Sunday, April 29, 2007

Changing attitudes about mind and responsibility: Patricia Hearst

I was 15 when Patricia Hearst "joined" the SLA. I don't remember a lot of public sympathy in Canda for her then, I dimly recall she was thought to be another foolish youth. I don't think I paid that much attention really. When the SLA was caught Patricia Hearst, despite her wealth, went to prison.

DI recaps the story, and shows how our interpretation has changed. Today, I think, Hearst would not have been prosecuted. She would have been understood to have been a victim. In retrospect DeFreeze was an evil genius of manipulation, milder versions of this techniques are the modern basis of US torture standards.

Culture evolves. Our concept of responsibility is in transition.

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