5 Steps to Tyranny Documentary

Topics: Stanford prison experiment, Milgram experiment, Stanley Milgram Pages: 2 (793 words) Published: December 17, 2012
The origins of violence in individuals seem to remain a mystery for psychologists, biologists, and society as a while; and the question “are people hardwired to kill/be violent” arises. The BBC Documentary, ‘5 Steps to Tyranny’, shows us how human nature allows us to descend into a domineering society when we are provoked to act according to certain circumstances. The tyrannical acts are analyzed in 5 simple steps: ‘Us’ and ‘Them’, ‘Obey Orders’, ‘Do Them Harm’, ‘Stand Up or Stand By’, and ‘Exterminate’.

From the video one realizes how society categorization plays a significant role when it comes to peoples levels of aggression. Whether it’s by eye-color, authority, or even which soccer team you root for, grouping people, and therefore excluding them from the so-called norm is considered tyranny within itself. The film also revealed the potentially negative consequences that come with reacting to authority the way we do and points out that fact an obedient society doesn’t always mean a good one. The first step, ‘Us’ and ‘Them’, goes along with the lines of classifying people into groups therefore, leading to the creation of ‘in-groups’ and ‘out-groups’. This separation of the people, as said before, can be seen as a minor act of tyranny on it’s own. An experiment was carried out in a classroom, making the blue-eye students dominant over the brown-eyed, to show how differentiating would change their attitudes towards each other. The findings were the following: the brown-eyed students acting depressed and rejected, while the blue-eyed ones acted powerful, proud, and arrogant. The same concept was introduced in the Zimbardo Prison experiment when college students were spilt into two groups: the all powerful prison guards, and powerless prisoners. With grouping comes discrimination, and when discrimination it present, the rights of people are lost. The following steps, ‘Obey Orders’ and ‘Do Them Harm’ not only raise the point people tend to obey...
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