Outline Lecture Fourteen ec mmw61

Outline Lecture Fourteen ec mmw61 - (1 The question of...

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Outline Lecture Fourteen—Totalitarianism and “The Banality of Evil” Key Questions: 1. What factors could compel so many perfectly normal and potentially humane individuals to cross the threshold of their own humanity? 2. What could motivate them to so calmly and even “conscientiously” commit such barbarous acts? I) A Psychological Profile of “Evil”—Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil a) Her personal observations from trial of Adolf Eichmann i) Who was Eichmann? (1) Middle-class background (2) Personal traits (3) Feelings towards Jews (4) Mentality of a “joiner” ii) Membership in the S.S. (1) Turning point at the 1942 Wannsee Conference b) The “Conscience” of Respectable Society i) Eichmann’s role in the 1942 “Final Solution” discussions (1) The “conscience of respectable society” ii) Assumptions at the Jerusalem trial in 1962
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Unformatted text preview: (1) The question of Eichmann’s morality and conscience iii) Mechanisms for behavior conditioning in a totalitarian society II) The Role of Group Psychology a) Adorno’s “Freudian Theory and the Pattern of Fascist Propaganda” i) Freud’s inquiry into instinct vs. conscience ii) The psychic bond of narcissistic identification (1) Modern leader as a “father-figure” (2) Identification with the figure of authority as form of self-esteem (a) E.g. Eichmann’s adulation of Hitler b) Self and the Führer i) The “moral imperative” of the Third Reich: ii) How did this translate into behavior? (1) Elevating self-esteem through “creative” conformity iii) The Milgram Experiment c) The “Banality of Evil” in the totalitarian context i) What is the modern source of “evil”?...
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