"There are certain things which enter the minds of even people without one."

Jean's insult to Berenger in Act One helps explain, in a different context, how millions were swayed to fascism. Ionesco builds up a concept of collective consciousness (later referred to in the play as "collective psychosis"), a universal mentality that compromises the individual mind. These minds, like Berenger's, evade responsibility and choice and allow external ideas to enter without an internal check. After World War II, people were wondering how the widespread fascist atrocities could have taken place, how such brutal ideas could have engaged humanity. Ionesco's play attempts to posit an answer, pinning the blame less on man's tendency to evil than his tendency not to think for himself.