“Under the Thumb of the Mass”
“The modern man,” says Dr. Albert Schweitzer, “is lost in the mass in a way which is without precedent in history. . . . His diminished concern about his own nature makes him as it were susceptible, to an extent that is almost pathological, to the views which society and its organs of expression have put, ready-made, into circulation. Since, over and above this, society, with its well-constructed organization, has become a power of as yet unknown strength in the spiritual life, man’s want of independence in the face of it has been so serious that he is almost ceasing to claim a spiritual existence of his own. He is like a rubber ball which has lost its elasticity, and preserves indefinitely every impression that is made upon it. He is under the thumb of the mass, and he draws from it the opinions on which he lives, whether the question at issue is national or political or one of his own belief or unbelief.”—The Decay and Restoration of Civilization.