Sunday 18 March 2012

The Madding Crowd

If you want an example of how irrational mobs can be, or of the effects of peer pressure on the unthinking masses, you need look no further than ‘the big non-event’ of yesterday as the multitudes offered prayers and good wishes for the recovery of Fabrice Muamba, a young man they do not know, will never meet and who has probably already earned more than they will in a lifetime. (Where did ‘soak the rich’ go, all of a sudden?)

To make matters worse, several people attracted opprobrium on social networks, in some cases extending to death threats, for voicing their lack of concern. Okay, I suppose it’s never clever to say you hope somebody dies, but to have outrage directed at you for saying you just don’t care is utterly ridiculous.

At around 124,000 heart attacks per year (from British Heart foundation 2010 Stats), the lucky Mr Muamba is the only one I heard about yesterday. Lucky? Of course, he had his in front of a crowd with full medical support available. I wonder how many lonely bodies will be discovered in empty houses over the next few days?

But that’s the problem with a mob. (Hitler and Scargill both exploited crowd psychology.) They cease to behave as individuals and adopt a single, thoughtless mind. Like drunks in a brawl they convince themselves that whatever they are baying about is now the single most important issue facing mankind. It’s not. Whatever it is, it’s never that. They use words like ‘solidarity’, whereas ‘brainwashing’ is far more accurate. Crowds never exercise reason; in fact they always demonstrate the loss of it.

Take the student march yesterday – yes there actually was some other news – a rabble roused by rhetoric; children protesting about things they really don’t understand. Student walkout? Who would notice? A good illustration, however, of how youthful vigour is wasted on the young. Education, kiddies, just as with other public sector services, has to earn its place. If you get funding for an extended childhood, how many others will have their lives cut shorter by lack of medical care?

It’s the perennial budgetary balancing act and Labour’s apparent faith in somehow, magicking up money from thin air to pay for nationalised dependency is nothing other than opportunity politics, playing to an unthinking crowd and relying on mob mentality to bellow out the slogans.

When I was a kid, I didn’t get the Superman logo – I couldn’t see the big, red ‘S’ and instead tried to make sense of the yellow bits. Somebody had spent time and effort in creating that symbol and here I was, unable to recognise what it represented.

The Super Mum logo

I'm like that about a lot of things, I don’t accept them at face value, so I spend time working them out – and usually I find I actually missed nothing important. Maybe that’s why I rarely empathise with a crowd. Maybe that’s why I despise the huddled masses, with their hands ever out for succour and their voices raised, using words they don’t know the meaning of.

What’s keeping you enslaved, masses, is not The State, but your own state of sleepwalking helplessness. So, it’s time to wake up, stand on your own two feet and stop seeking the largesse of others. Tie your own shoe laces, brothers and sisters. Stand together and stand tall. Repeat after me, “We are all individuals! We are all equally worthless!” Now, piss off out of it and be nice to your mothers.


  1. Well, I have to say I managed to upset at least one 'joiner' today. I didn't mean to, but he decided to object to something or other; my existence, I think it was. Not the first, but why waste the effort, eh?

  2. Come on, Batsby, when you stir somebody up in your postings that's a success! Another good post. However we need the masses to stir for the right reasons, or else we are all condemned to slavery.

  3. Oh, it wasn't the content, it was its very existence. He objected to being forced to read something he hadn't written... or something like that.