A History Lesson
I just happened upon an AMAZING example of teaching. It brings to mind the famous (or infamous) Universe 25 experiment. Now, to begin, I despise the word fascist. The practice of using the word flippantly as a derogatory tag has my utter contempt. It insults the memory of Jewish people and others who lost loved ones in the war. It ignores the very important lessons of history. This story involves an insightful history teacher, Mr. Ron Jones. It was 1970, and students were concerned about the Vietnam War. While teaching a lesson about World War II, a student asked how a nation’s entire population could follow the horrid Nazi regime and plunge the entire world into war. Thus, Mr. Jones started a 5-day experiment.
Over the next few days in class, he implemented a few rules. Any student wishing to speak had to stand and address Mr. Jones with no more than three words. Further, the class had to come up with their own self-styled salute, which wound up being a “C” with the right hand lifted vertically. They had to come up with a new name for the movement they had started, which wound up being “The Third Wave.” Mr. Jones began implementing slogans, such as Strength Through Discipline, and Strength Through Community, and so on. They came up with special posters that symbolized their group.
Eventually, Mr. Jones also appointed special teacher helpers in class, who would report to him students who were not totally on board with his new rules. They had special identification cards. No one knew who these students were, but in fact, many of them had been recruited to this role. Students who were identified as “not with the program” were subject to a class vote of guilty or not guilty. Those who were found guilty were sent to the library during class time and refused the opportunity to participate. Nearly all students that were accused were found guilty by their peers.
Students were chastised for not finding more violations, and the smallest discrepancy soon began to be reported to Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones lied to the students and told them their grade would be based on following his growing list of rules, or, alternatively, by leading a successful coup. Student “observers” with special cards soon became student “guards.” Mr. Jones further lied and told his students that the Third Wave was spreading in schools across the country, to form a new national party that would dismantle the system and replace it with their own.
On the fifth day of his experiment, Mr. Jones called an assembly in the school gymnasium with the followers who had remained loyal. There, he told them the truth, that there was no national movement, that his new rules were all a ruse, and that he had done these things to answer the question, “How can an entire nation follow a bad cause?”
Certainly, a comparison could be made between turning in students who did not go along with the new system with “cancelling” and “doxing” people online, the risk of which is negligible. The new “rules.” The new “righteousness.” The new attempt at calling all ideology which does not agree completely in lockstep with its adherents is wrong. The labeling of certain ideas and groups as “hate,” which denies other viewpoints altogether is wrong.
I believe the issue is, at its roots, spiritually discerned. Other comparisons could be made. I’ll leave that for the reader to consider.
Video link attached to the comments.