Friday, June 07, 2019
It's been 78 years since Dorothy Thompson published her iconic "Who Goes Nazi?" in Harper's. "Interesting and somewhat macabre," Who Goes Nazi? is a game you can play with your friends and acquaintances (although, for your safety, play it in your own head, not out loud). The rules are simple: Look around a group and ferret out who would go Nazi under the right conditions, and who never, ever would, no matter what. In her piece, Thompson described playing her game at an imaginary dinner party. We present to you, updated for the 21st century: the Office Edition. After you've finished reading, try it out at your own workplace (again, in your head, or with very trusty coworkers).
As with Thompson's dinner party, the imaginary office described below is not meant to be an average or universal environment, representative of all experiences (as if there could be such a thing). It's a very specific place: a white-collar corporation in a gentrifying liberal city. By no means are the characters described below the only kind of people who would go Nazi. Nor is it impossible, as Thompson stipulates, for Jewish or non-white people to go Nazi. "Nazism has nothing to do with race and nationality," Thompson says. "It appeals to a certain type of mind."
Let us look around the conference room, and see if we can locate this certain type of mind.
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