Tuesday, November 20, 2007

From Freud, on the ‘group mind’, a little something that struck me as funny and apt in this election time (although i don't necessarily agree with him at all):
‘A group is extraordinarily credulous and open to influence, it has no critical faculty, and the improbable does not exist for it. It thinks in images, which call one another up by association (just as they arise with individuals in states of free imagination), and whose agreement with reality is never checked by any reasonable function. The feelings of a group are always very simple and very exaggerated… Inclined as it itself is to all extremes, a group can only be excited by an excessive stimulus. Anyone who wishes to produce an effect upon it needs no logical adjustment in his arguments; he must paint in the most forcible colours, he must exaggerate, and he must repeat the same thing again and again’

Freud, Sigmund 1957, ‘Group psychology and the analysis of the ego’, in ed. John Rickman, A general selection of the works of Sigmund Freud, Doubleday Anchor Books, Garden City, pp. 169-209.

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