James A. C. Brown Quote

“Communism and fascism or nazism, although poles apart in their intellectual content, are similar in this, that both have emotional appeal to the type of personality that takes pleasure in being submerged in a mass movement and submitting to superior authority.”

~ James A. C. Brown

Techniques of Persuasion, 1963

Ratings and Comments

Christopher Cobb

Some will follow any man... if someone would only lead.

Tina, NY
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Tina, NY    4/6/06

You are wrong

Robert, Sarasota

Mr Brown forgot another; Republic-ism

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

Communism, fascism, nazism, radical religious right (of every major religion), the GOP and the radical liberal left (which is mostly missing in America today) are all aptly so described.

Terry Berg, Occidental, CA

Show me an '-ism' and I'll show you a mob - there are no exceptions. Too often, what's mistaken for debate, is simply members of one mob shouting insults across the street at members of another mob with both mobs lusting for the smell of blood.

E Archer, NYC

Antidisestablishmentarianism -- kill the bastards! ;-)

Terry Berg, Occidental, CA

E. A. - you stepped on Pat Robertson's 'main line' of offense for his 'mass' movement this morning. Hide the matches.

David L. Rosenthal, Hollywood

There is no freedom without law, or respect for law, the rights of others, and the responsibilities of all. Submitting to authority is fine, as long as the authority is carrying out its legitimate functions of protecting rights and requiring that all fulfill their responsibilities. Why do we call 911? At times we call 911 because someone is not obeying a law, respecting a right, or fulfilling a responsibility, the result of which will be highly inconvenient, destructive, deadly, or injurious. A mass movement to support justice would be nice.

E Archer, NYC

David says, "A mass movement to support justice would be nice." I think you just proved James Brown's point.

"There is no zeal blinder than that which is inspired with a love of justice against offenders." -- Henry Fielding

There is also a BIG difference between Laws and Statutes -- each with their own proper jurisdictions. Congress invents thousands of laws every year -- and many are overturned -- it is still up to the individual to decide which laws he will obey. No unconstitutional law must be obeyed. But what does it matter ...

"One of the Seven [wise men of Greece] was wont to say:
That laws were like cobwebs, where the small flies are caught and the great break through." -- Sir Francis Bacon

As far as calling the police goes... "According to Gestapo records... they had little need to engage in direct spying on the citizens since the citizens themselves were more than willing to do their spying for them." -- Kort Patterson

This is what we have to look forward to, if we do not challenge autocracy and arbitrary usurpation of the inalienable rights of humankind.

David L. Rosenthal, Hollywood

E. Archer: Do you mean to say that we should neither have, use, nor obey the police? Or do you mean that we have unlimited rights to do as we please? Or do you mean that offenders should go unpunished? Or do you mean that, since many corrupt individuals escape justice, no one should pay for his crimes? What are you saying? Of course each of us must decide whether or not to obey the laws; which obviously takes place constantly, since criminality is engaged in routinely. You are not advocating for anarchy, are you?

Terry Berg, Occidental, CA

Have we gone from M.M. to B.M. here? ... I really like using "highly inconvenient" as a justification for calling 911 - LMFAO!
Now, that's a 'mass movement' ferya. 'NICE' - lol.

David L. Rosenthal, Hollywood

Terry: Why don't you answer the questions put to Archer, instead of distorting the point? Highly inconvenient could be, for example, a multitude of undocumented immigrants blocking the entrance to your store as part of their boycott.

E Archer, NYC

My comments are in context with the quote. And NO we are not supposed to obey the police, we are supposed to obey the law -- the difference between a free nation and a police state. I was merely pointing out that David's argument simply proved Brown's point. I'll leave it at that.

Mike, Norwalk

James Brown, an astute in the obvious observation

Terry Berg, Occidental, CA

Well David, did it occur to you that I didn't say what Archer said? It's hard to answer the question "Do you mean (to say) . . . " when it wasn't something I said.

BTW, small point, "Highly inconvenient" is a teensy bit different from "illegal activity" but that may be more detail than you're interested in.

Anonymous, shef

Maybe we need someone to lead so people can actualy get what they want. Hopefully soon a muslim free society if the resistance fights on

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Anonymous    4/13/09

Isn't this what we do every time we have an election "submerging ourselves in a mass movement and submitting to a superior authority?

J Carlton, Calgary

Collectivist thinking is the antithesis of Individual Liberty, Freedom and Personal Responsibility. Restore the Constitutionally limited Republic.

Mike, Norwalk

Anonymous, immediately above. In the concept of a Constitutionally limiting representative republic, the act of voting was a mass movement to select servants to serve 'We The People' sovereigns, in inferior positions. Now that the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land has become the totalitarian hegemony that it has, "Man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years." (Lysander Spooner)

jim k, Austin, Tx

Mike and Lysander Spooner said it well.

George Hollister, Comptche

Put Environmentalism on the Mr. Brown's list.

Patrick Henry, Red Hill

"By their fruits shall ye know them."

In practical application, intellectual affectations/pretentions aside, Communism, fascism and nazism are indistinguishable from one another.


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