In the latest Bourne film, Bourne Legacy, they feature a part in which a guy working in a research facility involved with the Bourne programme just locks himself and his colleagues in one day and then shoots everyone including himself.
The sole survivor of the incident explains about how their facility majors in the production of cognitive altering drugs and there is later in the film an agent whose cognitive drugs programme has been engineered to create low or zero empathic responses.
In the original books I think its behaviourist psychology and suggestion rather than drugs which are used and I appreciate that's part of the more modern development of the film/themes. On the other hand Darren Brown, a stage hypnotist in the UK, has done shows in which he demonstrates how suggestable individuals can be hynotised into carrying out assasinations publically. Although I know too that Brown is a showman and these are TV shows.
What do you think, is it possible with psychological conditioning/brain washing or psychopharmacology to make people who otherwise would not do these kinds of things? Do you think that given the right mix of manipulation and a cocktail of drugs you would do those kinds of things for instance?
I err on the side of Orwell's analysis, which was based on Orwell's own experience, that everyone has their breaking point and everyone gives in eventually, even if they are a wreck afterwards (the joke is ultimately on big brother because broken men and women do not make for any kind of bright future, its a foundation of sand for any regime). Although I'd like to hope I'd not act so out of character so easily. Its just a thought though.