The Genocidal Mentality: Why Good People Do Horrible Things

Not everyone who participates in genocide is a through-and-through evil person.  Yet there is something in us, which, given the right circumstances and psychological wounds, can erupt into murderousness on a vast social scale. Such was the case in Nazi Germany, for example, and such was certainly the case in Rwanda in 1994, when over a million Hutus rose up and murdered their countrymen.  How can someone order people to be burned alive in ovens, then go home and water his flowers and tell bedtime stories to his children?  This long form doc examines the psychology of the genocidal mentality through the eyes of psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton (author of the “The Nazi Doctors”) and others.

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