Top 10 Quotes About Mass Psychology
#10 - Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, 1974
Robert M. Pirsig, <em>Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance</em>, 1974 Image

"To speak of certain government and establishment institutions as 'the system' is to speak correctly . . . They are sustained by structural relationships even when they have lost all other meaning and purpose. People arrive at a factory and perform a totally meaningless task from eight to five without question because the structure demands it be that way. There's no villian, no 'mean guy' who wants them to live meaningless lives, it's just that the structure, the system demands it and no one is willing to take on the formidable task of changing the structure just because it is meaningless."

#09 - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 1886
Friedrich Nietzsche, <em>Beyond Good and Evil</em>, 1886 Image

"Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule."

#08 - Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes, 1911
Joseph Conrad, <em>Under Western Eyes</em>, 1911 Image

"The scrupulous and the just, the noble, humane, and devoted natures; the unselfish and the intelligent may begin a movement but it passes away from them. They are not the leaders of a revolution. They are its victims."

#07 - J. G. Ballard, Running Wild, 1988
J. G. Ballard, <em>Running Wild</em>, 1988 Image

"In a totally sane society, madness is the only freedom."

#06 - Antonin Artaud, Van Gogh, the Man Suicided by Society, 1947
Antonin Artaud, <em>Van Gogh, the Man Suicided by Society</em>, 1947 Image

"It is thus that a few rare lucid well-disposed people who have had to struggle on earth find themselves at certain hours of the day or night in the depth of certain authentic and waking nightmare states, surrounded by the formidable suction, the formidable tentacular oppression of a kind of civic magic which will soon be seen appearing openly in social behavior."

#05 - Henry David Thoreau, journal, March 14, 1838
Henry David Thoreau, journal, March 14, 1838 Image

"The mass never comes up to the standard of its best member, but on the contrary degrades itself to a level with the lowest."

#04 - Carl Jung, Concerning Rebirth, 1940
Carl Jung, <em>Concerning Rebirth</em>, 1940 Image

"Masses are always breeding grounds of psychic epidemics."

#03 - Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life, 1860
Ralph Waldo Emerson, <em>The Conduct of Life</em>, 1860 Image

"Leave this hypocritical prating about the masses. Masses are rude, lame, unmade, pernicious in their demands and influence, and need not to be flattered, but to be schooled. I wish not to concede anything to them, but to tame, drill, divide, and break them up, and draw individuals out of them."

#02 - Alfred Jarry, La Revue Blanche, 1897
Alfred Jarry, <em>La Revue Blanche</em>, 1897 Image

"It is because the public are a mass—inert, obtuse, and passive—that they need to be shaken up from time to time so that we can tell from their bear-like grunts where they are—and also where they stand. They are pretty harmless, in spite of their numbers, because they are fighting against intelligence."

#01 - Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, 1841
Charles Mackay, <em>Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds</em>, 1841 Image

"Men, it has been well said, think in herds. It will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."

User Comments - Add a Comment
sam - 2008-01-17 08:35:28
Nietzsche is the man.
Anonymous - 2008-02-29 04:34:12
where is freud? and jung?
jimmy - 2008-04-17 16:12:16
I love these lists. And I love what people add to all of them. Except I must laugh at the people who say, "Where is so and so?" Especially when it makes them mad. Then I am extra happy.
Abhishek Shekhar - 2008-11-17 14:42:55

A World without stupid people will be a complete chaos!

Tron - 2009-04-22 05:07:27

Freud, while revolutionary at the time, has largely been discredited by todays experts in psychology. (plus what would he say about mass pyschology except somethign along the lines of 'MASSive orgies, with everyones mothers') and Jung is on the list. Learn to read. It'll really help in your day to day life.