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Title:The people and the mob: The ideology of civil conflict in modern Europe
Author(s):Hayes, Peter Nicholas
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Weinbaum, Marvin G.
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, European
Political Science, General
Sociology, General
Abstract:One of the many results of the French Revolution was that it decisively established the potential of the masses to have a radical effect on European politics. These new political actors were typically depicted in one of two opposite ways; as the virtuous people or as the wicked mob. However, these dichotomous depictions of the masses, have become complementary rather than exclusive terms in various political ideologies that developed in Europe after the Revolution. For example, the mob has often been defined as a marginal minority of the population and the people as the majority.
The first part of the dissertation traces the intellectual development of this dichotomous view of the masses in the work of Marx, in fascism and in fascist forms of corporatism. The analysis of these ideologies centers on an examination of four themes: (1) how the concept of the people has been used to combine employers and employees as producers against the mob as an unproductive outgroup; (2) how the ideas of the people and the mob have been related to that of the crowd; (3) how the qualities associated with the mob have been extended to other groups in society, including financiers and Jews; (4) how the ideologies under study have been defined by core imperatives, including the quest for mass support, that make them a flexible combination of divergent and sometimes syncretic concepts rather than a fixed and coherent body of ideas.
The second part of the dissertation examines the implications of the distinction between the people and the mob for democracy. It examines, first, the ideological debate that took place during the 1984-85 miners' strike in Britain, second, the dilemma of reconciling populism with pluralism in the new democracies of Eastern Europe. These cases illustrate that while the concept of the people might appear to be preeminently democratic, when this idea is used in conjunction with the mob it allows coercive or repressive actions against political opponents to be justified in the name of the people against the mob.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Hayes, Peter Nicholas
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9210830
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9210830

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