A Reaction to the Article, “The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind” by Gustave Le Bon

I resolutely concur with Gustave Le Bon’s LAW OF THE MENTAL UNITY OF CROWDS, which is indeed a socio-psychological phenomenon manifested throughout history and continues to manifest in our day-to-day lives. We are social beings. That makes this law almost absolute that to exclude oneself from it would mean excluding oneself from the rest of society and humanity, or one’s community to be more specific.

Le Bon’s multifaceted analysis on the psychological crowd gave me the feeling of referring to it as a community. As he spoke of “collectiveness”, I remembered “sharing.” His discussion on the “individual comprising the crowd” reminded me of “group membership.” When he spoke of “contagion” I thought of “shared expectations and common goals.”

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His “influence and suggestion,” are “motives and issues” to me in relation to community. Most importantly, his statement of individuals being equals regardless of intellect and social status is “democracy.”  These heightened my belief of the law as I became more comfortable in relating his claims to everyday life.
What is more convincing with the article is that it was written in a realistic and practical approach. Le Bon didn’t dwell idealistically in his concept of the psychological crowd, like me in my understanding of a community.
Diversity, conflict, and factions in thinking are certainly inevitable and are always threats to harmony and homogeny. More so, the bottom line of every crowd or community’s dynamics is the motives, commitment, and gains of its members.
Like Gustave’s discussion on the psychological crowd’s dynamics of having the individuals conscious and independent ways of thinking dissolved in a crowd, my understanding of a community is that it is composed of people who transmit knowledge through sharing rather than individually inheriting traits and characteristics from their parents.
Undeniably, this law had been formulated through in-depth observation of the dynamics of historical events and processes. It shall never cease to support the existence of social, cultural, political, and economic entities, that is all the advances as well as the setbacks human development has brought to us.
ALL religions, ALL laws, ALL business establishments and policies, ALL family systems, ALL academic institutions, ALL forms technology, ALL sciences, ALL wars and conflicts, etc. are all products of MENTAL UNITY OF CROWDS. As long as people converge to work on something, as long as they exist and need each other, this law shall be valid.
If Sociology is the study of human social behavior, origins, institutions, organization, and the development of human society, then Le Bon’s Law would be the very much essential to justifying the existence of the science (Sociology).
It effectively presents a powerful phenomenon that explains the process of the simple individual being the foundation of a more complex crowd, which tells us so much about social relationships and behaviors, and organizational processes. Thus, it is able to profoundly provide us a base of what we are actually studying every day in this course.

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