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Al Alvarez

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Mass democracy, mass morality and the mass media thrive independently of the individual, who joins them only at the cost of at least a partial perversion of his instincts and insights. He pays for his social ease with what used to be called his soul – his discriminations, his uniqueness, his psychic energy, his self.
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Page 254.

 
Al Alvarez

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English is a language of mass destruction. Lady Macbeth is a queen of mass destruction. Lear is a king of mass destruction. Hamlet is a prince of mass destruction. Shakespeare is a bard of mass destruction. And Moby Dick is a whale of mass destruction. Why are you a culture of death and destruction? Why do you obliterate villages, cities, and civilizations with your language of mass destruction? Is the destruction worth the destruction? For what purpose did you destroy my language? To impose the sovereignty of your rule of law with weapons of mass destruction—to then say: --I offer you my lifesaver. Now, we can communicate in the same language. English only, please.

 
Giannina Braschi
 

Strictly speaking, the mass, as a psychological fact, can be defined without waiting for individuals to appear in mass formation. In the presence of one individual we can decide whether he is "mass" or not. The mass is all that which sets no value on itself — good or ill — based on specific grounds, but which feels itself "just like everybody," and nevertheless is not concerned about it; is, in fact, quite happy to feel itself as one with everybody else.

 
Jose Ortega y Gasset
 

Once again the hopes of people of two nations are being smashed by weapons in the name of eliminating weapons. Let us abolish weapons of mass destruction at home. Joblessness is a weapon of mass destruction. Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction. Hunger is a weapon of mass destruction. Homelessness is a weapon of mass destruction. Poor health care is a weapon of mass destruction. Discrimination is a weapon of mass destruction.

 
Dennis Kucinich
 

I could see how "democracy" might do very well in a society of saints and sages led by an Alfred or an Antoninus Pius. Short of that, I was unable to see how it could come to anything but an ochlocracy of mass-men led by a sagacious knave. The collective capacity for bringing forth any other outcome seemed simply not there. To my ideas the incident of Aristides and the Athenian mass-man was perfectly exhibitory of "democracy" in practice. Socrates could not have got votes enough out of the Athenian mass-men to be worth counting, but Eubulus easily could, and did, wangle enough to keep himself in office as long as the corrupt fabric of the Athenian State held together. As against Jesus, the historic choice of the mass-man goes regularly to some Barabbas.

 
Albert Jay Nock
 

I think that everybody tries to produce what Marshall McLuhan called a ‘counter environment.’ That is, you set yourself in opposition to the kind of mass tendencies which the media set up. That’s what’s so important about the humanities in the uni­versity...There’s something of a personal dialogue between one human being and another. And the fact that this dialogue is being car­ried out in the teeth of all the mass emotion techniques of the electronic media is a very important side of the humanities.

 
Northrop Frye
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