Mental Tidal Waves
"We know how great waves of feeling spread over a town, city, or county,
sweeping people off their feet, and causing them to lose their balance.
Great waves of political enthusiasm, or war-spirit or prejudice for or
against certain people, or groups of people, sweep over places and cause
men to act in a manner which they afterward often regret when they come
to themselves and consider the matter in the light of cold reason.
People are swayed by demagogues or magnetic leaders who wish to capture
their votes or patronage; and they are often led into acts of mob
violence, or similar atrocities, by yielding to these waves of
contagious thought. On the other hand, we know equally well how great
waves of religious emotion spread out over the community upon the
occasion of some great 'revival' excitement or religious fervor."
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