Psychologist Phil Zimbardo may have put his finger on one reason why the environment is so swollen with toxins:

Imagine a traitor is sentenced to death by firing squad and the government wants to recruit his peers, civilians, to shoot him. Few volunteer. If, however, they add a condition that only one of six guns will have a real bullet in the chamber, thus each gun would have only a small likelihood of being the lethal weapon, typically more volunteer. Why? Employing the tactic of diffusion of responsibility greases that line, and some good people are ready to slide across the boundary, become killers for the state.

Advertisements