How can some people completely transform their identity? In a rather peculiar case, former tween neo-nazi pop divas transformed themselves into liberal advocates for cultural diversity and marijuana smoking. They had previously been controversial with their rock band called Prussian Blue.
Now 19, the Gaede girls’ new perspective on life is a jarring contrast to the one they held only six years ago. Back then, Lynx told ABC News, “We’re proud of being White, we want to keep being White. We want our people to stay White [….] we don’t want to just be, you know, a big muddle. We just want to preserve our race.”…
…The twins’ move towards liberalism started to take shape during a 2006 European tour, where they were billed with Swedish White Nationalist singer Saga. During their set, the girls did a rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” which was received with boos and jeers from the mostly-skinhead audience.Read More:http://www.thcfinder.com/marijuana-blog/culture/2011/07/nazi-twins-now-potsmoking-liberals#axzz1UJSlOcxa
But the Gaede twins are not alone. Alberta’s perhaps future premier and arch-conservative Ted Morton:
Once an eager Young Republican and athlete, college rebellion took hold of young Ted. “I was a stereotypical sixties student. Had long hair, beads, smoked pot, anti-war – all that stuff,” Mr. Morton says. He sought an identity where many conservatives wouldn’t – a commune. “And the communes in North America were held together either by drugs or by religious fanaticism, so that didn’t appeal to me too much. So we went off to Israel where the kibbutzes are,” he said of a move made with his then-girlfriend, now wife, Bambi. “So we tried that for 10 months, and that cured me of socialism. Read More:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ted-morton-albertas-charisma-challenged-firebrand-takes-his-shot/article2121650/page1/a
Even Israel has a neo-nazi movement, showing that the attraction to the doctrine can cut across nominal divisons. From a 2007 case:
Cell-leader Eli Buanitov, a 19-year-old known as ‘Nazi Eli,’ is also charged with a separate count of battery.
According to the indictment, ICQ records show Buanitov intended to conduct a ceremony for his fellow neo-Nazis in which they would “swear their allegiance to Hitler and vow to preserve the white race with the last drop of their blood.” …”The problem is that here there isn’t anything to fight against because it’s a country of fucking kikes, we just can’t. Not me, not you and not even Adolf – may he rest in peace,” wrote Buanitov in an online conversation with a friend….
…In one of the documented incidents a defendant walked up to a Chinese foreign laborer using a payphone and punched him in the head while other cell members looked on. In another incident several cell members approached two foreign laborers and pushed them. When the laborers tried to walk away Buanitov moved towards them and smashed a glass bottle on the head of one of the men….Another video shows cell members walking through a public park in Tel Aviv and asking a homeless man if he was Russian and whether he was addicted to drugs. The man replied yes to both questions and was then forced to kne
own before the neo-Nazis and “apologize” to the Russian people for his being a drug addict and a Jew….According to the indictment police searched the home of one of the defendants and confiscated 720 grams of explosives, four kg of propellants, a smoke grenade and equipment designed for assembling bombs. Read More:http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3448557,00.html
Does recall Stanford Prison Experiment.Strip searched, sprayed for lice and locked up with chains around their ankles, these so called paid and voluntary “prisoners” were part of an experiment to test people’s reactions to power dynamics in social situations, which surpassed the margins that Zimbardo had calculated to be probable. Other college student volunteers who were the “guards” , had free reign in their authority to dictate 24-hour-a-day rules.Given that liberty, they responded much like MIlgra’m questioners: In short order they were humiliating the “prisoners” in an effort to break their will.
Professor Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment of August 1971 soon became a classic.And a confounding one at that in seeing loosey-goosey counterculture types have their behavior transformed in assuming the roles of prison guards. Using realistic methods, Zimbardo and others were able to create a prison atmosphere that transformed its participants. It went back to the old question of nature or nurture and the role of context and structure. The young men who played prisoners and guards revealed how much circumstances distorted then fractured their individual personalities. It also revealed how almost anyone, given complete control over others, can behave like a monster.”In a few days, the role dominated the person,” Zimbardo — now president-elect of the American Psychological Association — recalled. “They became guards and prisoners.” So disquieting and shocking were the personality changes that Zimbardo abruptly halted the proceedings before perhaps permanent or chronic damage could arise.
