Quote of the day

Whether it’s protectionism (erecting barriers to international trade, immigration, etc.), the pros and cons of a minimum wage, of government spending, of regulation, etc., our busy lives and varied interests I’m afraid compel us unwittingly to adopt a crowd think that risks us taking ill-conceived sentiments to fruition. Politicians, and the special interests that support them, alas, know this all too well. As Gustov Le Bon warned back in 1895:

Crowds are only cognisant of simple and extreme sentiments; the opinions, ideas and beliefs suggested to them are accepted or rejected as a whole, and considered as absolute truths or as not less absolute errors. This is always the case with beliefs induced by a process of suggestion instead of engendered by reasoning.

The characteristics of the reasoning of crowds are the association of dissimilar things possessing a merely apparent connection between each other, and the immediate generalisation of particular cases. It is arguments of this kind that are always presented to crowds by those who know how to manage them.

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