When does a gathering become a crowd? When does a crowd become a mob? When, and how, do mobs self-organize into societies?
Social thinkers used to be fascinated with questions like these. Gustave Le Bon, a brilliant SOB* with wide influence on guys like Freud, Sorel, Lenin, and Hitler, spent a lot of his life working on the psychology of crowds and revolution. The great British anthropologists, like E.B. Tylor, theorized about the stages of human socio-cultural development. Even nutters like Bakunin thought hard about how an anarchist “society” would operate. The late 19th century was the great age of social anthropology.
We’d do well to reacquaint ourselves with these guys. Modern anthropology — now the various “Studies” — is useless, because they’ve gone all-in on relativism. Everything is a “social construction” to these folks, which makes not just anthropology, but the humanities in general, worthless. What could, say, the Ancient Greeks have to teach us, other than the self-evident fact that it’s possible to “construct” a society in the way they did?
Which is to say, racist, sexist, homophobic, blah blah blah, just like every other society in the history of humanity (those scoundrels). Why study the Greeks’ art or literature, except to see the specific ways in which they “reified” Greek prejudices, or served as “technologies” of oppression? Le Bon and Sorel could make something out of that — a really killer “how-to” manual for a high-Victorian police state — but the ivory tower is all about talking, never doing. We need to go back to the sources.
What’s the inflection point? Our Thing is strictly an Internet thing right now, and maybe it always will be. It surely will be if we don’t figure out some way to take it to the streets. Sorel was a dirty commie, but Sorelianism has much to teach us. Le Bon, Lenin, Hitler, Bernays, Maurras, Mao, even Bakunin and E.B. Tylor (if only because carrying around a book called Primitive Cultures would be so deliciously triggering). Relativism is false; human nature was, is, and always shall be. These guys actually went out and did something with it.
At what point does a mob become a tribe? Find the inflection point, before the Left finds it for you.
*It sounds like I’m indulging in a version of the genetic fallacy here — because Le Bon’s ideas were used by awful people, Le Bon himself must’ve been a bad guy. From what I know of him (very little), he seems to have been no worse than your average belle epoque Frenchman. But it would’ve been much better for the world if all his insights hadn’t been collected so cogently, and with such energy. They marched Western Culture off the cliff, that generation, but you sure can’t fault their work ethic.Loading Likes...