Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War

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Macmillan, 1916 - Crowds - 213 pages
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Fantastic resource of opinion and interpretation by Wilfred Trotter. Simply, explains how people or "man" development their opinions thorough identification and interpersonal communication - the herd. Aged yet relevant - especially with information available more than ever before. - decentluck

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Page 15 - Not one man in a billion, when taking his dinner, ever thinks of utility. He eats. because the food tastes good and makes him want more. If you ask him why he should want to eat more of what tastes like that, instead of revering you as a philosopher he will probably laugh at you for a fool.
Page 36 - If we examine the mental furniture of the average man we shall find it made up of a vast number of judgments of a very precise kind upon subjects of very great variety, complexity, and difficulty. He will have fairly settled views upon the origin and nature of the universe, and upon what he will probably call its meaning; he...
Page 15 - Of course we smile, of course our heart palpitates at the sight of the crowd, of course we love the maiden, that beautiful soul clad in that perfect form, so palpably and flagrantly made from all eternity to be loved!
Page 58 - In the tragic conflict between what he has been taught to desire and what he is allowed to get, man has found in alcohol, as he has found in certain other drugs, a sinister but effective peacemaker, a means of securing for however short a time, some way out of the prison house of reality back to the Golden Age.
Page 31 - In 12 As Trotter says (1916). "In interpreting into mental terms the consequences of gregariousness, we may conveniently begin with the simplest. The conscious individual will feel an unanalyzable primary sense of comfort in the actual presence of his fellows, and a similar sense of discomfort in their absence. It will be obvious truth to him that it is not good for the man to be alone. Loneliness will be a real terror, insurmountable by reason.
Page 36 - ... upon subjects of very great variety, complexity, and difficulty. He will have fairly settled views upon the origin and nature of the universe, and upon what he will probably call its meaning; he will have conclusions as to what is to happen to him at death and after, as to what is and what should be the basis of conduct. He will know how the country should be governed, and why it is going to the dogs; why this piece of legislation is good, and that bad. He will have strong views upon military...
Page 44 - ... question. When, therefore, we find ourselves entertaining an opinion about the basis of which there is a quality of feeling which tells us that to inquire into it would be absurd, obviously unnecessary, unprofitable, undesirable, bad form, or wicked, we may know that that opinion is a...
Page 58 - We have seen that mental instability must be regarded as a condition extremely common, and produced by the mental conflict forced upon man by his sensitiveness to herd suggestion on the one hand, and to experience on the other. It remains for us to estimate in some rough way the characteristics of the unstable, in order that we may be able to judge of their value or otherwise to the state and the species. Such an estimate must necessarily be exaggerated, over-sharp in its outlines, omitting much,...
Page 51 - The great central fact in human life, in your life and in mine, is the coming into a conscious, -vital realization of our oneness with this Infinite Life, and the opening of ourselves fully to this divine inflow.
Page 37 - ... play. But he does not himself realise that his thoughts are logically vulnerable ; they appear to him as propositions whose truth is at once obvious and beyond question, and he cannot understand how any other observer in possession of the same facts can possibly arrive at a different conclusion. " To the Conservative, the amazing thing about the Liberal is his incapacity to see reason and accept the only possible solution of public problems.

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