Youth Violence: Black Thugs to Eco-Fascists -- Don't Blame Conformity
Is most of this violence a result of the influence of conformity and peer pressure on impressionable youth, or are violent participants more cognitively committed to the violence than is commonly thought? Australian researchers suggest the latter:
Milgram's 'Obedience to Authority' research is widely believed to show that people blindly conform to the instructions of an authority figure, and Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) is commonly understood to show that people will take on abusive roles uncritically.Professors Haslam and Reicher have performed prison experiments of their own, and discovered a much more complex layering of actions and motivations on the part of participants than most sociologists appear willing to admit -- based upon how the Milgram research continues to be interpreted.
However, Professor Haslam, from the University of Queensland, argues that tyranny does not result from blind conformity to rules and roles. Rather, it is a creative act of followership, resulting from identifying with authorities who represent vicious acts as virtuous.
.... people participate in horrific acts not because they become passive, mindless functionaries who do not know what they are doing, but rather because they come to believe—typically under the influence of those in authority—that what they are doing is right," Professor Haslam explained. Professor Reicher, of the University of St Andrews, added that it is not that they were blind to the evil they were perpetrating, but rather that they knew what they were doing, and believed it to be right. _MXP
Haslam and Reicher suggest that youth and young adults have already largely decided that violence is justified "in the cause" even before they participate in the looting, rapes, and other violent assaults. The youth have already been indoctrinated into an acceptance of violent behaviour by education, family, community, peers, and popular music and media.
In Palestine and Gaza, for example, Arab youth are indoctrinated by parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, etc. in undying hatred against Jews and Israel -- from the cradle and throughout childhood and youth. For a Palestinian youth to take up arms against Israelis and Jews is instinctive after a certain amount of this.
In many black and minority communities across North America, Oceania, Europe, and beyond, the hated ones -- the targets of lifelong indoctrination into hatred by families and local communities -- are the whites, the Koreans, the ethnic Chinese, or any other group that experiences a greater degree of success or perceived acceptance than the particular minority community.
But perhaps a greater problem than ethnic violence -- even within multi-cultural societies -- is the problem of the widespread political and social indoctrination of children and youth inside government schools. Not only are children taught that modern productive economic systems are the root of global warming catastrophe and all types of other eco-doom, they are also isolated from serious responsibility and prevented from acquiring practical skills and competencies which would allow them to succeed in a modern economic system.
This flood of indoctrinated psychological neotenates and lifelong incompetents is dumped onto the jobs market -- often hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and with no meaningful skills, competencies, or developed talents. It should be no surprise that besides escaping in drugs, alcohol, and meaningless social interaction and entertainment, that some of them are attracted to violent leftist and green activist organisations.
As new communications technologies develop, coordinating "spontaneous" mass violence and mass crime becomes easier, and within the reach of larger numbers of youth and young adults.
An ongoing evolution of flash mobs