Essay 5 Steps to Tyranny

1834 Words Apr 12th, 2011 8 Pages
A Different Way of Looking at the Five Steps to Tyranny Concept

James Turner

PSY 400


In week 5, we watched a television program called “The Five Steps to Tyranny.” It explained how five different steps that take place can lead to conflict and tyranny. The program used a variety of examples, from the Holocaust to an exercise used in a third grade classroom, to explain these steps and also how they lead to tyranny. When people talk about the “5 Steps to Tyranny” concept, they usually associate it with war. The five steps are, “us and them”, “obey orders”, “do them harm”, “stand up or stand by”, and annihilation. When we think about these different steps and come up with examples for them, we think about the
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Conflict does not take place just on the battlefield, but also in our very own households. One way that we can describe how the “5 Steps to Tyranny” take place in our everyday lives is through domestic violence that takes place in peoples’ homes. Domestic violence is defined as conflict in a home. This definition helps me make my point that you can use the “5 Steps to Tyranny” to describe how these steps can be associated with situations in the household. When we talk about the first step, “US and Them” in domestic violence, we are dealing with the powerful individual and the powerless individual. The “Us” group in this case is the powerful and the “Them” group is the powerless. The abuser has the power and makes the victim feel weak and powerless resulting in “us and them.” It is important to distinct that no physical abuse has actually taken place, but the couple has already been divided into the one with power and the one without power. When we talk about “Obeying Orders” in domestic violence, we are not only discussing how the powerless person in the relationship obeys orders from the powerful person in the relationship, but also how the powerful isolate the powerless. When the powerful person in the relationship isolates his or her “target” it is more probable that the powerless person will obey orders. When we discuss the third step, “Do Them Harm”, we are not talking about constant physical abuse, but rather the first physical altercation between the

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