In this series we look at different ways in which individuals or groups of individuals attempt to exert control, manipulate, and exploit the general population (or the masses). We investigate mass movements, crowd psychology, propaganda, and brainwashing.
The Nature of Mass Movements
In this lecture we examine Eric Hoffer’s fascinating analysis of mass movements which he put forth in his book The True Believer. We look at their causes, those most prone to join a mass movement, the role of leaders and intellectuals in such movements, and more.
The Nature of Crowds
In this video we provide a summary of the French social psychologist Gustave Le Bon’s classic and highly influential work The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. In this work Le Bon investigates the nature of crowd psychology.
Introduction to Propaganda
In this lecture we investigate the nature of propaganda. We examine what propaganda is, the difference between education and propaganda, the history of propaganda, the nature of political propaganda, and the role propaganda plays in modern democracies.
What is Brainwashing?
In this lecture we investigate the phenomenon of brainwashing. We describe the 20th century British psychiatrist William Sargant’s ideas regarding how the victim of brainwashing is similar to the religious convert and the therapy patient who undergo ‘sudden conversions’. We finish the lecture by looking at how fear can be used as tool for ‘mass brainwashing’.