Coda-Plus

U R Responsible for Ur Own Actions

PEOPLE OF THE LIE

People of the Lie, M Scott Peck, 1983
Review 2007 Lloyd Kinder
=P43,6]
-Fromm, a psychoanalyst, fled from Hitler's persecution of Jews and later studied the evil of the Nazis. - Fromm, The Heart of Man [1977], and The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness [1973].
-Erich Fromm broadened the definition of necrophilic [one who loves death] to include those who desire to control others, make them controllable, dependent, unable to think for themselves, make them predictable and unoriginal and keep them in line.
-Their aim is to avoid inconveniences by making others obedient automatons, robbing their humanity. - Fromm, The Heart of Man [1964].
=P.213]
-The Army Field Manual's guideline warns that it is illegal to give or obey orders that violate the Geneva Convention [or the U.S. Constitution].
-Also failure to report a known crime is a crime.
=P.217-23]
-Human groups behave at a more immature level than individuals.
-Specialization contributes to group immaturity via fragmentation of conscience. it becomes easy to pass the blame for group wrong-doing to others in the group. -Groups remain conscienceless as long as any members fail to accept responsibility for all actions of the group.
-Only great courage could overcome group pressure.
-Under prolonged stress humans naturally tend to regress psychologically to more immature thinking and behavior.
-A sense of horror is lost when one is surrounded by horror all day for many days.
-Becoming insensitive to one's own suffering leads to insensitivity to the suffering of others too.
-Evil is immaturity.
-The good do not desert their maturity and sensitivity under constant stress or degradation.
-Most people regress under constant stress both when alone and in group settings.
-One form of individual or group immaturity is dependency on a leader, because it's easier to follow than to lead.
-Leading involves making hard decisions, planning, discipline, initiating action, risking unpopularity and having courage.
-The role of follower is the role of a child.
-Ideally, a group becomes a group of leaders only, their purpose: achieving personal growth.
-Successful groups require all members to share equally in leadership of the group, encourage members' maturity, and challenge dependency
=P.225-8]
-Normal group cohesiveness is provided mainly by group pride.
-This engenders hatred of out-groups, who are called enemies.
-Shortcomings of a group are easily ignored by members by focusing on enemies.
-Failing groups avoid self-examination, becoming vicious toward enemies as a way to revive group cohesion.
-Without having the role of thinker or leader, the follower usually gives up his/her conscience.
-Naive pride results in group character being felt by the group as superiority to other groups.
=P.231-2]
-It is natural and easy for a large group to commit evil without guilt by letting its specialized groups carry out its deeds.
-Foreign adventures are likely again to prove irresistible and can easily lead to disastrous war.
-Only a draft can safeguard this.
=P.235-41]
-In Vietnam high-tech weapons helped distance Americans, even our soldiers, from our victims.
-They had the effect of insulating our consciences.
-Wounded animals tend to become dangerously vicious
-Our military's wounded pride made it vicious in Vietnam.
-To reduce the dangers of maintaining a military, we should de-specialize it.
-A combination of universal service and a national service corps could perform military functions when needed, but would also do peacetime work.
-People tend to regard their attitudes as their identities, so if an attitude is attacked by others, it's taken as an attack on the person.
-People and nations cling to wrong attitudes, because they can't easily imagine their attitudes to be wrong.
-The successful and powerful are much more readily convinced of their rightness by their success and power.
=P.249-52]
-Our villainy in Vietnam lay in our unwittingness, due to mental laziness.
-95% of Americans didn't know what the Vietnam war was even about.
-Responsibility becomes so diffused within groups that in larger groups it can become nonexistent.
-The military-industrial complex is run by the profit motive, which is unChristian.
-Prevention of group evil requires ending laziness and pride.
=P.256-60]
-Jesus' advice to judge not, goes on to explain that we are to judge ourselves correctly before we can judge others correctly.
-Scientific fact one year is considered outmoded and false the next.
-So scientific fact is largely just the current beliefs of some scientists.
-Scientists are nearly as prone as the general public to jumping to unsound conclusions.
-The public needs to be skeptical of scientific pronouncements for the good of public safety.
-Everyone should attempt to be amateur scientists and not relinquish our judgment to professionals.
-Science without debate and skepticism is not real science.
-Industry and government often use scientific findings and concepts for questionable purposes.
-Psychology is already misused by wrong diagnoses of school students as hyperactive etc, by wrongly rejecting people for employment, and wrongly rejecting students for higher education.
-Increasing public awareness of the unconscious mind may be our salvation.

