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Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay
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Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds Quotes Showing 1-23 of 23
“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”
Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
“I never lost money by turning a profit.”
Bernard M. Baruch, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
“Let us not, in the pride of our superior knowledge, turn with contempt from the follies of our predecessors. The study of the errors into which great minds have fallen in the pursuit of truth can never be uninstructive. As the man looks back to the days of his childhood and his youth, and recalls to his mind the strange notions and false opinions that swayed his actions at the time, that he may wonder at them; so should society, for its edification, look back to the opinions which governed ages that fled.”
Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
“In reading The History of Nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities, their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.”
Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
“Three causes especially have excited the discontent of mankind; and, by impelling us to seek remedies for the irremediable, have bewildered us in a maze of madness and error. These are death, toil, and the ignorance of the future..”
Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
“Many persons grow insensibly attached to that which gives them a great deal of trouble, as a mother often loves her sick and ever-ailing child better than her more healthy offspring.”
Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
“We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.”
Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds
“Nations, like individuals, cannot become desperate gamblers with impunity. Punishment is sure to overtake them sooner or later.”
Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”
Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds
“In February 1720 an edict was published, which, instead of restoring the credit of the paper, as was intended, destroyed it irrecoverably, and drove the country to the very brink of revolution...”
Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
“During seasons of great pestilence men have often believed the prophecies of crazed fanatics, that the end of the world was come. Credulity is always greatest in times of calamity. Prophecies of all sorts are rife on such occasions, and are readily believed, whether for good or evil. During the great plague, which ravaged all Europe, between the years 1345 and 1350, it was generally considered that the end of the world was at hand. Pretended prophets were to be found in all the principal cities of Germany, France, and Italy, predicting that within ten years the trump of the Archangel would sound, and the Saviour appear in the clouds to call the earth to judgment.”
Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds
“An enthusiastic philosopher, of whose name we are not informed, had constructed a very satisfactory theory on some subject or other, and was not a little proud of it. "But the facts, my dear fellow," said his friend, "the facts do not agree with your theory."—"Don't they?" replied the philosopher, shrugging his shoulders, "then, tant pis pour les faits;"—so much the worse for the facts!”
Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
“Much as the sage may affect to despise the opinion of the world, there are few who would not rather expose their lives a hundred times than be condemned to live on, in society, but not of it - a by-word of reproach to all who know their history, and a mark for scorn to point his finger at.”
Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
“Injury was aggravated by insult, and insult was embittered by pleasantry.”
Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds
“Thus did they nurse their folly, as the good wife of Tam O’Shanter did her wrath, “to keep it warm.”
Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
“We all pay an involuntary homage to antiquity – a “blind homage,” as Bacon calls it in his “Novum Organum,” which tends greatly to the obstruction of truth. To the great majority of mortal eyes, Time sanctifies everything that he does not destroy. The mere fact of anything being spared by the great foe makes it a favourite with us, who are sure to fall his victims.”
Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds
“Люди, как хорошо было сказано, мыслят в стаде; они сходят с ума в стаде, а приходят в чувство медленно и поодиночке.”
Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
“A company for carrying out an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is.”
Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
“Three causes especially have excited the discontent of mankind; and, by impelling us to seek for remedies for the irremediable, have bewildered us in a maze of madness and error. These are death, toil, and ignorance of the future—the doom of man upon this sphere, and for which he shews his antipathy by his love of life, his longing for abundance, and his craving curiosity to pierce the secrets of the days to come. The first has led many to imagine that they might find means to avoid death, or, failing in this, that they might, nevertheless, so prolong existence as to reckon it by centuries instead of units. From this sprang the search, so long continued and still pursued, for the elixir vitæ, or water of life, which has led thousands to pretend to it and millions to believe in it. From the second sprang the absurd search for the philosopher's stone, which was to create plenty by changing all metals into gold; and from the third, the false sciences of astrology, divination, and their divisions of necromancy, chiromancy, augury, with all their train of signs, portents, and omens.”
Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
“He was also a poet, but of less merit than pretensions. His Chrysopeia, in which he pretended to teach the art of making gold, he dedicated to Pope Leo X., in the hope that the pontiff would reward him handsomely for the compliment; but the pope was too good a judge of poetry to be pleased with the worse than mediocrity of his poem, and too good a philosopher to approve of the strange doctrines which it inculcated; he was, therefore, far from gratified at the dedication. It is said, that when Augurello applied to him for a reward, the pope, with great ceremony and much apparent kindness and cordiality, drew an empty purse from his pocket, and presented it to the alchymist, saying, that since he was able to make gold, the most appropriate present that could be made him, was a purse to put it in. This scurvy reward was all that the poor alchymist ever got either for his poetry or his alchymy. He died in a state of extreme poverty, in the eighty-third year of his age.”
Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
“passed. The chiefs were instantly at the foot of the wall: Phirouz let down a rope; Bohemund attached it to the end of a ladder of hides, which was then raised by the Armenian, and held while the knights mounted. A momentary fear came over the spirits of the adventurers, and every one hesitated. At last Bohemund,8encouraged by Phirouz from above, ascended a few steps on the ladder, and was followed by Godfrey, Count Robert of Flanders, and a number of other knights. As they advanced, others pressed forward, until their weight became too great for the ladder, which, breaking, precipitated about a dozen of them to the ground, where they fell one upon the other, making a great clatter with their heavy coats of mail.”
Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
“Raymond of Toulouse, who, cognisant of the whole plan, had been left behind with the main body of the army, heard at this instant the signal horn, which announced that an entry had been effected, and, leading on his legions, the town was attacked from within and without. Imagination cannot conceive a scene more dreadful than that presented by the devoted city of Antioch on that night of horror. The Crusaders fought with a blind fury, which fanaticism and suffering alike incited. Men, women, and children were indiscriminately slaughtered, till the streets ran with blood. Darkness increased the destruction, for when morning dawned the Crusaders found themselves with their swords at the breasts of their fellow-soldiers, whom they had mistaken for foes. The Turkish commander fled, first to the citadel, and that becoming insecure, to the mountains, whither he was pursued and slain, and his grey head brought back to Antioch as a trophy. At daylight the massacre ceased, and the Crusaders gave themselves up to plunder. They found gold, and jewels, and silks, and velvets in abundance, but of provisions, which were of more importance to them, they found but little of any kind. Corn was excessively scarce, and they discovered to their sorrow that in this respect the besieged had been but little better off than the besiegers.”
Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
“In England many persons have a singular love for the relics of thieves and murderers, or other great criminals. The ropes with which they have been hanged are very often bought by collectors at a guinea per foot. Great sums were paid for the rope which hanged Dr. Dodd, and for those more recently which did justice upon Mr. Fauntleroy for forgery, and on Thurtell for the murder of Mr. Weare. The murder of Maria Marten, by Corder, in the year 1828, excited the greatest interest all over the country. People came from Wales and Scotland, and even from Ireland, to visit the barn where the body of the murdered woman was buried. Every one of them was anxious to carry away some memorial of his visit. Pieces of the barn-door, tiles from the roof, and, above all, the clothes of the poor victim, were eagerly sought after. A lock of her hair was sold for two guineas, and the purchaser thought himself fortunate in getting it so cheaply.”
Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds