As we read further and further he kept asking classmates? "Do you believe in the Beast?" He would give small things to the growing group, leave class 5 minutes early, some candy maybe, little things. But one by one the whole class joined the group, just as the true meaning of the Beast became apparent. Such an interesting lesson!
While some people are really good, and some really evil, most of humanity has thos duality. They love you when you're successful, or for your popularity. But it's amazing how easily they can really turn their backs on you, even for no good reason.
There is an idea that: 'Nazis were regular people.' By some accounts the most common method of those millions who were murdered in the Killing Fields was by pick axe, to save bullets and money. The immediate reaction of that for me was the callousness, torture. But if you stop to think about it, how personal of a method is that? This was not just mass genocide, and it was not industrialized. It was carried out by masses of people with their own hands in a personalized way.
After my traumatic experiences with psychopathic cheating, abuse as an adult, now every time I hear or read of psychopathy happening today -- what is essentially just one group of people abusing, exploiting power over others for personal gain at the expense of others' liberties -- I think "Oh my God, we all need to wake up and do something." It feels like every day there is some new form of tyranny I learn about which is happening today, which is considered so ordinary that it is allowed to persist. Sometimes they are obvious evils, such as The Insulin Racket, Abu Ghraib or the Collateral Murder leaks, for example. But other times I see some of these group tyrannies have propaganda machine behind them which are not different from other forms of facism or tyrannical power structures, such as I think is the case with Big Pharma or Wall Street.
I think there is a crazy duality with humanity where we have abuse, tyranny always so close, and tolerated. We all know what it is -- that it is evil. We all hate it, and are ashamed of it. We always criticize it when it is at a distance, but then nobody is doing anything about it just as past generations did as well.
Standing up to tyranny requires critical mass. Even in moral opposition to tyranny it makes sense to wait until the right moment to take action as it needs to be powerful and coordinated. Someone has to be first taking a stand though in changing the world.
Here's the article from the school paper at the time, which includes details missing from the other articles, such as that the senior class staged a coup and kidnapped the teacher: https://imgur.com/t/nazism/hXgrmKX. The timeline disagrees with the other articles too.
Can anybody find a previous discussion of this on HN? "Wave" and "third wave" are such overloaded terms.
Some other comments suggest the episode was "hushed down" because they never heard about it. It might also be that it wasn't as big as dramatic an episode in the first place, as it was later presented.
Milgram had people who refused to push the buttons, of course. And the Stanford Prison Experiment has been critiqued severely in the last few years, to the point of accusations of fraud.
The 1981 movie about the incident seems to be on Youtube, though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICng-KRxXJ8
Embittered in the wake of the Great War, depleted by it and the reparations imposed by the Allies, battered by a global depression, facing Soviet expansionism, and struggling with a dysfunctional political culture.
It wasn't simply ideology that sold fascism in the real world.
In contrast, I was educated in a European system, and in history class there was strong emphasis on the lessons of being subjected to or being on the brink of a fascist system. There are memorials to the Shoah and the Resistance in every town.
The US enjoyed the luxury of saying "it didn't happen here", but the education system at large really seems to have willfully ignored the lessons Europe has learned.
Hell, the movie about this was german!
Edit: after reading the article, maybe there's a more interesting reason why this episode is less known: no one talked about it publicly for many years after it happened. "Silence is what happens when you feel shame."
Edit 2 — and then there's this: "I'm not proud of the Wave, and I don't want to see it repeated," said Jones, who has turned down inquiries about how to re-enact the Wave from everyone from cult leader Jim Jones to a British television company wanting to turn the experiment into a reality show. Say what? Jim Jones?
Edit 3: if the 1972 date on http://libcom.org/history/the-third-wave-1967-account-ron-jo... is accurate, then the OP is wrong that nobody talked about it publicly for over a decade.
I remember being taught this material and the book being assigned reading.
In New a Jersey back in 1986 my 6th grade class read the short story “The Wave”. We knew it was based on a real school event and talked about it afterwards. I think we might have even read it again in 8th grade.
I was explicitly taught this in high school, and your insistence that I wasn't grates. It's impossible to generalize the way you have for reasons you apparently fail to understand, but what's worse are your biases preventing you from realizing there even are things you don't understand. Truly, this is Dunning-Kruger on a grotesque level, given the subject matter.
> There is no such thing as a national youth movement called the Third Wave. You have been used. Manipulated. Shoved by your own desires into the place you now find yourself. You are no better or worse than the German Nazis we have been studying
> Silence is what happens when you feel shame
What I find particularly interesting is that the basic elements of what happened can be seen in all walks of life, even in tech. Eg. The 'gamification' that many products use, is very much like the 'follow our rules and you'll be rewarded', and the 'belief' in a central tenant becomes a central rule of authority. The marketing slogans used to gain groundswell are the same: an agenda to deepen one's commitment to the cause.
Even HN, with it's karma, @dang as our bodyguard, with YC as the central body. All down and up votes on this comment will prove the point that the secret police are here too, gauging my suitability to the cause.
So, a fantastic article that shows we all have natural tendencies to be sheep, but are all also wanting to be elitist sheep.
Whats so easy to see in others is almost impossible to see in oneself.
Some of us have natural tendencies not to be sheep. I have walked out of rooms of twenty of my friends because what I thought they were doing was just going along with immoral cause. I've refused tasks at work because it wasn't appropriate. There are lots of artistic and revolutionary types, too. All it takes is standing up and a little guts.
