Gustave Le Bon

Le Bon

French Social Psychologist, Sociologist and Amateur Physicist

Author Quotes

Science has promised us truth... It has never promised us either peace or happiness.

All the civilization we know have been created and directed by small intellectual aristocracies, never by people in the mass. The power of crowds is only to destroy.

Under certain given circumstances, and only under those circumstances, an agglomeration of men presents new characteristics very different from those of the individuals composing it. The sentiments and ideas of all the persons in the gathering take one and the same direction, and their conscious personality vanishes. A collective mind is formed, doubtless transitory, but presenting very clearly defined characteristics. The gathering has thus become what, in the absence of a better expression, I will call an organized crowd, or, if the term is considered preferable, a psychological crowd. It forms a single being and is subject to the law of the mental unity of crowds.

Varied interpretations of the same words by those with dissimilar mentalities has been the frequent cause of historic struggles.

We are guided by three orders of truth: real truth, mystical truth, rational truth.

True democratic progress doesn't lie in lowering the elite to the level of the crowd, but in elevating the crowd towards the level of the elite

Love fears doubt, however it also thrives on doubt and frequently perishes from certainty.

The fear of other's judgement is surely one of surest supporting pillars of morality.

For many men, words come before thought. They only know what they think after realising what they've said.

Freedom is often for man no more than his opportunity to choose his own servitude.

We find many men who speak of freedom, but we find very few whose lives have not been dedicated to forging their own chains.

The money that we possess is the instrument of our freedom, what we purchase with it is that of our servitude.

It's easier to dominate a people by exciting their passions than by looking after their interests.

The thirst for equality is often a respectable form of the desire to have many inferiors and no superiors.

Competence without authority is just as impotent as authority without competence.

Anarchy is everywhere when responsibility is nowhere to be found.

The memorable events of history are the visible effects of invisible changes in human thought.

The fate of people depends much more on their character than on their intelligence.

The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduce[s] them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.

The art of persuasion has five chapters: affirmation, repetition, prestige, suggestion, and contagion.

The conscious life of the mind is of small importance in comparison with its unconscious life.

Many men easily do without truth but none is strong enough to do without illusions.

Periods of confused anarchy… seem always destined to precede the birth of every new society.

It is by examples not by arguments that crowds are guided.

Law and justice play no role in the relations of peoples of unequal strength.

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Le Bon
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French Social Psychologist, Sociologist and Amateur Physicist