The True Believer

A long time ago I had a high school history and government teacher who probably forever changed the way I think about the power of identity, especially group identity, in affecting human behavior. In my senior year of high school, in the early 1990s, he taught a section on Nazi propaganda that I’m sure these days would be posted to social media in a hot minute, for good or ill; I’ve begun to wonder recently if on some level he hoped through this course to inoculate his students against the kind of groupthink that characterizes movements like Nazism.

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