arthur Mitchell; Henry Holt & Co., New York, 1911.)

  ---- _Time_ and _Free Will_, 290.
    (Translated by F. L. Pogson; George Allen & Co., London, 1912.)

  Bible, 270.

  Birth control, 239.

  Boccaccio, 270.

  Bolshevism, 166, 186, 207.
    (See also Soviets, Revolution, Russia.)

  Bolshevist propaganda, 228.

  Bourgeois, 170, 225.

  Brill, Dr. A. A., 59.

  ---- _Psychoanalysis; Its Theories and Application_ (W. B.
            Saunders, Philadelphia, Pa.), 55, 61, 93, 133, 135.

  British Labor Party, 226.

  Butler, Samuel, 283.

  Byron, 62.

  Cæsar Borgia, 233.

  Calvin, 225.

  Capitalism, 177, 178.

  Carlyle, 258.

  ---- _Heroes and Hero Worshipers_, 175.

  ---- _Sartor Resartus_, 46.

  Cassanova, 270.

  Categorical imperative, 90.

  Catholics, 264.

  ---- in England, 225.

  Censorships, 239.

  Cervantes, 283.

  Chautauqua, the, 272.

  Chauvanism, 223.

  Chesterton, G. K., 135.

  Chicago, riot in, 107.

  Child, egoism of, 62.

  Christianity, primitive, 193, 209.

  Church, the, 83, 114, 170, 234.

  Cicero, 188.

  Citizen, the, 248.

  Civilization, continuity of, 216.

  Class, the master, 177.

  ---- struggle, 43.
    (See also Revolution.)

  Classics, the, 292.

  Clergy of Middle Ages, 230.

  Collective Mind, 15.

  College students, egoism of, 78, 79.

  Communion of the saints, 83.

  Compensation, 120.

  ---- mechanisms of, 84.

  Complex formations, causes of, 65.

  Compromise mechanisms, 71.

  Compulsive hatred, 112.

  ---- thinking, 71, 102.

  Conflict, psychic, 3.

  ---- within the psyche, 70.

  Conformist spirit, 275.

  Conformity, insisted upon by crowds, 266.

  Conscientious objector, 120.

  Consciousness, 57.

  Conservatism of the crowd-mind, 224.

  Conservative crowds, 191.

  Conspiracy, delusion of, 105.
    (See also Paranoia, Projection, Persecution.)

  Constantine, 234.

  Constituent assembly, French, 186.

  Constitution, 247, 249.

  Constitutional government, 235.

  Convert, the, 86.

  Conway, Sir Martin, 17, 181.

  ---- _The Crowd in Peace and War._ (Longmans, Green & Co.,
          London, 1915.)

  Co-operation, 226.

  Co-operative commonwealth, 209.

  Cooper Union Forum, 25, 26, 265, 240.

  Counter crowds, 198.

  Couthon, 206.

  _Creative Intelligence_, 298.

  Cromwell, Oliver, 225.

  Crowd, the, 6.

  ---- against some one, 113.
    (See also Hatred, Paranoia, Delusion of Persecution, Projection.)

  ---- a creature of belief, 31.

  ---- a state of mind, 19.

  ---- compulsive thinking of, 71, 102.

  ---- defined, 5.

  ---- delusion of conspiracy in, 105.

  ---- delusion of persecution, 99.

  ---- dogma of equality in, 175.

  ---- dominant, 35, 177.

  ---- effect on social peace, 8.

  ---- effect on the individual, 8.

  ---- ego mania of, 74.

  ---- enemy of personality, 159.

  ---- ethics of, 90.

  ---- fear and suspicion in, 104.

  ---- function of ideals in, 84.

  ---- hates in order that it may believe in itself, 132.

  ---- hatred, a motive of self-defense, 113, 125.

  ---- homicidal tendencies of, 106-107.

  ---- ideal of society, 267.

  ---- idealism of, 160.

  ---- idealizes itself, 43.

  ---- itself absolute, 161.

