Gustave Le Bon

Gustave Le Bon
Birth 1841
Death 1931

French doctor, anthropologist and social psychologist. We have this remarkable man to thank for The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind, where he mocks ignorant ‘poets and philosophers’ who have deluded the world with the idea that all people and races are equal. The vast majority of people have a low IQ and are driven by entirely subconscious instincts. Any mass movement destroys individuality and inevitably leads to barbarity and cultural decline (Austrian Wilhelm Reich and American Eric Hoffer picked up on this topic in his wake). Alas, the ideas that Le Bon laid out held true in practice and The Crowd became one of those rare books that ‘changed the world’. It was a source of inspiration for Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler and Mussolini and influenced Roosevelt, Churchill and de Gaulle.

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