Saturday, January 31, 2009

Crowds and Equality

"Within the crowd there is equality. This is absolute and indisputable and never questioned by the crowd itself. It is of fundamental importance and one might even define a crowd as a state of absolute equality. A head is a head, an arm is an arm, and differences between individual heads and arms are irrelevant. It is for the sake of this equality that people become a crowd and they tend to overlook anything which might de­tract from it. All demands for justice and all theories of equal­ity ultimately derive their energy from the actual experience of equality familiar to anyone who has been part of a crowd" (Elias Canetti, Crowds and Power, 1960).

Photo of crowd at Winter Enchanted 2006 (Adelaide) in front of DJ Alex Kidd by Sweet Unncertainty at Flickr.

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