The Individual and Mass Are Contradictory Terms Conceptually and Empirically Incompatible

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It seems at first obvious first that the individual and mass are contradictory terms conceptually and empirically incompatible. The crowd “is certainly composed of individuals, but of individuals who cease to be isolated, who cease to think. Isolated individuals in a crowd can not help thinking, criticizing emotions. The others, on the other hand, stop thinking: they are moved, carried away, transported; they feel united with their neighbors in the crowd, free from all inhibition; they are transformed, cut off from their previous state of mind. ”
E. Lederer, State of the Masses, New York, 1940, p. 32s.. This analysis, although it correctly describes certain aspects of the masses, contains a mistaken assumption, that which states that individuals within a crowd “cease to be isolated”, are transformed and are “cut off from their state of being. previous spirit “. In an authoritarian regime, the function of the masses is precisely to consume the isolation of the individual and to realize this “previous state of mind”.
The crowd is an amalgam of individuals who have been stripped of any “natural” or personal distinction and are reduced to a standardized expression of their abstract individuality, namely the pursuit of their individual interest. As a member of the crowd, man has become the standardized subject of the conservation instinct in its most raw state. In the crowd, the constraint imposed by society on the pursuit of individual interest tends to become ineffective and aggressive impulses are easily released. These impulses have developed under the exigencies of scarcity and deprivation, and their liberation accentuates rather their “previous state of mind”. It is true that the crowd “unifies”. It unifies, however, atomized subjects struggling for survival and detached from anything that might transcend their selfish interests and impulses.
The crowd is therefore the antithesis of the community and the perverted realization of individuality. and their liberation rather accentuates their “previous state of mind.” It is true that the crowd “unifies”. It unifies, however, atomized subjects struggling for survival and detached from anything that might transcend their selfish interests and impulses. The crowd is therefore the antithesis of the community and the perverted realization of individuality. and their liberation rather accentuates their “previous state of mind.” It is true that the crowd “unifies”. It unifies, however, atomized subjects struggling for survival and detached from anything that might transcend their selfish interests and impulses. The crowd is therefore the antithesis of the community and the perverted realization of individuality.
If the weight and significance of the mass is growing along with the growth of rationalization, the mass becomes parallel in a conservative force that perpetuates the device. As the number of those who have the freedom of individual performance decreases, the number of those whose individuality is reduced by standardization to self-preservation increases. They can pursue their self-interest only by developing “reliable behavioral patterns” and by performing predetermined functions. Even the highly differentiated professional requirements of modern industry favor standardization. Vocational training essentially consists in developing a know-how, a psychological and physiological adaptation to a task ( job) to be accomplished. The job is “a predetermined type of work [that] requires a specific combination of skills”

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