I too walk away from immoral things... but that doesn't mean I'm not sheep like in other areas of my life (eg. blindly obeying a red traffic light when there's no one else on the road)
This is what the teacher was teaching the kids in the article: "You are no better or worse than the German Nazis we have been studying"
It's funny how that is. I don't know anybody who would run a stale red light in the middle of the night when noone else is around, including me. I'm sure it happens, but I'm also sure that it's rare. In the West, we've been conditioned to blindly obey traffic signals.
On the other hand, most of us have stretched the yellow into the red. What's the difference there? Running a stale red is blatant, but running a fresh red is justifiable because "it's just a few seconds!".
The topic of resistance to mass totalitarian movements is more relevant now than ever before. The article, like history, unfortunately paints a very bleak picture for the prospects.
In the classroom study, as in historical episodes, the deck was stacked against resisters from the start. They got the same reward for going along as successfully revolting:
> ... "He [the teacher] told us, 'If you're an active participant, I'll give you an A; if you just go along with it, I'll give you a C; if you try a revolution, I'll give you an F, but if your revolution succeeds, I'll give you an A.'
In other words, resistance requires values that transcend immediate rewards and punishments. The path of greatest reward/effort lies in going along to get along, and most people will take it without thinking too much.
Beyond that, successful revolutionaries need a great deal of skill to avoid detection. The unskilled "bright" students were caught and banished early, and I don't doubt that those doing the banishing felt very good about that.
Only two students mounted a noteworthy resistance effort:
> Out of all the students, only two actively resisted -- sophomores Alyssa Hess and Sherry Tousley. On the final day, Hess stood up in class and urged her classmates not to attend the rally. Tousley resisted from the start. Tousley was one of Jones' top students who had been banished from class early on for questioning the movement's purpose. She anonymously launched an anti-Wave resistance group, "The Breakers." In the documentary "Lesson Plan," she said her father drove her to Cubberley before school hours so she could hang anti-Wave posters up high in the halls so students couldn't tear them down. Until the making of the documentary 40 years later, not a single person -- except her father -- knew Tousley was the sole person behind the resistance group.
Hess's stand at the end of class, although brave, had little effect. Worse, it couldn't be repeated. This is unfortunately the fate of most resisters because it takes a lot of skill to mess with the steamroller and survive.
Tousley's effort was much more interesting in that she was able to work on a recurring basis in a way that avoided detection.
Especially since we seem to have bimodal totalitarian impulses. Two opposing cultures, both of whom seem content primarily existing to reject the other.
I hope both cultures learn how to live with each other, tolerating dissent, before ignoring civil norms (i.e. escalating bigotry, violence) starts becoming attractive.
See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wave_(2008_film)#Differenc...
But we always have moments in history when tribalism comes back and we will in the future. How can we use this to our advantage? Last time it came up we made some good advances in the understanding of human perception & consciousness. Can we use this power for good?
It's somewhat similar to what gets called "populist" and what gets called "people power". If you think it was a bad idea, it looks like a mob. If you think it's a good idea, it looks like the people rising up to demand justice. The view from the middle of the crowd, at the time, may not be so different.
Can it really? I feel like this would require further discussion and is not as obvious as you seem to think.
Where is the line between the content of the idea individualism and the political reinforcement of the idea in the populace? It is apart of the fixed social structure already.
Is being governed by a shared idea, not blind conformity in itself?
Capitalism is a great way to have people work in collaboration while still being motivated by their own individual goals.
and why even out of the totalitarian system and lived in USA those chinese student still work for and like a country that not allow this and that. No democracy. No google and all privacy. No individual. And have the-education camp. And of course forcing the whole HK to revolt.
Why the Chinese can live in china?
The truth is that people aren’t good, and a lot of them would love to put people in gas chambers and all it takes is the people in power allowing them to do it. No manipulation required. The Nazis were not evil geniuses that figured out how to twist the good intentions of people into evil ends. They were brutal, moronic sociopaths that allowed the natural hateful tendencies of people to flourish.
It’s a dangerous myth to believe that democracy and freedom is the natural state of man and that chaos and destruction is the aberration. It’s precisely the opposite.
Democracy and peace and freedom are states that one has to continuously work for and make sacrifices to sustain. The us is learning that the hard way right now.
It doesn’t take a genius to destroy democracy. It just takes one hateful idiot in charge who allows and encourages hate and violence to flourish.
In a way, i think B.F.Skinner's "Behaviorism/Operant Conditioning" was exactly right as regards "Human Nature" but sadly people don't want to give up their utopian fancies.
Is this a fact, or a theory?
If it's a fact, are you able to convince a very open minded person like me of it?
One of the most startling relevations (to me) was that you don't need to be a "bad" person in order to do things one could consider immoral. All it takes is an immoral leader who is able to exploit certain personality traits and convictions that can be found in many of us.
Even though this text was written in 2005, it provides an explanatory framework for things that are more relevant today than ever. It's worth a read.
All you need to do is look at the horrors of various "Ethnic/Communal Cleansing/Riots" etc. in various countries across the world. Eg. 1) Ethnic cleansing during breakup of Yugoslavia 2) Communal Riots in some of the countries of South Asia etc. In many cases it was literally neighbour-vs-neighbour all because the environment changed to expose and sanction to act on various fault lines eg. ethnic/linguistic/religious etc.
How does it go? Oh captain, my captain?
Edit: PS: I did watch DPS in school in the US, but just heard of the third wave here today.