L'âge des foules
This twentieth century, which promised the emancipation of the people, appears rather as the one of the power of the masses: giving reason to the founder of the psychology of the crowds, Gustave Le Bon, who since 1895 prophesied 'the age of the crowds'.
Among all the sciences of man that our modernity has produced, only two have themselves shaped it: political economy and crowd psychology. But the latter, unlike the former, remains ignored, even secret.
Serge Moscovici exposes here, in a very accessible way, the system of ideas whose coherence constitutes the psychology of the crowds, starting from the works of its three great craftsmen: Gustave Le Bon, Gabriel de Tarde, and Sigmund Freud. And he presents their answers to questions such as: what makes the masses act? which men are their leaders and from where do they draw their power? why are they the object of a "cult of personality"? how are individuals dragged along by the processes of the masses, and why are their possibilities of resistance so weak?
We will also find described here the methods that crowd psychology recommends for the government of the masses, methods that are in fact applied almost everywhere in the world, with impressive success.