Internet Politics: “Carried Away by the Flood”

When many of them are sitting together in assemblies, courts, theaters, army camps, or in some other public gathering of the crowd, they object very loudly and excessively to some of the things that are said or done and approve others in the same way, shouting and clapping, so that the very rocks and surroundings echo the din of their praise or blame and double it. In circumstances like that, what is the effect, as they say, on a young person’s heart? What private training can hold out and not be swept away by that kind of praise or blame and be carried by the flood wherever it goes, so that he’ll say the same things are beautiful or ugly as the crowd does, follow the same pursuits as they do, and be the same sort of person as they are? – (Plato, Republic 492b-c)