The madness of crowds

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In reading the history of nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and
their peculiarities; their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what
they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and
go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one
delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating
than the first. We see one nation suddenly seized, from its highest to its lowest members,
with a fierce desire of military glory; another as suddenly becoming crazed upon a
religious scruple, and neither of them recovering its senses until it has shed rivers of
blood and sowed a harvest of groans and tears, to be reaped by its posterity.

Charles_Mackay-Extraordinary_Popular_Delusions_and_the_Madness_of_Crowds

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