More from Elias Canetti

… whose book Crowds and Power (even though I finished it last week) continues to stay with me. It’s a mysterious book, in many ways it’s a frightening book. Published in 1960, I think, Canetti – a German – born in 1905 – had seen Europe destroyed. Twice. He had seen his own country rise up in horrible militarism – twice. He had seen the carnage. And by 1960 – World War II long over – there was another terror: the Cold War, and the bomb. Canetti comes back to that over and over. We can count on crowds to behave in certain ways. Throughout human history, the patterns have been the same. But now … now that we, as the human race, have the potential to destroy ourselves – the question: Why do crowds behave the way they do? takes on an urgency. The question MUST be examined. The future of the human race depends upon it.

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