Are you a little Hitler ?
Using this Washington Post article as a starting point:
As Insurgency Grew, So Did Prison Abuse
Needing Intelligence, U.S. Pressed Detainees
Scott Wilson and Sewell Chan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, May 10, 2004
ASK YOURSELF, ARE YOU A LITTLE HITLER ?
LYNDDIE ENGLAND BRIGADIER-GENERAL JANIS KARPINSKI RUMSFELD BUSH AMERICAN U.S.
Source: the Sunday Magazine Times 15 February 1998
side box article in essay by historian David Starkey on Power
Are you addicted to power ?
While other addictions may make your life a misery, abuse of power usually makes you feel good. It's other people who suffer. The addictive quality of power comes from the boost it gives to our level of serotonin - the brain chemical that is affected by Prozac. Dominant chimps have hih levels of serotonin, are far mor relaxed and healthy than their subordinates and will fight to the death to stay that way.
Power satisfies such basic psychological needs as social approval and feeling in control. But an experiment in the 1970s demonstrated how quickly almost anyone can abuse power. The American researcher Phillip Zimbardo
recruited ord people - salemen, clerks, managers - and divided them into two groups: guards and prisoners. The guards were given a uniform, keys, badges and told they were in charge. Within a few days most of the had become abusive and bullying, meting out frequent punishments, while the prisoners had become cowed and subservient. The implication is both depressing (we all have the capicty to abuse power) and encouraging (the way we exercise power is affected by the social setting). Schools are no longer the authoritarian hell holes of 50 years ago, not because the nature of teachers has changed, but because beatings and abuse are no longer tolerated.
All the same, we are ambivalent about power addicts. We admire effective managers, even if they are bullies. A TUC [Trades Union Congress] hot line received 500 calls in five days reporting bullying at work. It's common in business where the staff are low-paid," says Neil Hamilton, a psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic. "Managers are frequently left alone, providing they produce results."
Power abusers nevr seek help; they feel nothingis their fault. Media therapist Raj Persaud describes the case of a woman suffering from dpression because her boss often exposed himself to her. "Who really needed treatment?" he asks.
Are you addicted to power ?
While no one admits to a problem with power when they are on top, it often emerges as an underlying factor in the breakdown or crisis that can follow being fired, retired or ending a relationship. To see if you are at risk, ask yourself the following questions:
* Do people rarely work with you for long?
* Do you have few close relationships?
* Do you always know how to sove other people's problems?
* Do you believe errors are rarely your fault?
* Do you shout a lot and regularly get angry?
* Do you feel disappointed, even when you reach your gaols?
* Do you become infuriated when people disagree with you?
* Did you feel unloved or undervalued as a child?
* Do you agree that the desires and feelings of others are less important than your own?
* Do you agree that, to get ahead, you have to be tough?
* Would you like more power?
Give yourself 1 point for every "yes". A score of 7 or more, and you could suffer when conditions change. Start to notice what you feel when issuing orders, and the way you normally behave. If you can be aware of when you feel vulnerable and talk about it, you might able to start negotiating instead of imposing.
If, however, you are a victim of power abuse, the long-tern solution is to change the climate of an organisation, so that such behaviour is unacceptable. In the short-term, being assertive and stating clearly and calmly how you may feel may help. But the only solution is to leave.
Author: Jerome Burne
sources of ideas and opinion on Abu Ghraib
NYT : Mistreatment of Prisoners Is Called Routine in U.S.
* Lane McCotter, who oversaw the reopening of the Abu Ghraib prison, once ran prisons in Utah.
A Wretched New Picture Of America
- Photos From Iraq Prison Show We Are Our Own Worst Enemy
By Philip Kennicott
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 5, 2004
Nick Broomfield on "Aileen: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer"
A Humiliation for America
:Why the abuse of Iraqi prisoners is so disheartening
Peggy Noonan Thursday, May 6, 2004
U.S. Prison rape
"The horrors experienced by many young inmates, particularly those who are convicted of nonviolent offenses, border on the unimaginable. Prison rape not only threatens the lives of those who fall prey to their aggressors, but it is potentially devastating to the human spirit. Shame, depression, and a shattering loss of self-esteem accompany the perpetual terror the victim thereafter must endure
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun, Farmer v. Brennan
Women Suffering "Extreme" Sex Abuse in U.S. Prisons
Abuse in U.S. prisons receives little attention
No Exceptions: Violations of the Rights of Women in Prison
Torture in the United States
: Gender-based physical abuse and sexual abuse of women in prisons
Statement of Congressman Frank Wolf :Introduction of prison rape bill