Nikolay Konstantinovich Mikhaylovsky (Russian: Никола́й Константи́нович Миха́йловский) (27 November [O.S. 15 November] 1842, Meshchovsk–10 February [O.S. 28 January] 1904, Saint Petersburg) was a Russian publicist, literary critic, sociologist and one of the theoreticians of the Narodniki movement.
The school of thinkers he belonged to became famous in Russia in the 1870s and 1880s as exponents of political and economic reforms. He was a contributor to the Otechestvennye Zapiski (“The Annals of the Fatherland”) from 1869 until it was suppressed in 1884. He became coeditor of Severny Vestnik (“The Northern Messenger”) in 1873, and from 1890 until his death in 1904 he was eoeditor of Russkoye Bogatstvo (“Russian Treasure”) with Vladimir Korolenko. His collected writings were published (Petrograd, 1913).
In his works Nikolay Mikhaylovsky developed the idea of the relationship between the hero and the masses (crowd). Contrary to the ideas popular among revolutionary-minded people of the late 19th-early 20th centuries that an individual having strong character or talent is able to fulfil incredible things and even change of the course of history in the articles ‘Heroes and Crowd’ (1882) and some other Mikhaylovsky presents a new theory and shows that an individual not necessarily means an outstanding individual, but any individual who by chance finds himself within certain circumstances in the lead or just ahead of the crowd. Mikhaylovsky emphasizes that at definite moments an individual can give a substantial strength to a crowd (through his emotional and actions), and so the whole event can acquire a special power. Thus, the role of an individual depends on its psychological influence is reinforced by mass perception