Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

The awkward squad

Max Hastings, generally a twerp, wrote a good article in the Guardian a few days ago, about French collaboration and resistance to the Nazi occupation. His argument was that Britain (or indeed any country) contains plenty of people who would surrender and collaborate in the face of invasion. Surely this is true, because every country has been conquered at some time, and every population has accommodated itself to the conquerors, or been annihilated.

Good discussion on Crooked Timber here.

The bit I like best in the article is this:

Resistance, confined to a small minority until 1944, was dominated by what middle-class people would categorise as "the awkward squad": teachers and unionists (many of them leftists), young mavericks, communist activists, journalists, peasants: in short, little people.

Yes. The awkward squad. The whiners, the libruls, the complainers.

Do you remember the Stamford Stanford Prison Experiment, where they split people arbitrarily into prisoners and guards, and atrocity ensued? What a lot of people don't remember is that the people running the experiment vetted the participants beforehand and removed the 'awkward squad' - the people with a chip on their shoulder about authority (they also removed the other end of the spectrum, the sadists and authoritarians).

It's my belief that complainers and activists have a place in society, like canaries in a coal mine. They might be a pain sometimes, but other people use them as a warning system that things might be going a bit far in the wrong direction. Like real pain does in the body I suppose.
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