Even the left-wing Guardian has admitted that Le Bon's study of crowd behavior was "possibly the most influential work of psychology ever written." Presumably recognizing themselves in his psychological profile, liberals have recently tried to undermine Le Bon. They have complained that he merely "articulated the propertied classes' fear of the mob." Who likes mobs? Renters? Window manufacturers? Rope salesmen? Liberals also objected that Le Bon did not hold the police accountable for a mob's behavior -- which is like demanding that we take into account the length of the rape victim's skirt.
It is revealing that liberals so fear Le Bon that they try to sully him as "controversial" and "reactionary." (Those particular complaints, incidentally, were lodged by liberal activist George Monbiot, who has called for "citizen's arrests" of former government offiials from George W. Bush's UN ambassador John Bolton to former British prime minister Tony Blair. No wonder he doesn't like psychological studies of mob behavior.)
It was all the usual claptrap, but the piercing truth of Le Bon's study speaks for itself. Liberals wouldn't go after him if, even a century later, his theories didn't still ring true. All the characteristics of mob behavior set forth by Le Bon in 1895 are evident in modern liberalism -- simplistic, extreme black-and-white thinking, fear of novelty, inability to follow logical arguments, acceptance of contradictory ideas, being transfixed by images, a religious worship of their leaders, and a blind hatred of their opponents.
Many of liberals' peculiarities are understandable only when one realizes that they are a mob. For example, a crowd's ability to grasp only the simplest ideas is reflected in the interminable slogans.
Liberals have boatloads of them: Bush Lied, Kids Died! Our Bodies, Our Selves! No Blood for Oil! No Justice, No Peace! Save the Whales; Love Your Mother (Earth); Ban the Bomb; Make Love, Not War; Friends Don't Let Friends Vote Republican; Diversity Is Our Strength! Save the Planet! Pro-Choice, Pro-Child! Support Our Troops, Bring them Home! Co-Exist! Hey, Hey, LBJ, How Many Kids Did You Kill Today? Dissent Is Patriotic! War Is Not the Answer! Go Green! Healthcare Is a Right, Not a Privilege! Imagine Peace; Celebrate Diversity! Beat the Bushes for Peace! No Nukes! Give Peace a Chance; Think Globally/Act Locally; No Tax Cuts for the Rich; Save the Planet! Venceremos! One, Two, Three, Four, We Don't Want Your F--King War! Bush = Hitler; Hell No, We Won't Go! Off the Pig! Eat the Rich! Die Yuppie Scum! Peace Now! We Are the Ones We've Been Waiting For! Solidarity Forever! Bring America Home! You Can't Hug a Child with Nuclear Arms; Meat Is Murder! Books Not Bombs! Fight the Power! Yes We Can!
And those are just the ones on my neighbor's car.