Communist agitators constantly referred to “the masses” as an essential component of their revolution. However, they did not invent the masses or even create them. Rather, the masses are a product of modern society with its mass media, mass markets and mass production.
Author Lawrence Friedman traces the masses to the Industrial Revolution when he says:
“The Industrial Revolution vastly expanded the domain of cheap mass-produced goods. Mass production created, in a way, the masses themselves. You would not refer to peasants in a medieval village as a mass, nor even the peasants in all of, say, Germany or France. Mass is a way of describing people who live in a world where one can of soup is exactly like a billion other cans.”
(Taken from Lawrence M. Friedman, The Horizontal Society, Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn., 1999, p. 70.)