Psychology Of Revolution

Psychology Of Revolution

by Gustave Lebon
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Wilder Publications
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Psychology Of Revolution

"Man, as part of a multitude, is a very different being from the same man as an isolated individual. His conscious individuality vanishes in the unconscious personality of the crowd," observed author Gustave Le Bon. In his 1896 classic of social psychology, The Crowd, Le Bon conducted a landmark investigation of mob mentality. His subsequent work, The Psychology of Revolution, takes a closer look at his observations on the subject and his analogy of crowd behavior as an infectious disease -- a sickness that passes from person to person, obliterating individuality and inciting irrationality and mindless destructiveness. Le Bon examines the psychology of revolutions in general, both religious and political, in addition to the mental and emotional qualities of the movements' leaders. Most of his examples are drawn from French history, with a particular emphasis on the personalities and events of the French Revolution: its origins; its rational, affective, mystic, and collective influences; and the conflict between ancestral influences and revolutionary principles. Le Bon concludes with an enlightening survey of revolutionary principles in the early nineteenth century, tracing the progress and evolution of democratic beliefs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604594645
Publisher: Wilder Publications
Publication date: 08/19/2008
Pages: 196
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.45(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Revision of History11
Part IThe Psychological Elements of Revolutionary Movements
Book IGeneral Characteristics of Revolutions
Chapter I.Scientific and Political Revolutions23
1.Classification of Revolutions23
2.Scientific Revolutions25
3.Political Revolutions26
4.The results of Political Revolutions31
Chapter II.Religious Revolutions34
1.The importance of the study of Religious Revolutions in respect of the comprehension of the great Political Revolutions34
2.The beginnings of the Reformation and its first disciples35
3.Rational value of the doctrines of the Reformation37
4.Propagation of the Reformation39
5.Conflict between different religious beliefs. The impossibility of tolerance40
6.The results of Religious Revolutions46
Chapter III.The Action of Governments in Revolutions49
1.The feeble resistance of Governments in time of Revolution49
2.How the resistance of Governments may overcome Revolution53
3.Revolutions effected by Governments. Examples: China, Turkey, &c.54
4.Social elements which survive the changes of Government after Revolution58
Chapter IV.The Part Played by the People in Revolutions60
1.The stability and malleability of the national mind60
2.How the People regards Revolution63
3.The supposed part of the People during Revolution66
4.The popular entity and its constituent elements69
Book IIThe forms of Mentality Prevalent During Revolution
Chapter I.Individual Variations of Character in time of Revolution75
1.Transformations of Personality75
2.Elements of character predominant in time of Revolution77
Chapter II.The Mystic Mentality and the Jacobin Mentality86
1.Classification of mentalities predominant in time of Revolution86
2.The Mystic Mentality87
3.The Jacobin Mentality92
Chapter III.The Revolutionary and Criminal Mentalities97
1.The Revolutionary Mentality97
2.The Criminal Mentality99
Chapter IV.The Psychology of Revolutionary Crowds102
1.General characteristics of the crowd102
2.How the stability of the racial mind limits the oscillations of the mind of the crowd105
3.The role of the leader in Revolutionary Movements109
Chapter V.The Psychology of the Revolutionary Assemblies113
1.Psychological characteristics of the great Revolutionary Assemblies113
2.The Psychology of the Revolutionary Clubs116
3.A suggested explanation of the progressive exaggeration of sentiments in assemblies119
Part II
Book IThe Origins of the French Revolution
Chapter I.The Opinions of Historians concerning the French Revolution123
1.The Historians of the Revolution123
2.The theory of Fatalism in respect of the Revolution126
3.The hesitation of recent Historians of the Revolution130
4.Impartiality in History133
Chapter II.The Psychological Foundations of the Ancien Regime137
1.The Absolute Monarchy and the Basis of the Ancien Regime137
2.The inconveniences of the Ancien Regime138