  ---- its resentment of educated man, 172.

  ---- movements in America, 53.

  ---- moral, 124.

  ---- moral dilemmas of, 88.

  ---- motives in education, 271, 272.

  ---- notions of equality, 262.

  ---- parental function of, 44.

  ---- restrictions upon freedom, 25.

  ---- rumor in, 104.

  ---- self-deception of, 54.

  ---- self-pity in, 101.

  ---- sense of responsibility in, 100.

  ---- transference phenomenon, a 136, 138.

  ---- truths are _a priori_ concepts, 141.

  ---- tyranny in, 101.

  ---- tyranny of, 235.

  ---- unconscious egoism of, 73.

  ---- unconscious motives of, 51.

  ---- virtues and vices of, 88.

  ---- virtues of, 164.

  Crowd-behavior, in a democracy, 242.

  ---- pseudo-social, 22.

  Crowd-ethics, 267.

  Crowd-ideas, abstract, 49.

  Crowd-ideas, moral significance of, 35.

  ---- pathology of, 37.

  ---- phenomenon of attention in, 36.

  ---- ready made, 26.

  Crowd man, a dogmatist, 140.

  Crowd mentality, 5.

  Crowd-mind--and paranoia, 92.

  ---- absolutism of, chapter vi, 133.

  ---- conservatism of, 224.

  ---- distorts patriotism, 111.

  ---- influence upon education, 277.

  ---- orthodoxy of, 152.

  ---- similarity--to paranoia, 98.

  ---- tendency to exaggerate, 100.

  Crowd morality, 35, 157-158.

  ---- demands a victim, 106.

  Crowd orator, 99.

  Crowd-propaganda, 289.

  Crowd-thinking--conservative, 191.

  ---- destructive tendencies of, 163.

  ---- finality of, 44.

  ---- function of, 191.

  ---- intensified by revolution, 223.

  ---- logic of, 140.

  ---- not creative, 217.

  ---- pageantry of, 215.

  ---- quest of "magic formulas," 150.

  ---- rationalisation of, 150-151.

  ---- wanting in intellectual curiosity, 271.

  Crowds, claim to infallibility, 234.

  ---- counter, 198.

  ---- credulity of, 139-140.

  ---- dictatorship of, 183.

  ---- dignity of, 83.

  ---- disintegration of, 195.

  ---- dominant, 168.

  ---- faith of, 126.

  ---- function of ideas in, 155-156.

  ---- hostility to freedom, 200.

  ---- idealism of, 112.

  ---- illiberalism of, 276.

  ---- in modern society, 7.

  ---- liberty of, 266.

  ---- Messianic faith of, 201.

  ---- permanent, 42.

  ---- phenomenon of displacement in, 116.

  ---- resist disintegration, 129.

  ---- revolutionary, 180.

  ---- revolutionary phenomena in, 203.

  ---- self-adulation of, 77.

  ---- self-feeling in, 170.

  ---- slow to learn, 193.

  ---- spirit of, 298.

  ---- will to dominance, 79.

  Curiosity of crowds, 271.

  Darwin, 225, 269.

  Day dreams, 84.

  Day of the Lord, 202.

  Debs, Eugene V., 265.

  Decalogue, 90.

  Defense-mechanism, 94.

  Deists, 264.

  Delusion of conspiracy, 105.
    (See also Paranoia, Persecution.)

  ---- of grandeur, 92.
    (See also Paranoia, Egoism, Self-feeling.)

  ---- of persecution, 68, 69, 92, 99.
    (See also Paranoia, Projection, Hate.)

  Democracy, 178, 266, 282.

  ---- crowd behavior in, 242.

  ---- genius in, 268.

  ---- in America, 253, 272, 280.

  ---- law in, 268.

  ---- lawmaking power in, 247.

  ---- liberty in, 248, 261-267.

  ---- mental habits of, 287.

  ---- not synonymous with liberty, 242.

  Democratic constitutions, 235.

  Democrats, 264.

  Demons, 95.

  Demon worship, 97.

