Today, I was thinking about this issue. I was also thinking about Kitty Genovese
, who was
raped and murdered while lots of people watched from windows overhead. Nobody called the police at all.
What is making you not fight back? I think in the final analysis, the answer is peer pressure. The one-in-twenty number is more accurately known as
the 80% rule, I.E. 20% of the people in the world actually move and direct the other 80% . This breaks down to four people in twenty, but the point
Anyway, if you have twenty people in a room, and one person stands up and speaks eloquently, that person is probably going to be killed, in a survival
situation. That one person needs to have the support of three more people, to sway a crowd in a stressful situation.
In fact, if it were me who was in a group of twenty, I'd pretend to be dumb. Let the smart people talk first, because truth will float like a
feather whereas falseness will sink like lead. I'd try to become like a hick, almost, so as to be seen in the sixtieth percentile of the group.
This is how Socrates seemed to conduct his scenarios. He would have the sage play stupid first, and then encourage the "smart" to reel out as much
rope as they needed to hang themselves. The method works, in real life.
Really, any smart person in a "Big Brother" situation like you describe, and who is in de facto charge of a bunch of people, is going to place his
second in command, as "captain". Picture Kirk allowing Spock to be the Captain, and you're getting what I mean. This can be done to even greater
levels, if one is being watched closely, as in a concentration camp or what have you. The people in charge learn to hide, and they are in fact helped
to hide, again, by the other three who support the one.
Anyway though, back to my point: Peer pressure. It really does control so much of what humans do. People get conditioned to it through high school,
learning their "place" and not to step out of line or suffer humiliation. Of all things, people fear humiliation. Even before death. The point
is, when people start shooting rifles (please God, if you're listening, give us thirty more years to fix this mess), it will not be difficult for
people to take action. The moment for courage or cunning, will have passed.
People are afraid of being that one person in twenty because if they are wrong, and they don't have what it takes, to lead, then they may in fact
become a target for shame and humiliation from the rest of the group. Fear drives a lot of humans. More than 80%, I'd say.
What I am saying here about humans and leadership, etc, is meant to describe people in a stressful situation or under duress. The one-in-twenty idea
doesn't apply at an orgy, for example, because who needs to be a hero when everyone's glutting themselves and feeling great?
If you look down the street, and you see SUVs parked in every driveway of your suburban neighborhood, and one morning one of these neighbors starts
handing out flyers to give up SUV useage and buy more efficient cars, this neighbor will probably find limited acceptance.
[edit on 6-4-2006 by smallpeeps]