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 causti.