- Jun 8, 2007
I have been re-reading this classic work by the pioneering French social psychologist, Gustave le Bon. Although first published in 1912, it remains insightful and well worth studying.
A free out-of-copyright English translation is available online: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/econ/ugcm/3ll3/lebon/Revolution.pdf
My motive in consulting this and more recent works on the topic of social revolution is to try to understand what is happening to the Irish social psyche in the wake of the rapid transition from wealth to relative hardship.
The really interesting question concerns what is likely to happen in the coming months, especially after a new raft of cut-backs affecting social welfare recipients, as well as low- and middle-income groups.
After some relatively mild sparks of anger late last year (pensioners, students, unions), the nation appears to have sunk into a kind of collective shocked resignation. However, I do not believe that this will last. There is, surely, a tipping point that could lead to widespread anger, unrest, violence and repression.