  Demosthenes, 62.

  Department of Justice, United States, 240.

  Determination, unconscious, 5.

  Determinism, psychological motives of, 149.

  Devil, the, 114.

  Dewey, John, _Ethics_, by Dewey and Tufts (Henry Holt & Co.,
          New York. 1910), 89.

  ---- _Essays in Experimental Logic_ (University of Chicago
          Press, 1916), 142.

  ----- Creative Intelligence (Henry Holt & Co., New York, 1917), 298.

  ---- _Democracy and Education_ (The Macmillan Company, New
          York, 1916), 288-289, 290, 291.

  Dias, 194.

  Dictatorship, 222.

  Dictatorship of crowds, 183.

  Dictatorship of the proletariat, 193, 228, 229-232.

  Dignity of crowds, 83.
    (See also Egoism.)

  Disguise, mechanisms of, 73.

  Disintegration of crowds, 129, 195.

  Dogma of infallibility, 234.

  Dogmatism, 140.

  Dominant crowd, 177.

  Dostoievsky, 270.

  ---- _The Brothers Karamasov_, 233.

  Dream, the, 34.

  ---- fancies, 58.

  ---- of Paradise, 207.

  ---- of social redemption, 232.

  ---- of world set free, 222.

  Dreams, 57, 84.

  ---- disguise in, 73.

  Dreiser, Theodore, 265.

  ---- _The Genius_, 265.

  DuBois, W. F. B., 121.

  Duty, 161.

  East St. Louis, riot in, 107.

  Eastman, Max, 264.

  Economic system, 213.

  Economics, science of, 185.

  Educated man, crowd's resentment of, 172.

  Education, chapter x, 281.

  ---- crowd motive in, 271-272.

  ---- of present day, 288.

  ---- religious, 153.

  ---- the new, 284, 286, 289.

  ---- traditional, 292.

  ---- traditional systems, 277, 278.

  Ego, consciousness, 70.
    (See also Self-feeling.)

  ---- mania, 74.

  Egoism of the neurotic, 61.

  ---- unconscious, 73.

  Eighteenth amendment to Constitution of United States, 236, 265.

  Emerson, 9, 269, 283, 302.

  Emotion, theory of, 18.

  Empiricism, 297.

  England, political liberty in, 226.

  ---- Socialism in, 227.

  Environment, social, 35.

  Epicurus, 153.

  Equality, 175, 262.

  Erasmus, 283.

  Espionage, in United States, 241.

  Ethic, of Kant, 162.

  Ethics, 267.

  ---- of crowd, 90.

  Europe, present condition in, 189.

  Evangelists, 114.
    (See also Sunday, William.)

  Evolution, 212.

  ---- doctrines of, 210.

  Exaggeration of crowd-mind, 100.

  Exodus of children of Israel, 52.

  Exploitation, 170, 177.

  Extroversion, 303.

  Fads, 224.

  Faguet, _The Cult of Incompetence_, 17.
    (Translated by Beatrice Barstow; E. P. Dutton & Co., New
          York, 1916.)

  ---- _The Dread of Responsibility_, 266.
    (Translated by Emily James; G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York,

  Faith, 126.

  Fanaticism, 86.

  Fear, 104, 128.

  Feeling of importance, 82.
    (See also Egoism.)

  Female neurotic, 98.

  Fichte, 152.

  Fiction of justification, 106.

  Fictions, 20, 128.

  Fictitious logic, 198.

  Fixations, phenomenon of, 94.

  Flaubert, 270.

  Forgetting, purposeful, 56.

  Fourierists, 204.

  Franklin, 225.

  Freedom, 154, 244, 248.

  ---- in democracy, 261-267.

  ---- of speech, 264.

  ---- to vote, 261.

  Free spirit, 303.

  French Revolution, 38, 107, 170, 182-183, 192, 194, 219.

  Freud, Dr. Sigmund, 30, 34, 59, 117, 210.
    (See Analytical Psychology.)

