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Word Count: 2,705
In the Gospel of St Matthew chapter 27 A-B the people are given the traditional release of one prisoner They have a choice the just man Jesus Christ and the notable prisoner Barabbas When asked which prisoner should be released the people responded Barabbas convinced by the chief priests and elders Pontius Pilate asks what punishment he should be given They all responded Let him be crucified Disturbed by the obvious injustice Pilate feebly asks What evil hath he done The people rise in blind tumultuous cries Let him be crucified Again Pilate appeals to them by washing his hands before the people and saying I am innocent of the blood of this just person The impassioned crowd the tumult rising calls the accountability upon themselves His blood be on us and on our children Bach captures the horrific nature of this event exquisitely in The St Matthew Passion The chorus explodes into rising human voices violently one upon the other in a terrifying spectacle of mob mentality The listener is disturbed the wrongness of it frightens and saddens him This is an example of a mass human sentiment It is undeniably immoral and frightening in its intensity The people are aroused beyond even what they have been convinced of to the point of willfully taking the guilt of innocent blood onto the whole human race What is this phenomena To a rational individual the passion of the masses is not only illogical but depraved and evil it is the product of an emotional momentum with nothing inherent in it to check its behavior While undoubtedly a zealous mass sentiment could possibly work for a good thing what is to insure that it will A mass of humans has no collective moral conscious there is no set of laws that it obeys neither head nor heart exists to serve as guide In the Communist Manifesto Karl Marx uses caustic and powerfully persuasive rhetoric to inflame
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