The role of the scholar is to destroy chimeras, that of the statesman is to make use of them.

— Gustave Le Bon

The most heartwarming Gustave Le Bon quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening

A crowd is not merely impulsive and mobile.

Like a savage, it is not prepared to admit that anything can come between its desire and the realisation of its desire.

91

One of the most constant characteristics of beliefs is their intolerance.

The stronger the belief, the greater its intolerance. Men dominated by a certitude cannot tolerate those who do not accept it.

91

In crowds it is stupidity and not mother wit that is accumulated.

79

Are the worst enemies of society those who attack it or those who do not even give themselves the trouble of defending it?

74

Crowds are somewhat like the sphinx of ancient fable: It is necessary to arrive at a solution of the problems offered by their psychology or to resign ourselves to being devoured by them.

70

The influence of the leaders is due in very small measure to the arguments they employ, but in a large degree to their prestige. The best proof of this is that, should they by any circumstance lose their prestige, their influence disappears.

58

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

40

The images evoked by words being independent of their sense, they vary from age to age and from people to people, the formulas remaining identical. Certain transitory images are attached to certain words: the word is merely as it were the button of an electric bell that calls them up.

38

The masses have never thirsted after truth.

Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.

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If atheism spread, it would become a religion as intolerable as the ancient ones.

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A crowd thinks in images, and the image itself calls up a series of other images, having no logical connection with the first...A crowd scarcely distinguishes between the subjective and the objective. It accepts as real the images invoked in its mind, though they most often have only a very distant relation with the observed facts....Crowds being only capable of thinking in images are only to be impressed by images.

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Crowds are influenced mainly by images produced by the judicious employment of words and formulas

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About Gustave Le Bon

Quotes 20 sayings
Profession Social Psychologist
Birthday October 16

The real cause of the great upheavals which precede changes of civilisations, such as the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Arabian Empire, is a profound modification in the ideas of the peoples .... The memorable events of history are the visible effects of the invisible changes of human thought .... The present epoch is one of these critical moments in which the thought of mankind is undergoing a process of transformation.

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The beginning of a revolution is in reality the end of a belief.

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All the civilizations 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.

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The greater part of our daily actions are the result of hidden motives which escape our observation.

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The precise moment at which a great belief is doomed is easily recognisable;

it is the moment when its value begins to be called in question.

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

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The art of those who govern consists above all in the science of employing words.

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