Becoming Evil Analysis

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In Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killings, author and social psychologist Chris Waller focuses on how the everyday person has a hand in the brutal act of annihilation that is genocide. In his book, Waller analyzes the evolutionary forces responsible for shaping human nature and the psychosocial influences on individuals that make them more prone to engage in acts of extraordinary human evil. Waller offers readers a persuasive four-prong model for how everyday citizens become involved in such destruction, citing psychological experiment, studies of human characteristics, and evolutionary theory to argue that humans have an instinctive desire for social dominance and a genetic predisposition to divide into groups, thereby encouraging xenophobia and hatred of those outside the group.
This idea of “othering,” this cognitive bias of the in-group vs. out-group, is explained in the first part of Waller’s model where he discusses how ethnocentrism and xenophobia is a result of evolutionary psychology and are universal forces that makes us the same, what he calls our “ancestral shadow” (Waller, 134). For this analysis, I will be focusing on Waller’s model’s first-prong, and discussing the three tendencies that it focuses on: ethnocentrism, xenophobia, and the desire for social dominance.
The first of these
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Under the leadership of Riaz Basra, one of the founding members of the LJ, an alliance was formed with the Taliban regime in 1996, with a base of operations being established in Afghanistan shortly after. From there, the LJ began developing a reputation in the Middle East for carrying out some of the most ruthless and daring terrorist attacks in the region (FP Staff,

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