  ---- _Delusion and Dream_, 55.
    (Translated by Helen Downey; Moffat, Yard & Co., New York, 1917.)

  ---- _The Interpretation of Dreams_, 12, 59.
    (Translated by Dr. A. A. Brill; The Macmillan Company, New York,

  ---- _Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory._ "Nervous and
          Mental Diseases," Monograph Series No. 4, 63.

  ---- _Totem and Taboo_, 12, 90, 95.
    (Translated by Dr. A. A. Brill; Moffat, Yard & Co., New York,

  ---- influence upon general psychology, 12.

  ---- on dream thoughts, 30.

  Garrison, William Lloyd, 264.

  Gary schools, 265.

  Genius, 67, 268.

  Germany, 110.

  ---- and the war, 38.

  ---- Socialist movement in, 227.

  Gironde, 196.
    (See also French Revolution.)

  Gobineau, 17, 54, 181.

  Goethe, 175, 270, 283.

  Good, the, 90.

  Goodness, 89.

  Government, by crowds, chapter ix, 233.

  Government, functions of, 251.

  Grandeur, delusions of, 92.
    (See also Egoism, Paranoia.)

  Greatest happiness, principle of, 167.

  Greece, 143.

  Greek literature, 277.

  Hapsburg, the, 235.

  Hatred, 132.

  ---- in paranoia, 94, 112.

  Hebrew prophet, 202.

  Hegel, 152-153.

  Heretic, the, 123.

  Hero worship, 81, 82.

  Hohenzollerns, the, 235.

  Homicidal tendencies, 105.
    (See also Crowd, Paranoia, Hatred.)

  Homosexuality, 94.

  Human nature, evil of, 284.

  ---- weakness of, 245-246.

  Human sacrifice, 112.

  Humanism, 225, 290, 293, 298, 300, 302.
    (See also Pragmatism.)

  Humanist, the, 296.

  Hume, David, 153.

  Huxley, 226, 269.

  Hypocrisy, among crowds, 54.

  Idealism, 141, 144.

  ---- modern, 223.

  ---- of crowds, 112.

  ---- psychology of, 148.

  Ideals, of the crowd, 84.

  Ideas, _a priori_, 67.

  ---- descriptive confused with casual, 214.

  ---- no impersonal, 3.

  ---- political, moral, religious, 44.

  ---- tyranny of, 279.

  Ideational system, 159.
    (See also Paranoia, Crowd Thinking.)

  Illusions, 31.

  Imitation and suggestion, theory of, 33.

  Individual, the, 150, 283, 297, 301.

  ---- and society, 1-32.

  Individualism, 153, 262.

  Infallibility, dogma of, 234.

  Inferiority, feeling of, 62, 169-170.
    (See also Egoism, Compensation.)

  Ingersoll, Robert, 225, 269.

  Insanity, 3.

  Insanity and emotion, 19.
    (See also Paranoia, Psychoanalysis.)

  Instinct, 11.

  Instrumental theory of intellect, 298.

  Intellectualism, 144, 296.

  ---- and conservatism, 18.

  Intellectuals, the, 230.

  Jackson, Andrew, 265.

  Jacobinism, 264.

  Jacobins, the, 116.

  James, William, 2, 31, 153, 207, 241, 283, 291, 297.

  James, William, _Essays in Radical Empiricism_ (Longmans, Green
          & Co., New York, 1912), 142.

  ---- _The Meaning of Truth_, 301.

  ---- _Pragmatism_ (Longmans, Green & Co., New York, 1905), 142.

  ---- _Principles of Psychology_ (Henry Holt & Co., New York,
          1890), 37, 127, 298.

  ---- _The Will to Believe_ (Longmans, Green & Co., Reprint,
          1912), 57, 175.

  ---- _Varieties of Religious Experience_, (Longmans, Green &
          Co., New York, 1906), 22.

  Jefferson, 225, 264.

  Jericho, fall of a Revolutionary symbol, 212.

  Judgment Day, 81.

  Julius Cæsar, 130.

