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April 5, 2014

The Swarmery


"For who can change the opinion of these people?" as our Divus Imperator says. No wisest of mortals.
This people cannot be convinced out of its "axiom of Euclid" by any reasoning whatsoever; on the contrary, all the world assenting, and continually repeating and reverberating there soon comes that singular phenomenon, which the Germans call Schwärmerey ('enthusiasm' is our poor Greek equivalent), which means simply 'Swarmery,' or the' Gathering of Men in Swarms,' and what prodigies they are in the habit of doing and believing, when thrown into that miraculous condition.... And the swarm once formed, finds itself impelled to action, as with one heart and one mind. Singular, in the case of human swarms, with what perfection of unanimity and quasi-religious conviction the stupidest absurdities can be received as axioms of Euclid, nay as articles of faith, which you are not only to believe, unless malignantly insane, but are (if you have any honour or morality) to push into practise, and quàm primùm see done if your soul would live! - - Thomas Carlyle (1867) "Shooting Niagara -- And After?"

Posted by gerardvanderleun at April 5, 2014 10:33 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

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