Milgram Experiments

In the early 60s, psychologist Stanley Milgram designed and conducted a series of experiments testing people's obedience to authority. The experiments were disguised as memory tests, so that participants wouldn't know their real purpose. The idea was to find out whether ordinary people would go against their own morals and administer ultimately lethal electric shocks to another participant, simply because a man presented to them as a "scientist" was telling them they must continue.

In reality the participants could have stopped at any time. The only thing that was there to keep them going on was a guy in a white coat telling them they must go on. Faced with a guy [in reality an actor, but the participants didn't know that] getting electric shocks and screaming to make them stop on one end, and an authority figure - the "scientist" [also an actor] - telling them to continue on the other, what would they do?

Psychologists were asked to predict how many people would work their way up to administering a 450 volts electric shock. Their prediction was that hardly anyone would do it. These tests were repeated over a period of several decades, in various social environments, with people of different sex, age, race, education etc. In almost all of them, the results were roughly the same. Over 50% of the participants went all the way up to 450 volts. Some were sweating and repeatedly voicing their disagreement, but because a "scientist" was repeatedly telling them to continue, they felt they were obliged to obey.

What happens in a society where obedience to authority is so deeply programmed into people that it is stronger than their own morals and common sense?
You can see the results all around you.

If politicians declared a war and ordinary people simply had enough common sense to not show up, there would be no wars. It's not like the politicians would ever go to war themselves. They need slaves for that. You. And if you believe there is no slavery and you are free, this Invisible Slavery is working most efficiently.

Obedience to authority is what turns people into zombies/robots/slaves. If you don't want to be one of those, you should not listen to people who are in the positions of authority, you should listen to people who make sense, and for that you need to think for yourself, to be able to determine whether they're making sense or not. This includes "peer pressure," ie. doing things because people around you are doing them, or because if you don't you won't be "cool" or whatever. Being cool often requires a decent dose of stupidity these days.

Do your own research on this to find out more.

Here you'll find a youtube video of a more recent replication of the original experiment.

You can find Stanley Milgram's "Obedience," the movie he made after his own experiments, on The Pirate Bay.

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