Below is a quote by Viktor Frankl on the difference between a crowd and a community. This is an excerpt from the author’s Man’s Search for Meaning. The citation is a long one, yet worthy to read till the end.
From my side I can add that in the world where democracy is a disguise for the rule of capital, communities of mankind have a potentially big future in the brave new world. True democracy can only be established and exercised by communities of responsible individuals.
Note: translated from Russian, highlighted by me.
Crowd does not create at all such environment for man where he could develop as a personality. Masses can’t stand individuality. If we compare the relationship between man and society with a mosaic, the relationship between man and a crowd is like a paved grey stone. All stones have the same color and shape, any of them can be used to replace one another. It’s not necessary to use some specific stone to construct a high-quality pavement. The pavement itself is not something unique – it’s just lots of stones together. A road cover doesn’t have the esthetic value of a mosaic. It has nothing but a utilitarian value, for crowds hide virtues and real value of people, using them only as a resource.
Human existence acquires full sense only in communities. Yet since a community needs to have a sense itself, it must bear the individual peculiarities of its members. In contrast, human peculiarities vanish in crowds, for a bright individuality is a destructive factor for any crowd.
By hiding and dissolving himself in a crowd, man loses his most inherent characteristic – responsibility. On the one hand, once taking on a task from society, he increases his responsibility. “Crowd escape” is an opportunity to release the burden of responsibility… A true community is in essence a community of responsible individuals; a crowd is just an array of depersonalized beings.
Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
Other posts on Viktor Frank’s Man’s Search for Meaning:
Castaneda And Frankl: A Bridge Between Esoterics And Psychology
The Pillars Of Human Existence: Spirituality, Freedom and Responsibility
Three Types of Values That Make Life Meaningful
Where Space for Growth Lies
Death Makes Life Meaningful
Heredity And Environment Vs. Will and Action
Knowledge Vs. Wisdom