  Julius II, Pope, 181.

  Jung, Dr. C. G., 59.
    (See also Psychoanalysis.)

  ---- _Analytical Psychology_, 85, 303. (Translated by E. Long;
          Moffat, Yard & Co., New York, 1917.)

  ---- Psychology of the Unconscious, 66, 138. (Translated by Beatrice
          Hinkle; Moffat, Yard & Co., New York, 1916.)

  Justification, mechanism of, 106.

  Kaiser Wilhelm II, 80, 115.

  Kant, 153, 161.

  ---- _Metaphysics of Morals_, 90, 162-163. (Translated by Thos.
          K. Abbot; Longmans, Green & Co., New York. Sixth edition, 1917.)

  Keats, 269.

  Kingdom of Heaven, 202.

  Labor, assumed triumph of, 229.

  Law, in a democracy, 268.

  Leadership, 271.

  ---- in America, 275.

  L Bon, Gustave, 5, 17, 19, 139, 205, 242, 269.

  ---- on the unconscious, 14.

  ---- summary of his theory, 47.

  ---- _The Crowd, A Study of the Popular Mind_ (Eleventh edition.
          T. Fisher Unwin, Ltd., London, 1917), 15.

  ---- _The Psychology of Revolution_, 180, 182, 205. (Translated
          by Miall; G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1912.)

  Lenin, Nicolai, 206, 227, 233.

  Leo X, Pope, 181, 185.

  Liberator, the, 124, 125, 264.

  Liberty, 199.

  ---- in a democracy, 242, 261-267.

  ---- of crowds, 266, 276.

  Libido, 65, 136, 303.

  Lincoln, 225.

  Livingstone, R. W., _The Greek Genius and Its Meaning for Us_,

  Locke, John, 153.

  Logic, of crowd-thinking, 140.

  ---- in crowds and in paranoia, 198.

  Louis XVI, 186.

  Lowell, Percival, 269.

  Lusk Committee, the, 103.

  Luther, Martin, 175, 193, 225.

  Lynchings, 38, 106.

  McDougal, Prof. William, 10. _An Introduction to Social
          Psychology_ (John W. Luce & Co., Boston, 1917), 11.

  Machiavelli, _The Prince_, 233.

  Madison Square Garden, 265.

  Majority, as king, 248.

  ---- tyranny of, 250.

  Man in the state of nature, 209.

  Manifesto, Socialist, 204.
    (See also Karl Marx.)

  "Man the Measure of all Things," 300.

  Marcus Aurelius, 234.

  Marines' Fathers' Association, 117-118.

  Marx, Karl, 152.

  Masculine protest, 62.

  Masochism, 39, 65.

  Mass meetings, 23.

  Master class, 177.

  Materialism, 150.

  Mechanisms, of compensation, 84.

  ---- of defense, 94.

  ---- of disguise, 73.

  ---- of justification, 40, 106.

  Mechanistic theories, 1.

  Mediæval thinkers, 10.

  Mental habits, 272.

  Messianism as a revolutionary crowd phenomenon, 203, 210.

  Mexico, 194.

  Millennium, 201.

  Milton, 270.

  Milwaukee, pseudo-patriotism in, 259.

  Mind, collective, 15.

  Minority crowds, arrogance of, 257.

  Mirabeau, 183.

  Mob, 6, 165.

  ---- outbreaks, 37.

  Mobs, 107.

  ---- modern, 47.

  ---- Southern, 39.

  Modern society challenged, 213.

  Modernism, 223.

  Montaigne, 270, 283.

  Moral dilemmas, 88.

  Morality, 106.

  ---- of crowd-mind, 157-158.

  ---- of the crowd, 124.

  Motion pictures, 157.

  Multiple personality, 5.

  Mysticism of revolutionary crowds, 219.

  Napoleon, 221.

  Narcissus, stage, 66.

  Nations as crowds, 83.

  Negation, phenomenon of, 89.

  Nero, 234.

  Neurotic, female, 98.

