After Dinner Conversation - Philosophy | Ethics Short Story
Philosophy | Ethics Short Story Discussions
E32. "The Mind Reader" - Is it in our nature to be ruled by a Fascist?

E32. "The Mind Reader" - Is it in our nature to be ruled by a Fascist?

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STORY SUMMARY: The story is a flashback of a man telling a story from the 1970’s that has always stuck with him. He is a psychology student learning about the “F Test” a test that supposedly allows you to gauge your fascist tendencies. He friend, a Vietnam Vet, disagrees with the simplicity of the test. To prove his point he talks to, and easily manipulates, a bohemian woman in the bar to change her life. The narrator watches and does nothing, but is horrified by how easily this happens. The incident ends their friendship.

DISCUSSION: The story of being a charismatic leader is all too common; they say things that “feel good” to our emotions but aren’t true. They lead us with persuasion and ask us to forgot our critical thinking skills. The vet shows the narrator how easy it is to manipulate others, including the narrator. This process of praying on the weak, or on everyone, happens every day, to almost everyone. The trick is to be aware you have these tendencies and to use logic to not allow your emotions to rule you.

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