The Wave

How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.
Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.


According to Ben in “The Wave”, less than 10 percent of Germans at that time participated in the Nazi Party. It clearly shows that all the people’s consent is the least necessary to rule the world. For a privileged few, in addition, this is too bulky or too annoying to rule the world. Rather, what the minority power holder needs is an effort to inculcate the majority of people with respect and terror for the absolute power or to make them mentally or physically apathetic. The Wave describes how the power is seized and how it controls the people.

“You would have put on the uniforms, turned your heads, and allowed your friends and neighbors to be persecuted and destroyed. You say it could never happen again, but look how close you came. Threatening those who wouldn’t join you, preventing non-Wave members from sitting with you at football games. Fascism isn’t something those other people do of us. You ask how could the German people do nothing as millions of innocent human beings were murdered? How could they claim they weren’t involved? What causes people to deny their own histories?”

. . . “If history repeats itself, you will all want to deny what happened to you in The Wave. But if our experiment has been successful - and I think you can see that it has - you will have learned that we are all responsible for our own actions, and that you must always question what you do rather than blindly follow a leader, and that for the rest of our lives, you will never, ever allow a group’s will to usurp your individual rights.” (p. 135)

The Wave: The Classroom Experiment That Went Too Far
Todd Strasser

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