"It seems that under the overwhelming impact of rising power, humans are deprived of their inner independence and, more or less consciously, give up establishing an autonomous position toward the emerging circumstances.
The fact that the stupid person is often stubborn must not blind us to the fact that he is not independent. In conversation with him, one virtually feels that one is dealing not at all with him as a person, but with slogans, catchwords, and the like that have taken possession of him.
He is under a spell, blinded, misused, and abused in his very being. Having thus become a mindless tool, the stupid person will also be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. This is where the danger of diabolical misuse lurks, for it is this that can once and for all destroy human beings.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers From Prison
"Now that I look back, I realize that a life predicated on being obedient and taking orders is a very comfortable life indeed. Living in such a way reduces to a minimum one's need to think... I may have made an error in judgement— but one thing is beyond dispute: the man was able to work his way up to leader of a people of almost 80 million. His success alone proved that I should subordinate myself to him."
Adolph Eichmann, as quoted by Hannah Arendt in Eichmann in Jerusalem: The Banality of Evil
"He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man."