3.Life under the Ancien Regime141
4.Evolution of Monarchical feeling during the Revolution144
Chapter III.Mental Anarchy at the time of the Revolution and the influence attributed to the Philosophers147
1.Origin and Propagation of Revolutionary Ideas147
2.The supposed influence of the Philosophers of the eighteenth century upon the Genesis of the Revolution. Their dislike of Democracy152
3.The philosophical ideas of the Bourgeoisie at the time of the Revolution156
Chapter IV.Psychological Illusions respecting the French Revolution158
1.Illusions respecting Primitive Man, the return to the State of Nature, and the Psychology of the People158
2.Illusions respecting the possibility of separating Man from his Past and the power of Transformation attributed to the Law160
3.Illusions respecting the Theoretical Value of the great Revolutionary Principles162
Book IIThe Rational, Affective, Mystic, and Collective Influences Active During the Revolution
Chapter I.The Psychology of the Constituent Assembly167
1.Psychological influences active during the French Revolution167
2.Dissolution of the Ancien Regime. The assembling of the States-General170
3.The constituent Assembly172
Chapter II.The Psychology of the Legislative Assembly183
1.Political events during the life of the Legislative Assembly183
2.Mental characteristics of the Legislative Assembly185
Chapter III.The Psychology of the Convention190
1.The Legend of the Convention190
2.Results of the triumph of the Jacobin Religion193
3.Mental characteristics of the Convention197
Chapter IV.The Government of the Convention202
1.The activity of the Clubs and the Commune during the Convention202
2.The Government of France during the Convention: the Terror205
3.The End of the Convention. The Beginnings of the Directory210
Chapter V.Instances of Revolutionary Violence213
1.Psychological Causes of Revolutionary Violence213
2.The Revolutionary Tribunals215
3.The Terror in the Provinces218
Chapter VI.The Armies of the Revolution223
1.The Revolutionary Assemblies and the Armies223
2.The Struggle of Europe against the Revolution224
3.Psychological and Military Factors which determined the success of the Revolutionary Armies227
Chapter VII.Psychology of the Leaders of the Revolution232
1.Mentality of the men of the Revolution. The respective influence of violent and feeble characters232
2.Psychology of the Commissaries or Representatives "on Mission"234
3.Danton and Robespierre238
4.Fouquier-Tinville, Marat, Billaud-Varenne, &c.245
5.The destiny of those Members of the Convention who survived the Revolution250
Book IIIThe Conflict Between Ancestral Influences and Revolutionary Principles
Chapter I.The Last Convulsions of Anarchy. The Directory252
1.Psychology of the Directory252
2.Despotic Government of the Directory. Recrudescence of the Terror255
3.The Advent of Bonaparte259
4.Causes of the Duration of the Revolution262
Chapter II.The Restoration of Order. The Consular Republic265
1.How the work of the Revolution was confirmed by the Consulate265
2.The re-organisation of France by the Consulate267
3.Psychological elements which determined the success of the work of the Consulate270
Chapter III.Political Results of the Conflict between Traditions and the Revolutionary Principles during the last Century275
1.The psychological causes of the continued Revolutionary Movements to which France has been subject275
2.Summary of a century's Revolutionary Movements in France280
Part IIIThe Recent Evolution of the Revolutionary Principles
Chapter I.The Progress of Democratic Beliefs since the Revolution289
1.Gradual propagation of Democratic Ideas after the Revolution289
2.The unequal influence of the three fundamental principles of the Revolution292
3.The Democracy of the "Intellectuals" and Popular Democracy293
4.Natural Inequalities and Democratic Equalisation296
Chapter II.The Results of Democratic Evolution300
1.The influence upon social evolution of theories of no rational value300
2.The Jacobin Spirit and the Mentality created by Democratic Beliefs302
3.Universal Suffrage and its representatives307
4.The craving for Reforms310
5.Social distinctions in Democracies and Democratic Ideas in various countries312
Chapter III.The New Forms of Democratic Belief316
1.The conflict between Capital and Labour316
2.The evolution of the Working Classes and the Syndicalist Movement318
3.Why certain modern Democratic Governments are gradually being transformed into Governments by Administrative Castes322

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