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Summary of Previous Excerpts from - People of the Lie, M Scott Peck, 1983 [Insights from the 1968 My Lai Massacre in Vietnam and Peck's Psychotherapy Practice]         
-Erich Fromm, a psychoanalyst, fled from Hitler's persecution of Jews and later studied the evil of the Nazis [Fromm, The Heart of Man, 1964, 1977, and The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, 1973].
-He defined necrophilic [one who loves death] to include those who desire to control others, make them controllable, dependent, unable to think for themselves, make them predictable and unoriginal and keep them in line.
-Their aim is to avoid inconveniences by making others obedient automatons, robbing their humanity.
-[All the above traits characterize both evil and immaturity.]
-Evil is a type of immaturity.
-Under prolonged or extreme stress humans naturally tend to regress psychologically to more immature thinking and behavior.
-A sense of horror is lost when one is surrounded by horror all day for many days.
-Becoming insensitive to one's own suffering leads to insensitivity to the suffering of others too.
-The good do not desert their maturity and sensitivity under constant stress or degradation.
-It takes great courage and maturity [which leaders, not followers, often have] to overcome group pressure.
-Groups behave more immaturely than individuals.
-Groups regress under constant stress as much as individuals do.
-Dependency on a leader is lazy and immature.
-Leading involves making hard decisions, planning, discipline, initiating action, risking unpopularity and having courage.
-Following is the role of a child.
-Not being a thinker or leader, the follower gives up his or her conscience.
-Specialization of groups leads to loss of conscience by allowing members to pass the blame for group wrong-doing to other members.
-The only way to preserve conscience and avert great evil is by all adult group members to accept responsibility for group actions.
-All adult groups should be groups of leaders only.
-Successful groups require all members to share equally in leadership of the group, encourage members' maturity, and challenge dependency.
-Increasing public awareness of the unconscious mind may be our salvation.
-Responsibility becomes so diffused within groups that in larger groups it can become nonexistent.
-Large groups easily commit evil without guilt by letting its specialized groups carry out its deeds.
-Immature groups attain cohesiveness thru group pride.
-This engenders hatred of out-groups, who are called enemies.
-Group wrong-doing is easily ignored by focusing on enemies.
-Jesus' advice to judge not, goes on to explain that we are to judge ourselves correctly before we can judge others correctly.
-Failing groups, losing loyalty of members, avoid self-judgment and become vicious toward enemies, instead, in order to revive group cohesion or loyalty.
-Naive pride results in groups feeling superior to other groups.
-Prevention of group evil requires ending laziness and pride.
-Wounded animals tend to become vicious.
-Our military's wounded pride made it vicious in Vietnam.
-People tend to regard their attitudes as their identities, so if an attitude is attacked by others, it's taken as an attack on the person.
-People and nations cling to wrong attitudes because they can't easily imagine their attitudes to be wrong.
-Success and power easily convinces immature people of their rightness.
-Our villainy in Vietnam lay in our unwittingness, due to mental laziness.
-95% of Americans didn't know what the Vietnam war was even about.
-High-tech weapons reduced even our soldiers' awareness of our victims.
-They insulated our consciences and will probably always do so .
-It is illegal to give or obey orders that violate the Geneva Convention [or the U.S. Constitution] - U.S. Army Field Manual.
-Failure to report a known crime is a crime.
-The My Lai Massacre by U.S. soldiers in 1968 Vietnam and its coverup [were results of attitudes of superiority, wounded pride, immaturity of followers, insensitivity, and loss of conscience by specialization].
-Foreign adventures are likely to recur when Vietnam is forgotten and may lead to more disastrous war.
-Only a draft, preferably of all young people of a certain age range, can prevent such adventurism.
-To reduce the dangers in maintaining a military, we should de-specialize it.
-A combination of universal service and a national service corps could perform military functions when needed, but would also do peacetime work.
-The military-industrial complex is run, absurdly, by the profit motive, which clouds judgment.
-Industry and government often misuse scientific findings and concepts.
-Psychology is already misused by wrong diagnoses of school students as hyperactive etc, by wrongly rejecting people for employment, by wrongly rejecting students for higher education, and so on.
-Scientific fact one year is considered outmoded and false the next.
-So science is largely just the current beliefs of some scientists.
-Scientists are prone like the general public to making unsound conclusions.
-The public needs to be skeptical of scientific pronouncements for the good of public safety.
-Everyone should attempt to be amateur scientists and not relinquish our judgment to professionals , just as everyone should be a leader, not a follower.
-Real science promotes debate and skepticism.

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