“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 one by one.”
Charles Mackay, 1841
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds
“Anyone taken as a individual is tolerably and reasonable – as a member of a group he becomes a blockhead.”
“The mass never comes up to the standard of its best member, but on the contrary degrades itself to a level with the lowest”
Henry David Thoreau
“Madness is the exception in individuals but the rule in groups”
"I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.”
"In crowds it is stupidity, not mother wit that is accumulated.” Crowds "can never accomplish acts demanding a high degree of intelligence," and they are "always intellectually inferior to the isolated individual."
Gustave Le Bon
Not everyone has agreed with the sentiments of the above commentators. For example:
It is possible that the many, no one of whom taken singly may be a good man, may yet taken all together be better than the few, not individually but collectively … Each individual will be a worse judge than the experts, but when all work together, they are better, or at any rate no worse.
Aristotle, 4th Century BC