  ---- similarity to crowd, 71.

  Newcomb, Simon, 269.

  Newspapers, 45.

  New York City, 172.

  ---- crowds in, 115.

  New Testament, 202.

  Nietzsche, Friederich, 153, 269, 270.

  ---- _Antichrist_ (Third English edition. Dr. Oscar Levy; The
          Macmillan Company, New York, 1911), 81.

  ---- _Beyond Good and Evil_ (Third English edition. Dr. Oscar
          Levy; The Macmillan Company, New York), 17, 124, 194.

  ---- _Genealogy of Morals_ (Edited by Dr. Oscar Levy; The
          Macmillan Company, New York. 1911), 91.

  ---- _Thus Spake Zarathustra_, 175. (Translated by Thomas

  ---- _The Will to Power_, 62. (Translated by A. M. Ludovici;
          Oscar Levy edition; The Macmillan Company.)

  Nonconformist, 123.

  Non-crowd man, 226, 285.

  Obsessions, 134.

  Oedipus complex, 66.

  Omaha, riot in, 107, 116.

  Orators, 25.

  Oratory, 99.

  Orthodoxy, 152.

  Pageantry, 216.

  Paine, Thomas, 225.

  Parades, 115.

  Paranoia, 22, 67, 92, 93, 94, 102, 294.

  ---- and fanaticism, 86.

  ---- hatred in, 112.

  ---- obsessive ideas in, 134.

  ---- rationalization in, 139.

  ---- similarity to crowd-mind, 98.

  Paranoiac, 84, 163, 208.

  Parker, Theodore, 269.

  Partisanship, 140, 194.

  Pathological types, 58.

  Patriotic crowds, 151.

  Patriotism, 80, 111, 118, 119.

  People's Institute of New York, 241.

  Permanent crowds, 42.

  Persecution, delusion of, 68, 69, 92.

  Personal liberty, 244.

  ---- in a democracy, 248.

  Personality, 297.

  Perversion, 64.

  Petrarch, 175.

  Petrograd, 219.

  Philosophers, intellectualist, 296.

  Philosophical idealism, 148.
    (See also Intellectualism, Rationalism.)

  Philosophy, humanist, 293.

  Philosophy of "as if," 128.

  Platitudes in crowd oratory, 26.

  Plato, 150, 153, 300.

  ---- _The Republic_, 143. (Translated by Jowett; Third edition,
          Oxford Press, 1892.)

  Pliny, 247.

  Poe, 269.

  Pogroms, 107.

  Poland, 107.

  Political conventions, 27.

  Political liberty in England, 226.

  Politics, philosophy of, 233.

  Pope, the, 62.

  Power, abuses of, 185.

  ---- crowd, will to, 160.

  Pragmatism, 142, 299, 301.
    (See also Humanism.)

  Principles, as justification mechanisms, 40.

  ---- as leading ideas, 154.

  Progress, 167.

  Prohibition, 239, 265.

  Prohibition agitator, 88.

  Prohibitionists, the, 80, 114.

  Projection, phenomenon of, 87, 95, 105.

  Proletarian crowd, 236.

  Proletarians, 263.

  Proletariat, the, 183.

  ---- dictatorship of, 197, 229-232.

  Propaganda, 54, 101, 103, 142, 157, 264, 289.

  ---- Bolshevist, 228, 265.

  ---- revolutionary, 181, 189, 208.

  Protagoras, 153, 283, 300.

  Protestantism, 225.

  Prussianism, 258.

  Psychic conflict, 3.

  Psychoanalysis, 34, 59, 165, 295.

  ---- therapeutic value of, 165, 284.

  Psychology of crowd, summary of author's view, 48, 49, 50.

  Psychology, social, 11.

  ---- of the unconscious, 12, 51, 56, 57, 58, 64, 70, 138, 267.

  Psychoneurosis, 92.

  ---- egoism of, 61.

  Psychosexual, 64.

  Public opinion, 4, 46.

  Public schools, 273-274.

