«Il Faust di Rue Vignon». Gustave Le Bon e le radici «inconsce» della politica

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] «The Faust of the Rue Vignon». Gustave Le Bon and «unconscious» roots of politics

Damiano Palano*

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article reconstructs the itinerary of Gustave Le Bon (1841-1931), focusing in particular on the aspects most closely connected to the search for the «laws» of rise and fall of civilizations. Indeed, throughout his intellectual career Le Bon cultivated the ambition of providing a credible answer to the problem of French decadence. In other words, he tried to become a kind of Machiavelli of the «era of the crowds». The article argues that this political objective affected Le Bon’s theory and his psychology of crowds. Since he wanted to make his political recipes appear credible to the elites of the Third Republic, he in fact had to modify his theoretical architecture on non-secondary points. He managed to hide the inconsistencies under the veil of effective rhetoric, but, in retrospect, one can easily recognize that, in his theory, he uses three different ideas of the unconscious to explain the behavior of crowds, peoples and «races».
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] «The Faust of the Rue Vignon». Gustave Le Bon and «unconscious» roots of politics
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)27-58
Number of pages32
JournalRIVISTA DI POLITICA
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Gustave Le Bon

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