19 MAY 1923, Page 22

Social Life and the Crowd. By J. Lionel Tayler. (Leonard

Parsons. 7s. 6d. net.) This essay is a criticism of all simple theories of government, and is based on the modem tendency of social studies towards the recognition of a complexity—hitherto undreamed of—in all social reactions and relations. All straightforward theories of government are inadequate by virtue of their failure to take account of the influence of desire and emotion in human behaviour. Thus, the neo-Communists, who lay stress on the basic impulses of men and women, and desire to organize mental engineering in order that they may avoid the evils of the " round pe' in the square hole " policy, would seem to have a good deal of sound material with which to start an impulse theory of democracy. Mr. Tayler examines the social theories of Rousseau, Hegel and Gladstone and passes on to more modem theories, the while, lavishly sprinkling his path with quotations from every conceivable authority. The book is badlyput together, and does not seem to be the product of much profound thought. But it may serve to stimulate the study of an important subject.