Philip Zimbardo conducted the famous experiments with Stanford University students in 1971 where normal college students were randomly assigned to play the role of guard or inmate for two weeks in a simulated prison. The guards quickly became so brutal that the experiment had to be shut down after only six days. You can learn more about the deatils of the study in a slide show and commentary by Zimbardo at this "Stanford Prison Experiment" site.
He has now labelled this transformation which leads good people to engage in eveil actions the "Lucifer Effect." Not only the name of a literary magazine which Lord Patel was involved with in the early '60's at Leicester University, but also God's favourite angel who fell from grace and became Satan. Zimbardo has another website devoted to this idea.
Giving the enemy an identity
Zimbardo raises the question - What does it take for the citizens of one society to hate the citizens of another society to the degree that they want to segregate them, torment them, even to kill them?
It requires a ‘hostile imagination,’ a psychological construction embedded deeply in their minds by propaganda that transforms those others into “The Enemy.” That image is a soldier’s most powerful motive, one that loads his rifle with ammunition of hate and fear.
..and provides a list of ways with examples of how this is done.
The Enemy as Enemy of God
The Enemy as Barbarian
The Greedy Enemy
The Enemy as Criminal, Committer of Atrocities, Torturer
The Enemy as Rapist, Desecrator of Women and Children
Sex and War
The Enemy as Death
The Enemy as Beast, Reptile, Insect
The Enemy as Abstraction
Heroic Warfare: The Enemy as Worthy Opponent
He shows how this was used by Julius Streicher, the editor of a weekly newspaper, Das Sturmer, “The Storm Troope,” that spread anti-Semitic propaganda to the general public in Germany, which re-inforced .This was paralleled by texts shaping the beliefs of school children in which Jews are portrayed in a series of increasingly negative scenarios.
The use of stereotyped conceptions of Jews as lecherous old men seducing young Aryan women, of dirty Jewish butchers, unscrupulous Jewish lawyers, hard-hearted Jewish landlords, rich Jewish business men and their wives ignoring the poverty around them, all combined to create a hate-filled image of Jews.
Words and images. A continuing process that starts with stereotyped conceptions of the other as worthless, the other as all-powerful, the other as demonic, the other as an abstract monster, the other as a fundamental threat to our cherished values and beliefs.
Public fear is notched up and with an enemy threat imminent, reasonable people act irrationally.
People, proud of their "independence" act in mindless conformity.
Peaceful people act as foot soldiers - which ceaseless litigation provides them with the tools to make others conform.
Dramatic visual images of the enemy on posters, television, magazine covers, movies, and the internet imprint the readers and viewers , with the powerful emotions of fear and hate.
BBC video here - Strategic Director for Children's Services, Borough of Poole, the grey haired, grey suited, man in a grey background defends the use of RIPA powers - deeply unsettling. Full Council statement here "...an officer trained in RIPA procedures will attempt to establish if the family leave their stated address in the morning and return to it in the evening. " that wouldn't be training by Common Purpose would it ?
Those interested might like to consult the "Poole Partnership Terms of Reference" *** in which one of the things that must be done is to " Build common purpose and shared commitment." and "Poole Partnership will implement and monitor by:
1. Acting within the spirit and letter of the law."
*** or not if you have a low boredom threshold and can read these endless pages of worthy pap.
UPDATE "A view from Middle England" has interesting views on Mr Nash.