Ultimately, the far fight and neo-nazi leanings in its soft format of the Gaele twins or the Breivik murders can only be seen within the larger phenomenon of totalitarianism that presently seeks a form of legitimacy within a global economic transformation that is fraught with displacement and is poorly communicated to the electorate.Here we see that the choice of victims can change over time and contexts, but the nature of the crimes and the essential features of the movement remain the same. If history, and the Milgram and Zimbardo experiments have taught, though controversial, is that tragic conformity of ordinary individuals can be manipulated to unleash violence as a instrument of state policy. The result is a culture of complicity where the task of organizing large numbers of people willing to participate becomes incrementally easier.
…In stressing that wickedness is not a necessary condition for doing evil, Hannah Arendt can at least be thought to have a counter-argument to subjective evil. Arendt emphasized that our faculty of thought is connected to telling good from evil and right from wrong, in which case the “activity of thinking” could sublate innate wickedness, thus providing a condition against evil-doing.But when that thinking activity is challenged and overturned by a mass complicity going in the opposite direction?…
We will let Susan Sontag have the final word since she seems to encapsulate identity and the control and power component of the Zimbardo experiment:
Fascist aesthetics… flow from (and justify) a preoccupation with situations of control, submissive behavior, extravagant effort, and the endurance of pain; they endorse two seemingly opposite states, egomania and servitude. The relations of domination and enslavement take the form of a characteristic pageantry: the massing of groups of people; the turning of people into things; the multiplication or replication of things; and the grouping of people/things around an all-powerful, hypnotic leader-figure or force. The fascist dramaturgy centers on the orgiastic transactions between mighty forces and their puppets, uniformly garbed and shown in ever swelling numbers. Its choreography alternates between ceaseless motion and a congealed, static, ‘virile’ posing. Fascist art glorifies surrender, it exalts mindlessness, it glamorizes death….
… A utopian aesthetics (physical perfection; identity as a biological given) implies an ideal eroticism: sexuality converted into the magnetism of leaders and the joy of followers. The fascist ideal is to transform sexual energy into a ‘spiritual’ force, for the benefit of the community. The erotic (that is, women) is always present as a temptation, with the most admirable response being a heroic repression of the sexual impulse… Fascist aesthetics is based on the containment of vital forces; movements are confined, held tight, held in.
…There is a general fantasy about uniforms. They suggest community, order, identity (through ranks, badges, medals, things which declare who the wearer is and what he has done: his worth is recognized), competence, legitimate authority, the legitimate exercise of violence. But… why the SS? Because the SS was the ideal incarnation of fascism’s overt assertion of the righteousness of violence, the right to have total power over others and to treat them as absolutely inferior. It was in the SS that this assertion seemed most complete, because they acted it out in a singularly brutal and efficient manner; and because they dramatized it by linking themselves to certain aesthetic standards. The SS was designed as an elite military community that would be not only supremely violent but also supremely beautiful (… The SA, whom the SS replaced, were not known for being any less brutal than their successors, but they have gone down in history as beefy, squat, beerhall types; mere brownshirts.)
Why has Nazi Germany, which was a sexually repressive society, become erotic? How could a regime which persecuted homosexuals become a gay turn-on?
A clue lies in the predilections of the fascist leaders themselves for sexual metaphors. Like Nietzsche and Wagner, Hitler regarded leadership as sexual mastery of the ‘feminine’ masses, as rape. (The expression of the crowds in Triumph of the Will is one of ecstasy; the leader makes the crowd come.)…Read More:http://www.whomakesthenazis.com/2010/09/susan-sontag-on-fascist-aesthetics.html