Individual Efforts Bring In Reforms

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan I The Sunday Guardian I  September 28, 2014

Gustave Le Bon (7 May 1841-13 December 1931) was a French social psychologist. He is best known for his 1895 work The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. In this book he has referred to a historical law in these words: "Civilisations as yet have only been created and directed by a small intellectual aristocracy, never by crowds. Crowds are only powerful for destruction. Their rule is always tantamount to a barbarian phase."

The right way to bring about a real revolution is through individual-based effort and not crowd-based effort. A true reformer should adhere to this principle, that is, he must adopt the low-profile way and not the high-profile one. It is important, in this regard, for the reformer to adopt the microscopic way of thinking. It was this method that was successfully adopted by the Fabian Society of England. The Fabian Society was founded on 4 January 1884. Several great minds such as George Bernard Shaw were involved with the Society. They tried to train the British on lines that were very unpopular in the days after the war. Although the British had emerged victorious after WWII, the thinkers of the Fabian Society wanted Britain to follow the policy of decolonisation. This was not an easy task because of its unpopularity. However, through a literary campaign, the Fabian Society was so successful that in the post-World War II elections, under its influence the British people rejected Winston Churchill and elected Lord Clement Attlee. Attlee was not in favour of colonisation, while Churchill was known to be strongly against the policy of decolonisation.

The right way for the reformer is to first train individuals and form a team of selected people. After forming such a team, the reformer may then proceed toward further action of trying to bring about change in society or the system.