What Kind of Person Are You, Really?

DM

Are you a willing pawn in propaganda campaigns? It’s perhaps obvious that in free nations such as the United States, effective government depends on belief in the integrity of the system and voluntary compliance with its laws. But even the governments of expressly authoritarian regimes endure only at the sufferance of their subjects. If enough people decide not to comply, they will have a revolution on their hands. In fact, the worst human rights abuses recorded in history could not have taken place without the willing participation of citizens. In Hitler’s Third Reich, for example, citizens of Germany and the occupied countries turned on one another. They attacked Jews, stole their property, destroyed their businesses and ratted them out when Nazi authorities were rounding them up by the millions to send to the death camps. Homosexuals, the disabled and Roma (Gypsies) were similarly targeted. Communist regimes such as the former Soviet Union, China, Cuba, Cambodia and North Korea are notorious for citizen participation. People were (and are) encouraged to turn in their fellow citizens for being “bourgeois,” “capitalist,” “individualist,” “enemies of the state” or other concocted ideological violations.

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