My son is doing a GCSE in Psychology and has just covered Milgram and Zimbardo. So it was timely that this serious, psychological explanation for toxic debt, Abu Ghraib and commonplace evil dropped into my in-box.
Watch the great Zimbardo explain why the Stanford Prison Experiment can explain much of what we now witness as evil. The Abu Ghraib sequence is truly horrifying, way beyond the sanitised images we saw on TV. They shock the audience into a deep, disturbed silence. However, the denouement is wonderful with an amazing story about an ordinary guy who does an extraordinary thing. Fantastic talk.
I couldn't help thinking that our current financial woes, a true evil, have been inflicted upon us in a social atmosphere of greed, with no counterbalance of whistleblowing or heroism. However, this explanation was quickly overpowered by other thoughts, along the lines of cutting off their greedy mitts and offering them free glasses of champagne. I've met far too many bankers, lawyers and city types in my lifetime and despise the idea that we should be bailing them out, without making them pay back what they've stolen. Since when did robbing the poor to pay the rich become the norm?