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http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe...ors/index.html

Quote:
"You don't have to be mentally ill or even innately evil or criminal. You can be ordinary, no better or worse than you or me, and commit killing or genocide," said Harvard psychiatrist Robert Lifton, who has studied Nazi doctors.

"The truth is that we all have the possibility for genocidal behavior."

Experts have reached a troubling conclusion: It was actually very easy for the architects of genocide to find more than enough ordinary people to do the killing.
This worries me. A lot.
 

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This is one thing in which for people who have access the internet can be a tool for good. I know that I am human and I have the capability for prejudice and stereotype, especially the failing of simply being ignorant (hope that makes sense, I mean along the lines of by not knowing or understanding aspects of a culture I know I can subconsiously stereotype aspects of that culture and people who belong to it) and at least weekly the internet opens my eyes to diff. people living in cultures foriegn to mine that are real people with the same wants and needs as myself and my family. In this way I think the net can be helpful in lessening the us / them aspects when just going out day to day I would only meet people living in my culture or not get the chance to talk enough to see how similar we are in spite of superficial diff.'s.

At the same time the net can be used to stir up hate in ways that are quite scary and sickening.

Mob mentality is a very real danger, something I posted about in a depression thread... I worry about the U.S. if we continue to financially decline. Even the election brought out such an outpouring of hate it still makes me sick to think about.

It is disturbing.
 

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Another book Christopher Browning's Ordinary Men. Hitler's Willing Executioners was a rebuttal to this book. Both are good to read with different thesis. Personally, I felt Goldhagens book was a bit of a stretch, he has recieved a lot of criticism on his book. Browning book is more academic (stonger thesis, not as easy of a read).

http://www.amazon.com/Ordinary-Men-R.../dp/0060995068
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ChattyCat View Post
I thought this was already well known. People will do a lot of stupid stuff when presented with an authority figure and peers that are complying.
Yeah. I agree. Unfortunately.
 

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Yes, this realization really hit home to me when I read the book "Left to Tell" about the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Neighbors who had, days before, eaten dinner in the home of a family, were hacking the family members with machetes in that same home.
The dehumanization process is what leads to it, IMO, and it is very powerful and extremely scary.

It is very, very important that we all squash any attempts to dehumanize anyone, anytime it occurs.
 

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sad that our media/country still tries to dehumanize with certain propoganda and the us v them mentality.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MsBirdie View Post
sad that our media/country still tries to dehumanize with certain propoganda and the us v them mentality.
Just constantly... absolutely drives DH and I mad... every chance our media has to whip up an angle or spice up a story by emphasizing "possible" issues they do... if you could by seven million and seventy seven degrees of seperation link story X to racial tensions, sexism, religious differences, income divides, people who like the color orange vs. people who like the color blue they will work that angle to death. ARGHhhhhh ....
: I better stop while I'm not violating UA
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by CallMeKelly View Post
Just constantly... absolutely drives DH and I mad... every chance our media has to whip up an angle or spice up a story by emphasizing "possible" issues they do... if you could by seven million and seventy seven degrees of seperation link story X to racial tensions, sexism, religious differences, income divides, people who like the color orange vs. people who like the color blue they will work that angle to death. ARGHhhhhh ....
: I better stop while I'm not violating UA
*nod*

People need to really look at the propaganda measures used to dehumanize groups of people. It's pretty extreme, and a far cry from simply invoking an "us vs. them" mentality on whatever issue.
 
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