Friday, 3 April 2015

An utterly unstable line of conduct

In the past, and in no very distant past, the action of governments and the influence of a few writers and a very small number of newspapers constituted the real reflectors of public opinion. To-day the writers have lost all influence, and the newspapers only reflect opinion. As for statesmen, far from directing opinion, their only endeavour is to follow it. They have a dread of opinion, which amounts at times to terror, and causes them to adopt an utterly unstable line of conduct.

Gustave Le Bon - The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (1895)

An utterly unstable line of conduct eh? That's encouraging isn't it?


Demetrius said...

1966 The Kinks "Dedicated follower of fashion". Le Bon was ahead of his time.

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - he was, although I don't think these things have changed much really.