CANETTI CROWDS AND POWER PDF
Crowds and Power is a revolutionary work in which Elias Canetti finds a new way of looking at human history and psychology. Breathtaking in its range and. CROWDS AND POWER by. ELIAS CANETTI. Translated from the German by. Carol Stewart. NEW YORK. THE VIKING PRESS. I Other Continuum books by Elias Canetti. Audo-da-Fe. The Tongue Set Free Crowds. 2. Power (Social sciences) I. Title. HMC
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Crowds and Power by Elias Canetti. Crowds and Power is a revolutionary work in which Elias Canetti finds a new way of looking at human history and psychology.
Breathtaking in its range and erudition, it explores Shiite adn and the English Civil war, the finger exercises of monkeys and the effects of inflation in Weimar Germany. In this study of the interplay of crowds, Canetti offers one of the most p Crowds and Power is a revolutionary work in which Elias Canetti finds a new way of looking at human history and psychology.
In this study of the interplay cnaetti crowds, Canetti offers one of the most profound and startling portraits of the human condition. Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Crowds and Powerplease sign up. See 1 question about Crowds and Power…. Lists with This Book. Mar 10, BlackOxford rated it really liked it Shelves: The Future Belongs to Crowds An astounding book. It reads like a series of essays by Montaigne but all directed toward the phenomenon of human organisation.
Each essay, which might include references as diverse as the anthropology of South American tribes to the history of European warfare, contains some comment which is not only arresting but revelatory of profound insight. Who knew that an apparently sociological treatise could be so creative, so enthralling, so literate?
Crowds and Power is also something like Dr Johnson’s dictionary.
Crowds and Power
It shows Canetti’s pet-peeves and prejudices as well as his erudition. Canetti’s world is one composed of human groups rather than words, but his achievement is to describe these groups and their dynamics as had never been done before. His unit of analysis is the crowd, which may arise from something more primitive called a pack, but which takes on uniquely crowd-like characteristics and force.
The crowd, depending on its type, of which there are several, has an implicit crowd-mind, not dissimilar perhaps from the hive-mind of bees or ten-year old girls. After establishing his basic crowd-typology, Canetti presents page after page of remarkable observations and conclusions about what makes each type behave as it does. Only a few of his crowds could be termed mobs.
Most are institutionalised, or ‘closed’, crowds, the primary issue crowes which is to prevent them becoming anything like a mob, which is ‘open’. Prototypical of an institutionalised crowd is religion.
Religions ‘domesticate’ crowds through precisely controlled ritual. Congregants must be united but not excited enough to press for too rapid expansion nor irritated enough by its demands to provoke departure. Parliamentary crowds are only possible because the losers in democratic election are not killed or physically harmed. It was a threat not just to Clinton but to the essential conditions of elected government.
The very solemnity with which elections are conducted, argues Canetti, derives from the renunciation of death an instrument of decision. His discussion of National Crowd Symbols is presented almost as an aside but is particularly thought-provoking.
Some are obvious once stated: They crrowds an emotional significance that is real the last night of the Proms comes to mind, as does the role of the Dijkgraaf in the political unity of Holland.
Others are less apparent but of very practical historical import. For example, the Marching Forest of the Army in Germany, a symbol of pan-Germanic strength and unity created by Bismarck was fatally disgraced by the Treaty of Versailles.
It is Canetti’s not uninformed view that “Hitler would never have come to power if the crowd of the army had not been prohibited by Versailles. Islam, he believes, is ccrowds a religion of continuous warfare as indicated canwtti selections from the Quran. But similar references in the Christian and Hebrew Bible are not quoted. Christianity is a ‘crowd of lament’ for a slain god, and thus one in a line that stretches from the Babylonian cult of Tammuz to the various mysticisms of the Australian aborigines.
This is an interesting hypothesis which has been articulated elsewhere but with neither discussion nor additional confirming material in Crowds and Power.
Canetti’s final chapters on the use of power within crowds, to manipulate and lead them, are less satisfactory than his analysis of, as it were, naked crowd dynamics. But even here his insights are at least as provocative and stimulating as most organisational theorists today.
His definition of the ‘increase crowd’ which is crystallised around an crodds ‘increase pack’ is not an irrelevant way to view modern corporate organisations. Given its date of publicationCrowds and Power is a rather sophisticated appreciation of organisation compared with the puerile discussions of such topics as ‘Authority Structure’ and ‘Line vs. Staff’ that were common in the mainstream academic discussion of the day. Crowds and Power is a refreshing look at how human beings act in groups.
Refreshing because after almost six decades this inter-disciplinary work has never found a disciplinary home in the social sciences and consequently never has been turned into countless doctoral theses and academic articles.
It is a phenomenology not a sociological study. The obvious point of Crowds and Power is to escape from the tacit, largely unexamined presumptions and categories of social scientific thought. It remains therefore suggestive, if not inspirational. But very few social scientists would dare cite it to their colleagues. It breaks the rate, as it were, in both creativity and literacy and so is ignored.
View all 27 comments. Dec 21, Manny rated it liked it Shelves: Elias Canetti, the Nobel Prize-winning author of this book, would be unhappy to learn that he’s now best known as Iris Murdoch’s one-time lover.
