"Opinion of the public is clearly a modern phenomenon: its origin and development are connected with the spirit of the Enlightenment, which, in a reciprocal influence with the development of natural sciences but also historical political thought in parallel with the present state and civil society on which it is founded in a permanent struggle with once ruling but now weaker and weaker religious-theological mental world, up till now has never been fully materialized and, under the influence of deeply moving events, experiences ever new blows that hamper and sometimes destructively influence public opinion formation."
Ferdinand Tönnies, 1928
Die öffentliche Meinung in unserer Klassik,
translated by Slavko Splichal, 1999,
in Public Opinion: Developments and Controversies in the Twentieth Century
Photo credit: Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Ferdinand Urbahns