What Times are These? The Unruly Tyranny of Mobs
Bertolt Brecht wrote, "what times are these/when a poem about trees is almost a crime/because it contains silence/against so many outrages."
The same can be said for a post about negotiation strategy and tactics.
My friend and colleague, mediator and AAA arbitrator Deborah Rothman just returned from a very short vacation to Paris and the view from Europe is one of fear and growing alarm about the manner in which our political process has degenerated into hate-filled cries from the crowds at Republican rallies (see Rage Rising on the McCain Campaign Trail).
A waiter at a small bistro near the Champs-Élysées confided his fear that the "nuclear code" could fall into the hands of a short-tempered or vindictive occupant of the Oval Office, a concern that I admit had been absent from my own consciousness before that moment. Other Europeans with whom we spoke were mystified that more Americans did not exercise the right to vote, particularly in an election as important to the future of the world economy as this one is.
I returned from Europe more worried more about unruly mobs fueled by anger and fear than about the "smears" on Obama (against which you can take action here if you're so inclined - Truth Fights Back).
If the 20th Century taught us anything, it is this: we are all capable of genocide, and its lesser form, hate crime.
Ethiopia's Genocide of the Anuak (21st century)
The Genocide of Native Americans in the United States (17th-19th Century)
The My Lai Massacre (Viet Nam War)
. . . . too many more to catalogue
WE ARE ALL CAPABLE
The Stanley Milgram Experiments (response to authority)
The Stanford Prison Experiment ("guards" abusing "prisoners")
(right: my own blurry iPhone St. Chapelle photo where we heard a string sextet play Bach, Vivaldi and Mozart this past week - sublime)
Theodore Roosevelt on Mob Violence, Campaign Speech and the Rule of Law (9/28/1900 NYTimes report of "Governor" Roosevelt's response to mob violence in Roosevelt-Bryan campaign)
Genocide Prevention (U.K.)
PLEASE ADD YOUR OWN RESOURCES