  Puritanism, 264, 265.

  Quakers, the, 225, 264.

  Rabelais, 270.

  Race riots, 107.

  ---- motive of, 121.

  Radical crowds, 152.

  Rationalism, 144.
    (See also Intellectualism.)

  Rationalization, 144, 249.

  ---- in crowds, 156.

  ---- of revolutionary wish-fancy, 210.

  Real, the, concreteness of, 297.

  Reality, criterion of, 32.

  ---- sense of, 37.

  Re-education, 294.

  Reform, "white slavery," 98.

  Reformation, the, 182, 192, 225.

  Reformers, 157, 270.

  Reformist crowds, 151.

  Regression, 111, 135.

  Religion, 201.

  ---- Messianism and revolution, 204.

  Religious convert, 86.

  ---- crowds, 151.

  ---- education, 153.

  ---- symbolism, 66.

  Renaissance, 170, 175, 225, 292.

  Repression, 34, 45, 63, 64.

  Republicans, the, 264.

  Responsibility, sense of, 100.

  Revenge, 220.

  Revival meetings, 76.
    (See also Sunday, William.)

  Revolution, chapter vii, 166, 183.

  ---- as a crowd phenomenon, 180.

  ---- psychic causes of, 171.

  ---- small fruits of, 224.

  ---- violence in, 167.

  Revolution, French, 38, 170, 182, 183, 192, 194, 205, 219.

  ---- Russian, 9, 183, 206.

  Revolutionary creed, 222.

  ---- crowds, 151, 200.

  ---- propaganda, 181, 188, 189, 208.

  Riots, 106.

  Robespierre, 206, 235.

  Rochdale movement, 226.

  Rolland, Mme., 182.

  Roman republic, 187.

  Romanoffs, the, 235.

  Rossetti, 270.

  Rousseau, Jean J., 153, 233, 270.

  Rumor, 104.

  Russia, pogroms in, 107.

  ---- revolution in, 186.

  ---- Socialist movement in, 227.

  Russian revolution, 9, 53, 183, 206.

  Sadism, 39, 65, 111.

  Saint Just, 206.

  Saint Simonists, 204.

  Salem, Massachusetts, 163.

  Sans-culottism, 171.

  _Saturday Evening Post_, 272.

  Savonarola, 235.

  Saxon peasants, 225.

  Schiller, F. C. S., 241, 300, 301.

  ---- _Humanism_ (Second edition. The Macmillan Company, London,
          1912), 142.

  ---- _Studies in Humanism_ (Second edition. The Macmillan
          Company, London, 1912), 144-147.

  Schopenhauer, 153, 269.

  Schubert, 269.

  Science, 159, 278.

  ---- humanist spirit of, 225.

  Self-appreciation, 63.
    (See also Egoism.)

  ---- consciousness, 301.

  ---- deception of crowds, 54.

  ---- defense, a motive of crowd hatred, 125.

  Self-appreciation, feeling, 170, 223.

  ---- hood, 303.

  ---- pity, 101.

  Senate of United States, 114.

  Servetus, 225.

  Sexuality, repressed, 63.

  Shakespeare, 270.

  Shakespeare's "Julius Cæsar," 130.

  Shelley, 269.

  Sioux Indians, 156.

  Social behavior, 1, 2.

  ---- environment, 35, 37.

  ---- idealism, 200.

  ---- order, how possible, 301.

  ---- order, the present, 100.

  ---- psychology, 11.

  ---- reconstruction, task of, 212.

  ---- redemption, dream of, 207, 222, 232.

  ---- redemption, no formula for, 282.

  ---- thinking, 2.

  Socialism in England, 226.

  Socialist, 80.

  ---- movement in Germany, 227.

  ---- movement in Russia, 227.

  ---- movement in United States, 227.

  ---- philosophy, 210.

  Socialists, the, 141, 204, 265.

  Socialisation, present tendencies toward, 236.

  Society, as "Thing-in-itself," 2.

  Society for the Prevention of Vice, 114.

