I found a speech from Phil Zimbardo on YouTube that was done at Stanford in October. I like seeing the evolution of his speech over the months, so figured I’d offer this latest one to you with some Cliff’s notes. Watch the movie below. (As usual there are graphic scenes from Abu Ghraib. Hero stuff starts at 44 minutes)
The exercise of power to:
- Harm (phsychologically)
- Hurt (physically)
- Destroy (mortally)
- Commit crimes against humanity
The Road To Evil
- Mindlessly taking the first step
- Dehumanization of others
- De-individualization of self (Anonymity)
- Diffusion of personal responsibility
- Blind obedience to authority
- Uncritical conformity to group norms
- Passive tolerance of evil through inaction or indifference
- Accepting an ideology that accepts evil
Heroism is the antidote to evil
We want to promote the heroic imagination by creating an educational system that instills in every child the self-belief that, “I am a Hero-in-Waiting. I will act heroically when my time comes.”
Banality of Evil: Ordinary people commit extra-ordinary evil deeds.
Banality of Heroism: Ordinary people commit extra-ordinary good deeds.
Most heroes are one time heroes. They rise to the occasion.
The very same situation that can inflame the hostile imagination in those who become perpetrators of evil can also inspire the..
Heroic Imagination in others of us or…
Render most people passive bystanders and guilty of the Evil of Inaction.
One day you will be in a new situation with three paths.
Path One: You become a participant in evil
Path Two: You become guilty of passive inaction
Path Three: You go straight ahead and become a hero.