In this particular blog post, I chose to look at the complexities of mob mentality. As individuals, we develop our own set of morals and preferences throughout our life. Our parents and those we spend most of our time with influence a lot of these factors, but ultimately, we all have been exposed to a specific and unique set of circumstances, so we all have our own unique moral codes, though they may be similar. However, when we are faced with a decision within the context of a larger group, those morals and preferences often go out the door, and the mentality of the group takes control.
What I found most interesting about the depiction of mob mentality in The Swallows of Kabul was that there was no description of the thought process going into the decision to stone the woman—only a description of the experience itself. So did his morals play no part in the decision? And if so, what can we do to protect against this instinct towards conformity?
I think a big factor in the strength of one’s morals within the group context is the transparency of one’s principles. Since the dawn of humanity, man has always had two sides: that which he projects to society, and that which is inside of him. If we try harder to mix those two sides of ourselves by vocalizing our opinions and debating them with others, we will have more confidence in our own beliefs. Without the combination of the two sides, one can easily conform to society, since his morals were always internal to begin with.