ABSTRACT

The term “backlash” suggests repetition and irrationality. This is not the typical sequence for economics, which is rational, linear, and progressive. A recent discussion of the “madness of crowds” mentioned Gustave Le Bon, who witnessed the Paris Commune in 1871, feeling both fascinated and appalled at the capacity for group contagion (Davies 2019, 8–12). Other examples include crowd reactions to financial markets, and the “mania” that can spread among investors, even if not present at the same time and place (Kindleberger 1989; MacKay 1932). Pocock mentioned the whimsical nature of “Fortuna” and the impact on personalities from the uncertainty in newly emergent financial markets (Pocock 1975).