The People and the Mob: The Ideology of Civil Conflict in Modern Europe

The People and the Mob: The Ideology of Civil Conflict in Modern Europe

by Peter Hayes
     
 

This book argues that although the mob and the people appear to be very separate concepts, they share a common ideological history. Hayes traces the developments undergone by the concepts of people and mob in modern European ideologies, and he examines Marx's depiction of the lumpenproletariat, Le Bon's analysis of the crowd, fascist depictions of the masses, and

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Overview

This book argues that although the mob and the people appear to be very separate concepts, they share a common ideological history. Hayes traces the developments undergone by the concepts of people and mob in modern European ideologies, and he examines Marx's depiction of the lumpenproletariat, Le Bon's analysis of the crowd, fascist depictions of the masses, and corporatist views of the political threat posed by the mob. He also discusses the implications of the distinction between the people and the mob for democracy providing a case study of the 1984-85 British miner's strike and reviewing the rhetoric of politicians in the new democracies of Eastern Europe.

The People and the Mob examines the ideological depiction of the masses from the time of the French Revolution to the democratization of Eastern Europe. During this period, Hayes explains how political activists seeking popular appeal have increasingly identified mass social groups in positive rather than negative terms, as the people rather than the mob. However, Hayes argues that although the bulk of the population has come to be identified with the people, the concept of the mob has not disappeared from political discourse, but has rather been redifined to refer to a vicious minority. The ideological significance of this concept of the mob is made clear by Hayes's examination of Marx's depiction of the lumpenproleteriat, Le Bon's analysis of the crowd, fascist propaganda, and corporatist views of society and government. Throughout his analysis, Hayes finds the concept of the mob to be closely tied to that of the people in a way that indicates ambiguous, inconsistent, or opportunist attitudes toward mass social groups. Hayes investigates the implications of such attitudes for democracy by considering political conflicts in the 1984-85 British miners' strike, and in the new democracies of Eastern Europe.

The People and the Mob explains how and why the concept of the mob has been incorporated into several forms of ideoloy that claim to speak for the people. This important finding is supported by Hayes's identification of a social analysis in which financiers and the mob are linked to each other, and separated from the people, using moral criteria of the work ethic. It is also supported by his explanation of the popular rhetorical appeal of political condemnations of the mob. Hayes shows that these rhetorical appeals and social distinctions are found in the ideology of both right and left. He demonstrates that even Marx has adopted such an ideology through his highly original interpretation of the class structure developed by Marx to explain events in France. Hayes's conclusions extend the fields of politicl theory and the history of ideas. The People and the Mob is useful to anyone interested in Marxism, crowd theory, fascism, corporatism, civil conflict in Europe, and the problems of modern democracy.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780275943363
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/30/1992
Pages:
184
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.56(d)
Lexile:
1530L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Figures
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. IIdeology
Ch. 1The Ideological Functions of the Mob3
Meanings of the "Mob"4
Conservatism and Radicalism7
The Mob and Mass Conflict11
The Mob and the People14
Defining the Mob16
Ch. 2The Place of the Lumpenproletariat in Marx's Dialectic23
The Social Characteristics of the Lumpenproletariat24
Dialectical and Utopian Theory27
Marx's Analysis of Louis Napoleon's Coup30
Lamartine35
Ch. 3Marx's Class Analysis of Events in France41
A Reconstruction of Marx's Class Structure41
The Flexibility of the Structure49
Explanation of Events in France52
Marx's Reasoning56
The Appeal to the People59
Ch. 4The Emergence of the Crowd: Gustave Le Bon and the Fascist Concept of the Masses63
Crowd Theory and Mass Propaganda64
From Mob to Crowd66
From Crowd to Mass69
The Ambiguity of Crowd Theory70
Crowd Theory and Fascist Ideology73
Violence and the People78
Ch. 5Fascist and Democratic Corporatism85
"State" and "Societal" Corporatism87
Corporatism and the Petit Bourgeoisie91
The Common Bases of Corporatism93
Two Types of Corporatism94
Conclusion101
Pt. IIDemocracy
Ch. 6Ideology and Democracy in the 1984-85 British Miners' Strike111
The Political Gap between the NUM Leadership and Membership112
The Strike Begins114
The Ideological Debate During the Strike115
Maintaining the Strike in Local Communities124
Redefining the Minority after the Strike127
The Failure of the Strike129
Ch. 7The Dilemma of Democratization in Eastern Europe135
The Dilemma136
Opposition to Reformed Communists137
The Future of Eastern Europe and Its Past143
Bibliography147
Index159

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