Gustave Le Bon

7 May 1841 // 13 Dec 1931

A Crowd is as Easily Heroic as Criminal

What constitutes a crowd from the psychological point of view - a numerically strong agglomeration of individuals does not suffice to form a crowd - but special characteristics of psychological crowds - the turning in a fixed direction of the ideas and sentiments of individuals composing such a crowd, and the disappearance of their personality. The crowd is always dominated by considerations of which it is unconscious, the disappearance of brain activity and the predominance of medullar activity, the lowering of the intelligence and the complete transformation of the sentiments; the transformed sentiments may be better or worse than those of the individuals of which the crowd is composed, a crowd is as easily heroic as criminal.

Gustave Le Bon, in 'The Crowd'


On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."