The Revolt of the Masses

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Category: Note
The multitude has suddenly become visible, installing itself in the preferential positions in society. Before, if it existed, it passed unnoticed, occupying the background of the social stage; now it has advanced to the footlights and is the principal character. There are no longer protagonists; there is only the chorus.
Category: Note
The characteristic of the hour is that the commonplace mind , knowing itself to be commonplace , has the assurance to proclaim the rights of the commonplace and to impose them wherever it will. As they say in the United States; "to be different is to be indecent,” The mass crushes beneath it everything that is different, everything that is excellent, individual, qualified and select. Anybody who is not like everybody, who does not think like everybody, runs the risk of being eliminated. And it is clear, of course, that this “everybody” is not '"everybody.” “Everybody” was normally the complex ...
Category: Note
To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand. This is the sport, the luxury, special to the intellectual man. The gesture characteristic of his tribe consists in looking at the world with eyes wide open in wonder. Everything in the world is strange and marvellous to well-open eyes. This faculty of wonder is the delight refused to your football ‘‘fan,” and, on the other hand, is the one which leads the intellectual man through life in the perpetual ecstasy of the visionary.
Category: Philosophy
In my book Espana Invertebrada published in 1922 in an article in El Sol entitled "Masas" (1926), and in two lectures given to the Association of Friends of Art in Buenos Aires (1928), I have treated the subject developed in the present essay. My purpose now is to collect and complete what I have already said, so as to produce an organic doctrine concerning the most important fact of our time.
Category: Philosophy
There is one fact which, whether for good or ill, is of utmost importance in the public life of Europe at the present moment. This fact is the accession of the masses to complete social power. As the masses by definition, neither should nor can direct their own personal existence, and still less rule society in general, this fact means that actually Europe is suffering from the greatest crisis that can afflict peoples, nations, and civilisation. Such a crisis has occurred more than once in history. Its characteristics and its consequences are well known. So also is its name. It ...
Category: Note
The mass crushes beneath it everything that is different, everything that is excellent, individual, qualified and select. Anybody who is not like everybody, who does not think like everybody, runs the risk of being eliminated.
Category: Philosophy
It is much to my purpose to recall that we are here engaged in the analysis of a situation —the actual one— which Is of its essence ambiguous. Hence I suggested at the start that all the features of the present day, and in particular the rebellion of the masses, offer a double aspect. Any one of them not only admits of, but requires, a double interpretation, favourable and unfavourable. And this ambiguity lies, not in our minds, but in the reality itself. It is not that the present situation may appear to us good from one view-point, and evil ...
Category: Philosophy
1 THE COMING OF THE MASSES II 2 THE RISE OF THE HISTORIC LEVEL 1 9 J THE HEIGHT OF THE TIMES 2 8 4 THE INCREASE OF LIFE jS 5 A STATISTICAL FACT 47 6 THE DISSECTION OF THE MASS-MAN BEGINS 54 7 NOBLE LIFE AND COMMON LIFE, OR EFFORT AND INERTIA 6 1 B WHY THE MASSES INTERVENE IN EVERYTHING, AND WHY THEIR INTERVENTION IS SOLELY BY VIOLENCE 68 9 THE PRIMITIVE AND THE TECHNICAL 7® 10 PRIMITIVISM AND HISTORY BS 11 THE SELF-SATISFIED ACE 97 12 THE BARBARISM OF “SPECIALISATION” IO 7 13 THE GREATEST DANGER, THE ...
Category: Philosophy
Such, then, is the formidable fact of our times, described without any concealment of the brutality of its features. It is, furthermore, entirely new in the history of our modern civilisation. Never, in the course of its develop- ment, has anything similar happened. If we wish to find its like we shall have to take a leap outside our modern history and immerse ourselves in a world, a vital element, entirely different from our own; we shall have to penetrate the ancient world till we reach the hour of its decline. The history of the Roman Empire is also the ...
Category: Philosophy
We take it, then, that there has happened something supremely paradoxical, but which was in truth most natural; from the very opening-out of the world and of life for the average man, his soul has shut up within him. Well, then, I maintain that it is in tills obliteration of the average soul that the rebellion of the masses consists, and in this in its turn lies the gigantic problem set before humanity to-day. I know well that many of my readers do not think as I do. This also is most natural and confirms the theorem. For although my ...