Ropke: Smell of the Herd

“If such people avidly lap up mass slogans, if they surrender to ‘social religions’ as a surrogate for vanishing faith and traditional values, if they take to mass entertainment and mass spectacles almost as to narcotic drugs, they do it not merely to fill the emptiness of their souls. One of the principal reasons why they plunge into the mass is that they are made deeply unhappy by the social enmassment which prizes people out of the fabric of true community. Thrown into society as isolated human beings, literally individua and human atoms, people hunger for ‘integration,’ and they allay this hunger by means of the intoxicating thrills and crowds of mass society. They can no longer live without the radio, press, films, group outings, mass sports, and all the concomitant noise, without the sense of ‘being in the swim,’ without the ‘smell of the herd.'”

– Wilhem Röpke, A Humane Economy


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