Lest we forget

Maverick academic Philip Zimbardo says we are all capable of evil. Is he right? – People, News – The Independent

What took place on a peaceful Californian university campus nearly four decades ago still has the power to disturb. Eager to explore the way that “situation” can impact on behaviour, the young psychologist enrolled students to spend two weeks in a simulated jail environment, where they would randomly be assigned roles as either prisoners or guards.

There are always some of us who refuse to go along, but precious few. It’s not just following orders and following the crowd, it’s not letting your buddies down. It’s a million rationalizations. And if you go down the slope one day at a time, you can always tell yourself that you’re already damned, you might as well keep going. Or that what you did yesterday wasn’t that bad, and today isn’t that much worse, so really deep down you’re not a bad person….

And it’s all true.


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