Gustave Le Bon Quotes

Who is Gustave Le Bon?

Charles-Marie Gustave Le Bon was a French polymath whose areas of interest included anthropology, psychology, sociology, medicine, invention, and physics.

Le Bon is best known for his 1895 work The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind, which is still considered one of the seminal works of crowd psychology.

Born May 07, 1841
Died December 13, 1931

Books by Gustave Le Bon


Best 51 Quotes by Gustave Le Bon | Page 1 of 2

“A few years are enough to civilize the intelligence of a people. It takes centuries to civilize one's character.”

Gustave Le Bon

“All psychologists who have studied the intelligence of women, as well as poets and novelists, recognize today that they represent the most inferior forms of human evolution and that they are closer to children and savages than to an adult, civilized man. They excel in fickleness, inconstancy, absence of thought and logic, and incapacity to reason.”

Gustave Le Bon

“If atheism spread, it would become a religion as intolerable as the ancient ones.”

Gustave Le Bon

“If jealousy, envy and hatred could be eliminated from the universe, socialism would disappear on the same day.”

Gustave Le Bon

“In politics, things matter less than their names. Disguising the most absurd theories under well-chosen words is often enough to get them accepted.”

Gustave Le Bon

“No need to be praised when you are sure of yourself. He who seeks praise doubts his own worth.”

Gustave Le Bon

“One of the most constant characteristics of beliefs is their intolerance. The stronger the belief, the greater its intolerance. Men dominated by a certitude cannot tolerate those who do not accept it.”

Gustave Le Bon

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“Overthrowing tyranny does not mean creating freedom.”

Gustave Le Bon

“The danger of autocracy does not lie so much in the autocrat himself as in the thousands of individuals sharing his power and each exercising it like a little despot.”

Gustave Le Bon

“The most difficult revolutions are those of habits and thoughts.”

Gustave Le Bon

“The real cause of the great upheavals which precede changes of civilisations, such as the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Arabian Empire, is a profound modification in the ideas of the peoples. The memorable events of history are the visible effects of the invisible changes of human thought.”

Gustave Le Bon

“The role of the scholar is to destroy chimeras, that of the statesman is to make use of them.”

Gustave Le Bon

“This incessant creation of restrictive laws and regulations, surrounding the pettiest actions of existence with the most complicated formalities, inevitably has for its result the confining within narrower and narrower limits of the sphere in which the citizen may move freely.”

Gustave Le Bon

“To excuse evil is to multiply it.”

Gustave Le Bon

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“To give man a belief is to multiply his strength tenfold.”

Gustave Le Bon

“To revolt or to adapt, there is hardly any other choice in life.”

Gustave Le Bon

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“Action, as distinguished from fabrication, is never possible in isolation; to be isolated is to be deprived of the capacity to act.”

The Human Condition


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“Whoever wants to act only on reasonable grounds condemns himself to act only seldom.”

Gustave Le Bon

The Crowd Quotes

“A civilization, when the moment has come for crowds to acquire a high hand over it, is at the mercy of too many chances to endure for long. Could anything postpone for a while the hour of its ruin, it would be precisely the extreme instability of the opinions of crowds and their growing indifference and lack of respect for all general beliefs.”

Gustave Le Bon
The Crowd

“A crowd is not merely impulsive and mobile. Like a savage, it is not prepared to admit that anything can come between its desire and the realisation of its desire.”

Gustave Le Bon
The Crowd

“A crowd thinks in images, and the image itself calls up a series of other images, having no logical connection with the first. A crowd scarcely distinguishes between the subjective and the objective. It accepts as real the images invoked in its mind, though they most often have only a very distant relation with the observed facts. Crowds being only capable of thinking in images are only to be impressed by images.”

Gustave Le Bon
The Crowd

“A person's words never reveal his true personality: only his actions reveal it, sometimes even to himself.”

Gustave Le Bon
The Crowd

“All the civilizations we know have been created and directed by small intellectual aristocracies, never by people in the mass. The power of crowds is only to destroy.”

Gustave Le Bon
The Crowd

“At the bidding of a Peter the Hermit millions of men hurled themselves against the East; the words of a hallucinated enthusiast such as Mahomet created a force capable of triumphing over the Graeco-Roman world; an obscure monk like Luther bathed Europe in blood. The voice of a Galileo or a Newton will never have the least echo among the masses. The inventors of genius hasten the march of civilization. The fanatics and the hallucinated create history.”

Gustave Le Bon
The Crowd

“Crowds always, and individuals as a rule, stand in need of ready-made opinions on all subjects. The popularity of these opinions is independent of the measure of truth or error they contain, and is solely regulated by their prestige.”

Gustave Le Bon
The Crowd

“Crowds are influenced mainly by images produced by the judicious employment of words and formulas.”

Gustave Le Bon
The Crowd

“Crowds are somewhat like the sphinx of ancient fable: It is necessary to arrive at a solution of the problems offered by their psychology or to resign ourselves to being devoured by them.”

Gustave Le Bon
The Crowd

“Experience alone, that supreme educator of peoples, will be at pains to show us our mistake. It alone will be powerful enough to prove the necessity of replacing our odious text-books and our pitiable examinations by industrial instruction capable of inducing our young men to return to the fields, to the workshop, and to the colonial enterprise which they avoid to-day at all costs.”

Gustave Le Bon
The Crowd

“In a crowd every sentiment and act is contagious, and contagious to such a degree that an individual readily sacrifices his personal interest to the collective interest.”

Gustave Le Bon
The Crowd

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“In crowds it is stupidity and not mother-wit that is accumulated.”

Gustave Le Bon
The Crowd

“In the case of everything that belongs to the realm of sentiment, religion, politics, morality, the affections, and antipathies, etc. The most eminent men seldom surpass the standard of the most ordinary individuals.”

Gustave Le Bon
The Crowd

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“The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together.”

Eichmann in Jerusalem


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