Originally published 8/1/11, 7:46 pm.
Here are three quick lessons that I picked up from pre-Holocaust Nazi Germany that have remained with me on a very deep level
1. Demonization. The Nazis made an orchestrated campaign of demonizing Jews. A constant barrage of belittling paved the way for subsequent acts of brutality
2. Charisma. Charismatic leaders sometimes hold a hypnotic sway on the masses and cause them to bypass their use of reason.
3. True Believers. The followers of the charismatics outlined in #2 tend to reciprocate charisma with blind devotion choosing to suspend themselves in favour of their leader. This might work favourably when that leader or guru is a saint. Otherwise, it is a recipe for disaster.