January 6th and the Myth of the Mob: The Pervasive Power of Crowd Theory

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This week, we’re showcasing some of our favourite past episodes of Darts and Letters themed around “Activism & Academia”.

Today’s episode originally aired a little earlier this summer. In the US, the January 6th hearings were continuing - and discourse about the factors that led to the insurrection was rampant. You might notice that when these kinds of events take place, similar descriptors are used: groupthink, mob mentality, deindividuation…and all of these ideas can be traced back to one bigoted, reactionary bigot: 19th-century French physician Gustave Le Bon.

Why does academia always fear the masses? Our host Gordon Katic takes us through the story of Le Bon and beyond to analyze the academic stereotype of the public.

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