I had heard that he was the prototype of the diabolical Julius King in A Fairly Honourable Defeatand I’d also read various lurid accounts of their affair. Among other things, Canetti’s wife used to greet Murdoch with a smile when she turned up for their trysts and then make lunch for all of them afterwards; as you can see, a cult leader kind of person Elias Canetti, the Nobel Prize-winning author of this book, would be unhappy to learn that he’s now best known as Iris Murdoch’s one-time lover. Among other things, Canetti’s wife used to greet Murdoch with a smile when she turned up for their trysts and then make lunch for all of them afterwards; as you can see, a cult leader kind of personality.
So I was curious to find out more about him, and, when Sherwood recommended Crowds and Power in the middle of a discussion thread last month, I went out and ordered a copy. The rest of this review is available elsewhere the location cannot be given for Goodreads policy reasons View all 21 comments.
Jul 17, Mayim de Vries rated it it was amazing. Canetti is a genius. The chapter on power and violence should be a must read for every aspiring politician not to mention the ones already in office. This is a truly fascinating and perspective-altering examination of the phenomenon of crowds, and the power formations out of which various crowd configurations evolved, developed from a literary-mythological-psychological perspective. One of Canetti’s principal explicatory methods is to describe custom and ritual amongst the modern remnant of hunting-gathering mankind – Australian aborigines and certain tribes of Southern Africa, for example – as well as using mystic religious ceremonial for il This is a truly fascinating and perspective-altering examination of the phenomenon of crowds, and the power formations out of which various crowd configurations evolved, developed from a literary-mythological-psychological perspective.
One of Canetti’s principal explicatory methods is to describe custom and ritual amongst the modern remnant of hunting-gathering mankind – Australian aborigines and certain tribes of Southern Africa, for example – as well as using mystic religious ceremonial for illustrative purposes a violent incident from an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca providing an especially tense and powerful moment.
Packed with startling and revelatory insights – including that crowds desire fulfillment of GEDD: Growth, Equality, Density, and Direction; the way primitive man viewed crowds of animals and transferred them into himself; a method of interpreting crowd behavior in such entities as bacilli and spermatozoids; the manner in which an individual accepts jostling and touching with congeries of others that overcomes his innate revulsion of physical contact with someone or something strange, tainted as the unknown is with stochastic death – nevertheless I have found my interest waning entering the final stretch of the book.
Crowds and Power – Elias Canetti – Google Books
It’s as illuminating as hell, yet for all of that I cannot muster the enthusiasm to keep plugging, and I’m itching to move on crowdw something else; thus, I’ll shelve it in the old Working Through category and finish it off gradually, in bits and pieces. Jan 21, Chris rated it really liked it. More literary than scientific, Canetti’s anthropological investigation of crowd behavior will leave you looking both at human behavior and the natural world in new ways.
Overstatements, stereotypes, all-too-tidy categories, and strained associations abound, yet the more one approaches the book as literature ahd less as a scientific treatise the more one can appreciate the insights throughout. An important book for better understanding oneself, religion, politics, sports fans, high school, and ju More literary than scientific, Canetti’s anthropological investigation pwoer crowd behavior will leave drowds looking both at human behavior and the natural world in new ways.
An important book for better understanding oneself, religion, politics, sports fans, high school, and just about anything else. Van Elias Canetti Nobelprijs heb ik het nodige gelezen, en vooral “Het Martyrium” vond ik echt geweldig. Maar zijn essayistische hoofdwerk “Massa en Macht” las ik nu pas. Dat had eerder gemogen, want dit was echt een meesterwerk in de buitencategorie.
Crowsd ben volkomen flabbergasted, euforisch en overdonderd. Ja, ik hou van lezen en bejubel veel boeken, maar dit boek is van zo’n zeldzame klasse dat ik mij eigenlijk totaal onmachtig voel om er ook canettj iets ceowds te xanetti. Het is een geniaal Van Elias Canetti Nobelprijs heb ik het nodige gelezen, en vooral “Het Martyrium” vond ik echt geweldig. Het is een geniaal en ongelofelijk origineel essay van ruim bladzijden, in twaalf briljante essayistische hoofdstukken waarin elke paragraaf ook weer een parel is van essayistische eigenzinnige schrijfkunst.
Canetti schrijft adembenemend over massa’s en meutes, en over de vele verschillende vormen inclusief de biologische oervormenfuncties en verlokkingen daarvan. En nog adembenemender schrijft hij over talloos verschillende vormen van macht, en over de biologische oervormen van het bevel. Daarmee reageert hij uiteraard op de angstwekkende massa en macht- fenomenen die we leerden kennen in met name de Tweede Wereldoorlog, maar ook nog erna. En toch vallen de namen Hitler en Stalin maar heel sporadisch.
Want Canetti’s invalshoek is ongehoord origineel: Waarmee hij zijn overtuiging demonstreert dat juist de pre-logische wereld der mythen ons veel te zeggen heeft, zeker over massa en macht. En dat juist de grotesk uitvergrote waanbeelden van geesteszieken ons veel kunnen leren over de pre-logische aspecten van onze waanzinnige wereld.
Hij doet dat alles niet op de logisch-systematische wijze van de wetenschapper: Maar die conclusies zijn wel enorm pregnant geformuleerd, en wel enorm overtuigend als verhaal of als literair beeld. Volgens mij kun je niet volhouden dat Canetti in “Massa en Macht” de fenomenen “massa” en “macht” op wetenschappelijke wijze heeft geanalyseerd en ontleed.