During a heavy storm at sea a nervous woman passenger on a large liner went to the captain, seeking reassurance. "Captain," she asked tremulously, "are we in great danger?" "Don't worry, madam," he answered, "after all, we in the hands of God." "Oh," she gasped, terror written on her face, "is it as bad as that?"
The public, as a whole, finds reassurance in longevity, and, after the necessary interlude of reaction, is disposed to recognize extreme old age as a sign of excellence. The long-liver has triumphed over at least one of man's initial handicaps: the brevity of life.
Every mob, in its ignorance and blindness and bewilderment, is a League of Frightened Men that seeks reassurance in collective action.