Crowd leader and crowd management mechanisms.
Often the behavior of a crowd is determined by the presence or absence of a leader in it. A leader in a crowd can appear as a result of spontaneous choice, and often as a result of self — appointment. A self-appointed leader usually adapts to the moods and feelings of people in a crowd and can relatively easily encourage participants to engage in certain types of behavior
Any cluster of individuals instinctively obeys the authority of the leader. The hero that the crowd worships is truly a God to them. The soul of the crowd is dominated not by the desire for freedom, but by the need for submission. The crowd is so eager to obey that it instinctively submits to the one who declares himself its master.
People in a crowd lose their will and instinctively turn to the one who kept it. Always ready to rebel against a weak power, the crowd cringes and worships the power of a strong one. Left to its own devices, the crowd soon tires of its own disorders and instinctively strives for slavery.
The crowd is as intolerant as it is trusting of authority. She respects strength and is little affected by kindness, which means only a kind of weakness for her. It demands strength and even violence from the hero, it wants to be owned and suppressed. She longs to fear her master. The power of the leaders is very despotic, but it is this despotism that makes the crowd obey.
In a crowd of people, the leader is often only the leader, but, nevertheless, his role is significant. His will is the core around which opinions crystallize and unite. The role of leaders is mainly to create a faith, no matter what. This explains their great influence on the crowd.
Most often, the leaders are mentally unstable people, half-mad, on the verge of insanity. No matter how absurd the idea they declare and defend, and the goal they strive for, their beliefs cannot be shaken by any arguments of reason. There is another quality that usually distinguishes the leaders of the crowd: they do not belong to the number of thinkers — they are people of action.
The leader class is divided into two categories:
* people are energetic, with a strong will that appears only for a short time;
* people who have a strong and at the same time persistent will (much less common).
One of the most important factors that determines the influence of a leader on a crowd is his charm. Charm is a type of domination of an idea or personality over the mind of an individual. It can consist of opposite feelings, such as admiration and fear, and can be of two types: acquired and personal. Personality differs from that of artificial or acquired and depends neither on the title nor from the government. It is based on personal superiority, on military glory, on religious fear, but not only on this. There are many different factors involved in the nature of charm, but success has always been and remains one of the most important.
Crowd management has a dual nature, because the crowd is almost always the object of management of two forces: on the one hand, it is led by leaders, leaders; on the other, the crowd is engaged in public order protection forces, power administrative structures.
The ability to manage a crowd varies significantly depending on whether the leader is a demagogue or an intellectual. As they say in the East, the one who wants to control the crowd tries to ride the tiger. However, managing individuals is much more difficult than managing a crowd.
The mechanisms of mass behavior can be used by a politician with any views and any moral level. In such cases, the crowd becomes a toy in the hands of the leader. Usually people who want to lead a crowd intuitively know how to influence it. They know that to convince a crowd, you must first understand what feelings inspire them, pretend to share them, and then conjure up images that attract them. The crowd should always present any ideas in whole images, without indicating their origin.
A speaker who wants to engage the crowd should use strong language. Exaggerate, affirm, repeat, and never try to prove anything by reasoning-these are the methods of argument for the crowd.
A statement only affects the crowd when it is repeated many times in the same terms: in this case, the idea is so firmly embedded in the minds that it is finally perceived as a proven truth, and then it is embedded in the deepest regions of the unconscious. This technique is also quite successfully used by leaders or leaders of the crowd.
Theoretical analysis of crowd formation mechanisms can also help administrative authorities to control their behavior to some extent. They face a twofold challenge:
1) to awaken the awareness of individuals in the crowd of their actions, to restore to them the lost sense of self-control and responsibility for their behavior;
2) prevent the formation of a crowd or disband an already formed crowd.
The following can be considered effective tools:
* refocusing the attention of individuals who make up the crowd. As soon as the attention of people in a crowd is distributed among several objects, separate groups are immediately formed, and the crowd, which has just been United by the “image of the enemy” or readiness for joint action, immediately disintegrates. Suppressed by the influence of the crowd, the features of the personal structure of individuals come to life — each person individually begins to regulate their behavior. The crowd ceases to be active, functioning, and gradually dissipates;
* announcement over the loudspeaker that hidden cameras are taking video of crowd participants;
* address the crowd participants with the names of specific surnames, first names, and patronymics that are most common in the area;
* measures to capture and isolate the leaders of the crowd. If, by some accident, the leader disappears and is not immediately replaced by another, the crowd again becomes a mere gathering without any connection or stability. In this case, it is easier to hold events to disperse the crowd.
Actually, it’s very difficult to speak with the voice of reason with a crowd. It only accepts orders and promises.
Communication in the crowd.
A particularly important role in the emergence of a crowd is played by communication as the process of exchanging messages between people that are significant to them.
It is known that an individual becomes a participant in spontaneous behavior, either by becoming infected directly by the observed behavior of others, or by learning about it through official or unofficial communication channels. Some of these behaviors occur when there is an acute shortage of information or when message transmission systems are inefficient.
People are ready to succumb to the infecting action of others when this action corresponds to their ideas and beliefs. It is obvious that mental infection would not be possible if people did not see the actions and actions of others and did not hear about them. Mental contagion can generate feelings along the entire length of the emotional scale-both positive, enthusiastic, and negative, feelings of despondency and depression.
Where an individual is not able to directly perceive the behavior of others, the media — Newspapers, radio, television, and movies-play an increasingly important role.
In any society, along with official communication systems, unofficial systems also operate in parallel. They touch at different points. For example, the content of informal communication — conversations, gossip, gossip, rumors-goes to the pages of print publications or becomes the subject of conversations of a television commentator who contributes to their dissemination. And even more so, important messages from mass media are usually discussed in the circle of friends or family.
Therefore, the individual’s mind often contains an interpretation shared by his neighbors, friends, relatives, and fellow travelers on the road. Anger caused by, say, a message about the introduction of a new tax or an increase in prices is easily understood by the interlocutor, because he feels the same feelings… This is the first condition for the preparation of mass behavior.
Currently, political technologies have reached their peak. As violence and open dictatorship are condemned and banned by the world community, politicians resort to subtle methods of managing large masses of people in order to create the appearance of democracy. Today, it can be difficult to distinguish the actual will of the people from actions at the behest of provocateurs. The most terrible thing is that the” people ” themselves sometimes do not realize that they have long ceased to be a people and turned into a mad gathering that executes the commands of a charismatic leader.
This is the last part of the theory (for now).
In the next part, I will write a practical example from my personal experience.
*The literature that was used can be found on the page: bibliography