Friday, June 17, 2011

"The crowd particularly likes destroying houses and objects: breakable
objects like window panes, mirrors, picture and crockery; and people
tend to think that it is the fragility of these objects which stimulates
the destructiveness of the crowd.  It is true that the noise of
destruction adds to its satisfaction; the banging of windows and the
crashing of glass are the robust sounds of fresh life, the cries of
something new-born.  It is easy to evoke them and that increases their
popularity.  Everything shouts together; the din is the applause of
objects. There seems to be a special need for this kind of noise at the
beginning of events, when the crowd is still small and little or nothing
has happened.  The noise is a promise of the reinforcements the crowd
hopes for, and a happy omen for deeds to come...In the crowd the
individual feels that he is transcending the limits of his own person.
He has a sense of relief, for the distances are removed which used to
throw him back on himself and shut him in.  With the lifting of these
burdens of distance he feels free; his freedom is the crossing of these
boundaries.  He wants what is happening to him to happen to others too;
and he expects it to happen to them.  An earthen pot irritates him, for
it is all boundaries. The closed doors of a house irritate him. Rites
and ceremonies, anything which preserves distances, threaten him and
seem unbearable.  He fears that, sooner or later, an attempt will be
made to force the disintegrating crowd back into these pre-existing
vessels. To the crowd in its nakedness everything seems a Bastille..."