This experiment, despite the multiple and obvious omissions of any historical occurrence besides the Jewish Holocaust, is essentially the creation of a raced space and the analysis of the psychological effects it has on all parties, the oppressor and the oppressed.
What’s so fascinating to me is the genuine disbelief and the ferocity with which the participants - all of them white men - react to their living situation in the prison. The constant surveillance, destruction of identity via monolithic inmate classification, the physical brutality, the undermining of resistance efforts by fellow inmates. All these things bring the white subjects to the brink, developing in them a very real crisis of the psyche.
What’s even more fascinating is that non-white peoples have endured these same conditions on an equally intense yet wider scale (both behind bars and “on the outside”) for centuries, and continue to do so today. What to make of their psychological health?