Groups tend to accept or reject ideas as a whole. An individual may accept contradiction and discussion; a group will never do so. At public meetings the slightest contradiction on the part of an orator is immediately received with howls of fury and violent invective, soon followed by blows, and expulsion should the orator stick to his point. Without the restraining presence of the representatives of authority the contradictor, indeed would often be done to death. Group psychology is often simple minded.
Groups are profoundly conservative. Had democracies possessed the power they wield to-day at the time of the invention of mechanical looms or of the introduction of steam-power and of railways, the realization of these inventions would have been impossible, or would have been achieved at the cost of revolutions and repeated massacres. It is fortunate for the progress of civilization that the power of groups only began when the great discoveries of science and industry had already been effected.
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