Birth of Gustave Le Bon, French Sociologist & Psychologist Hot

Birth of Gustave Le Bon, French Sociologist & Psychologist

Gustave Le Bon

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History of Science

Gustave Le Bon is born in France. A sociologist and social psychologist, Le Bon will pioneer work on crowd psychology, herd behavior, and national traits.

Gustave Le Bon also does work on behalf of ideas about racial superiority, which is not incidental to his other work and its influence on the course of world events. Historians believe that the fascist theories of leadership which develop during the 1920s owe a great deal to Le Bon's ideas about the behavior of crowds and how they respond to manipulation.

Quite a lot of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf will draw on the propaganda techniques which Le Bon proposes in his 1895 book La psychologie des foules (The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind). Benito Mussolini reportedly keeps a copy of this book at his bedside and will utilize it extensively in his political career.

Moving away from politics, Edward Bernays will be heavily influenced by Gustave Le Bon. A nephew of Sigmund Freud, Bernays argues in his own book Propaganda that an important characteristic of modern democracy in the modern age is manipulation of the masses through media and advertising.

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