"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."
"Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule."
"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."
"In a totally sane society, madness is the only freedom."
"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."
"The mass never comes up to the standard of its best member, but on the contrary degrades itself to a level with the lowest."
"Masses are always breeding grounds of psychic epidemics."
"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."
"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."
"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."