You can love her, or you can hate her, but either way, Ann Coulter always makes a compelling argument for the side of modern Conservatism. In her new book, Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America, she advances the idea that modern liberalism find its strength in a type of mob mentality.
She references the works of Gustave Le Bon, a nineteenth-century French psychologist and sociologist, as a basis for her allegations. Le Bon wrote numerous books on social psychology and human behavior including The Crowd (1895) and The Psychology of Socialism (1896). Coulter refers to Le Bon as the “father of mob psychology.” She makes the point that Adolf Hitler derived many of his propagandist ideas in “Mein Kampf” from the techniques cited in Le Bon’s books about crowd psychology and mob dynamics.
Demonic is divided into four main sections and is rife with historical accounts and anecdotes which support her claims in chapters such as: “American Idols: The Mob’s Compulsion to Create Messiahs,” and “Contraditions: You Can Lead a Mob To Water But You Can’t Make It Think.”
“Part 1:The Psychology of the Liberal,” draws upon the works of Le Bon, as well as contemporary stories and research, to explain why certain individuals, usually those who identify themselves as liberals, are suceptible to the pitfalls of a mob mentality. Her examples range from the New Testament to the current “birther” controversy. On page seven she charges that, “Conservatives don’t cotton to slogans … By contrast, liberals thrive on jargon as a substitute for thought.”
The acceptance of the unacceptable, like the threatening behavior by members of the New Black Panthers outside a Pennsylvania voting center in 2008, by liberals, Coulter postulates, can only come from a mob-mentality in which the crowd becomes an organism that reacts, not to reason or ideas, but to images and slogans. “Bush Lied, Kids Died,” “No Justice No Peace,” “Hope and Change,” (pg 6) are examples of such slogans which seem to have the power to whip the Liberal mind into a frenzy.
In Part 2 of the book: “The Historical Context of the Liberal,” Coulter uses the events of the French and the American Revolutions to demonstrate the contrast in approaches and outcomes used by mobs vs. statesmen and Minutemen. The mobs which rampaged through Paris, and in the end had executed some 600,000 Frenchmen, are contrasted with the Revolutionaries in the English Colonies who pushed back against a tyrannical king, not with pikes and guillotines, but with documents, pamphlets, and a citizen militia. Reason and action vs. mobthink and death.
The tactics used by the Jacobins of the French Revolution are compared with those of modern liberals. Mobs would be incited through slogans and fear mongering. The policies and governing style of the rulers were not argued but their characters and reputations were smeared through widespread rumors. The Christian Churches of France were targeted in an effort to destroy the faith of its citizens. The physical structures were secularized, and the leaders of the Church were mocked and defiled. Religious marriages and funerals were discouraged and citizens were forced to drop their Christian names. (pp 119-120) “This,” says Coulter, “was not the American Revolution. This was the revolution of a mob.” And she compares this history with the efforts by atheist groups and the ACLU to remove religion in America from the public square.