  Socrates, 283.

  South, lynchings in, 106.

  Southern mobs, 39.

  Soviet republic, 9.

  ---- spirit, 9.

  Soviets, 38.

  Spargo, John, 124.

  ---- _The Psychology of Bolshevism_ (Harper & Brothers,
          1919), 8.

  Spencer, Herbert, 16, 226, 238.

  ---- _Principles of Sociology_ (D. Appleton & Co., New York,
          1898), 11.

  Spingarn, Maj. J. E., 122.

  Spirit of 1776, 264.

  Spiritual valuation, 271.

  State, bureaucratic, 238.

  Stewart, Charles D., 258.

  Strikes, 232.

  Stuarts, the, 235.

  Substitution, phenomenon of, 116.

  Suggestion, 33.

  Sumner, William Graham, 181.

  ---- _Folkways_ (Ginn & Co., New York, 1906), 11, 181, 169.

  Sunday, Rev. William, 24, 42, 76, 172.

  Superiority, idea of, 174.

  Suppressed wish, 40.

  Suspicion, 104.

  Survival values, 77.

  Swinburne, 270.

  Symbolic thought, 20.

  Symbolism, religious, 66.

  Taboo, 117.

  Tammany Hall, 233.

  Tarde, Gabriel, _The Laws of Imitation_, 17. (Translated by

  Theology, 141.

  Theory of knowledge, 241.

  ---- humanist, 293.

  ---- instrumental, 298.

  Thinking, compulsive, 102.

  ---- function of, 299.

  ---- instrumental nature of, 20.

  ---- of crowds, 142.

  ---- social, 2.

  ---- symbolic nature of, 20.

  Thomas Aquinas, 153.

  Tocqueville, de, democracy in America, 253-257, 268, 271.

  Tolstoi, 270.

  _Totem and Taboo_, 95.

  Tragedy, psychological meaning of, 66.

  Transference phenomenon, 136.

  Tribune, the, New York, 101, 113.

  Truth, 299, 300.

  Truths, 141.

  Truths, independent, 3.

  Turkey, Sultan of, 234.

  Turks, the, 107.

  Tyranny, 101, 235.

  ---- of ideas, 279.

  ---- of the majority, 250.

  Unconscious, the, chapter iii, 5, 12, 14, 35, 49, 51, 56, 57, 61,
          64, 155, 267.

  ---- desire, 120.

  ---- determinism, 5.

  Unction, 210.

  United States, Socialist movement in, 227.

  Universal judgments, 88.
    (See also Absolute, Crowd-thinking, Intellectualism.)

  Unrest, social, 213.

  Utilitarianism, nineteenth century, 10.

  Utopia, 209, 215, 221.

  Values, 169.

  ---- creation of, 276.

  Variation, 271.

  Violence, causes of, 39.

  Virtues, 88.

  ---- of the crowd, 164.

  Vote, right to, 261.

  Wagner, 269.

  Wallas, Graham, _The Great Society_ (The Macmillan Company,
          New York, 1917), 14, 16.

  War psychology, 108, 109.

  Ward, Lester, _Pure Sociology_ (The Macmillan Company, New
          York. Second edition, 1916), 11.

  Washington, D. C., riot in, 107.

  Weakness of human nature, 245-246.

  White, Dr. William, _Mechanisms of Character Formation_
          (The Macmillan Company, New York), 59.

  White slavery, reform, 98.

  Whitman, Walt, 268, 283.

  Whittier, 179.

  Will, healthy, 89.

  Will to dominance, 79.

  Wish-fancy, 303.

  ---- rationalized, 210.

  Wish, suppressed, 40.

  Working class, 18, 204, 227.
    (See also Proletariat.)

  World War, 38.

  Young Men's Christian Association, 240, 259.


       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

Punctuation and spelling standardized.

Inconsistent hyphenation not changed.

Page 121, 307: "W. F. B. DuBois" probably should be "W. E. B. DuBois"

Page 197: ambiguous quotation marks resolved.

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