“The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduce them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim. An individual in a crowd is a grain of sand amid other grains of sand, which the wind stirs up at will.” ~ Gustave Le Bon, سيكولوجية الجماهير
“The population [of the world is divided] into two classes: the workers and the intellectuals. The rulers find it hard to manipulate the population: so they use materialism to manipulate the intellectuals and use religion to manipulate the workers. Before [they] can conquer the world, they will have to have some rational religion… The founders of science were not atheists or materialists. Materialists began to appear only in the second half of the 18th century.” ~Kurt Gödel
There are 7.8 billion people alive on earth today.
In a political context, the phrase means to generate public approval, not by excellence in public service or public policy, but by diversion, distraction or by satisfying the most immediate or base requirements of a populace — by offering a palliative: for example food (bread) or entertainment (circuses).
The government of Rome took measures to distract and control the masses of Rome by providing free games, races, fake battles, and the gladiator contests.
The term “bread and circuses” is used to describe efforts by those in power to retain the favor of the masses, or the common man, by bribing and distracting them with free gifts and amusements..
See the parallels in our current times?