"...everyone is bored,and devotes himself to cultivating habits..these habits are not peculiar to our town.." Albert Camus "The Plague"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obama as Hypnotist and the Politics of Crowds....

In today's Wall Street Journal there is an extremely interesting article concerning the crowds that Obama draws. The author, Faoud Ajami is professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, and an adjunct research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. he begins:
There is something odd -- and dare I say novel -- in American politics about the crowds that have been greeting Barack Obama on his campaign trail. Hitherto, crowds have not been a prominent feature of American politics. We associate them with the temper of Third World societies. We think of places like Argentina and Egypt and Iran, of multitudes brought together by their zeal for a Peron or a Nasser or a Khomeini. In these kinds of societies, the crowd comes forth to affirm its faith in a redeemer: a man who would set the world right....

"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!" (Charles Mackay, author of "Extraordinary Delusion and the Madness of Crowds"

Oh, and now for the hypnotism part; an interesting video about crowd reactions to charismatic speakers. The narrator makes the point that those most easily influenced by hypnotism are the young and the well educated. Now doesn't that sound like our Obama voters?

Tags: madness of crowds,charles mackay,hypnotism,charismatic speakers,obama covert hypnotist,will d thornton,faoud ajami,politics of crowds

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