How To Be Hitler (without killing anyone)

I was going to cover the Assange SXSW talk, but then I found this.

I’m not going to summarize, it’s worth reading in full. Instead, let me highlight a few quotes I found interesting:

“The involvement level in the class moved from the few who always dominated discussions to the entire class.”

“[The students] even seemed to be asking better questions and treating each other with more compassion.”

“I found it harder and harder to extract myself from the momentum and identity that the class was developing. I was following the group dictate as much as I was directing it.”

“I reminded students of what it felt like being in classes where competition caused pain and degradation. Situations in which students were pitted against each other In everything from gym to reading. The feeling of never acting, never being a part of something, never supporting each other.”

“…half the class now considered it their duty to observe and report on members of their class.”

“The clincher came quite by accident. It was a full page color advertisement in the current issue of Time for some lumber products. The advertiser identified his product as the Third Wave.”

“The air in the room seemed to be drying up. It felt hard to breathe and even harder to talk. It was as if the climax of shouting souls had pushed everything out of’ the room.”

Here’s the link again.

This is a classic example of black fascism. (There are two known flavors, black and red.) It’s by far not the only time more or less well meaning people have done this, either. If anything, the lesson ought to be that the ‘mental blueprint’ is easy for anyone to read…

One key detail that ISN’T in Jones’ account:
“…a few of these guys beat up a student journalist who was writing a non-flattering article on The Third Wave.”[1]

Also an excellent 3rd party writeup of the ‘experiment’:

“There was betrayal among teens who had been close friends since childhood. A group of buddies could be sharing a cigarette in the bathroom, discussing a plan to “kidnap” Jones the next day and fulfill the exercise’s requirement for a top grade, but “it wouldn’t happen,” say Coniglio. “Somebody – one of those two or three – would inform Ron Jones of the plot.”[…]

“Jones was able to stop a lot of lines of communication between people. That’s how he made his power. He was keeping us under his thumb very effectively,” say Hancock.”

Frankly, this account is so worth reading as well, here’s the link again.

Also, some video interviews with former Third Wave members:


%d bloggers like this: