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Related: crowd - mass - group

Frankenstein (1931) - James Whale [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Violent crowds

I think there's something deep-seated and archetypal about the fear of violent crowds. Freud characterizes the psychology of crowds as extremely regressive, mostly governed by "primary process." Psychiatrist Ernest Hartmann reports the following from his research into post-traumatic nightmares:

Several people in my series who escaped from fires dreamed first about fires but then reported dreams of tidal waves and of being chased by gangs of criminals. Alan Siegel (1996) has reported similar findings in his victims of the Berkeley fire of 1991. Why dream about tidal waves or gangs of criminals when you have just escaped from a fire? Obviously the dream images do not come from the sensory input experienced in the fire but are guided by the dominant emotions of terror, fear, or vulnerability.

Of course, Universal's monster flicks made extensive use of the iconic, archetypal torch-wielding villagers. Hammer followed suit, though never quite as spectacularly as in Whale's Frankenstein. --http://groovyageofhorror.blogspot.com/2005/07/bastille-days-gothic-legacy.html [Jul 2005]

see also: Frankenstein - violence - mob

Mob rule

(Redirected from Mob rule)

Ochlocracy (Greek: ??????????; Latin: ochlocratia) is government by mob or a disorganized mass of people. Ochlocracy is also a pejorative term for democracy and more specifically, majoritarianism. Additionally, it is a term in civics that implies that there is no formal authority whatsoever, not even a commonly-accepted view of anarchism, and so disputes are raised, contended and closed by brute force - might makes right, but only in a very local and temporary way, as another mob or another mood might just as easily sway a decision.

The term was first coined by Polybius. An ochlocrat is one who is an advocate or partisan of ochlocracy. It can also used as an adjective ochlocratic or ochlocratical.

Of course, whether or not the decisions enforced by a mob are good is another matter entirely. Different mobs have supported a wide variety of viewpoints throughout history, and most people would agree with at least some of them.

The threat of mob rule (not unlike the term tyranny of the majority) is often used as a rhetorical device by those who wish to see more power assigned to a certain ruling minority. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mob_rule [Jun 2005]

Ochlocracy: What some argue to be the end product of an unstable anarchic lawless system, a system known as "rule by organized crime". Such a system emerges when powerful gang-like organizations arrogate power and develop a semi-legitimate status.

see also: mass

The Fourth Estate

The Fourth Estate, Il Quarto Stato (1901) - Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo

The term "Fourth Estate" refers to the press, both in its explicit capacity of advocacy and in its implicit ability to frame political issues. The term goes back at least to Thomas Carlyle.

The term Fourth Estate has also (more infrequently) been used to refer specifically to the proletariat as against the three recognized estates of the French ancien régime.

Interestingly, an even earlier citation can be found for this use than for the one that now prevails: Henry Fielding, Covent Garden Journal (1752): "None of our political writers... take notice of any more than three estates, namely, Kings, Lords, and Commons... passing by in silence that very large and powerful body which form the fourth estate in this community... The Mob." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Estate [Jun 2005]

See also: 1901 - proletariat

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