Herd Standards

“Recently criticism has begun to recognize more widely and to analyze in more detail the ways in which far-ramifying commercial organization makes for the dominance of herd standards. We have been shown, for example, how the syndicating of newspapers and magazines degrades their contents to what will please the majority; how, through the box-office, the majority dominate theatre, moving picture house, even opera and concert; how, in dealing with the careless and the gullible, advertising and propaganda tend to be substituted for intrinsic quality. On Justice Holmes’ ideal of ‘doing a thorough piece of work into which he put all his strength, and leaving it unadvertised’ an Englishman’s comment was ‘Can you imagine anything more un-American?'”

-Daniel Gregory Mason, “Artistic Ideals I. Independence.The Musical Quarterly. v. 12, No. 1 (January 1926), 1-7.