Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Majority Rules...what?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Majority Rules...what?

In reading chapter 4 "Controlling Chaos" of Stuart Ewan's book PR, I was moved by the famous French Social Psychologist Gustave Le Bon. In his 1895 book, The Crowd:Study of the Popular Mind, Le Bon takes his position as a man who is at odds with the growing world of socialist ideals and ideology. Le Bon is somewhat a man of conservative ideals who feels that the old order of Hierarchies and social class systems are being tainted by a new movement of middle-class "opinionated people", who are forming Labour Unions as well as affecting the laws of wages and working conditions.

Le Bon who has went so far to state "The crowd is always intellectually inferior to the isolated individual" is determined to condemn this behavior.
"To-day the claims of the masses are becoming more and more sharply defined, and amount nothing less then a determination to destroy utterly society as it now exist...with the view to making it hark back to primitive communism....the divine rights of the masses is about to replace the divine rights of the Kings"

I feel Le Bon's statement is directly an insecure way of thinking similar to that of many "elite" well to do individuals in society, even to contemporary standards. An example of this would be a figure such as Bill O'reilly who is a devote Conservative who believes in the ideals of smaller rural communities rather then those of the larger scale society. I do agree to an extent that in theory, the larger a group, the less rational they become in the context of social and political ideals, but to an extent. In a democracy the people are at the epicenter of the political spectrum. If the working class represent the majority, why are their concerns not met by those who are in position to make these changes? It's strange to me that even in my own country of Haiti, 1% of the country controls the entire countries wealth and power. In the end, the ones who have want to remain at the top and the working class must suffer the fate of not being in a "position of power".

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