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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-03 07:54 AM
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Iverson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-03 07:58 AM
Response to Original message
1. yo
It was hot stuff in the '70s.
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Nay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-03 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Yep. It tells us a lot about ourselves and how we act at our worst moments
A freeper coworker, normally a very kind and moral person, would pull the switch on anyone if an authority figure told her to. Add her and her ilk to the people who would actually enjoy doing other people in, and we have a real problem brewing.
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bread_and_roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-03 08:12 AM
Response to Original message
3. Learning about this experiment
was one of the defining moments in my life. I have always half hoped that it would be revealed one day as flawed or distorted, but if that has happened I havn't read about it. It is one of the most disturbing things I have ever encountered, and I have tried to keep it in mind in both judging my own actions and as part of the framework of information/ideas that inform my ethical/political stances.
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MMT Donating Member (135 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-03 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #3
13. Learning about Milgram's experiment was a defining moment for me, too
Two other, similar experiments you might be interested in if you don't already know about them:

History teacher Ron Jones's 'the Wave' experiment http://www.geocities.com/Broadway/3145/wave.html

and Phil Zimbardo's prison experiment http://www.prisonexp.org /

=Meg
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bread_and_roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-03 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #13
17. Thanks
I am familiar with the prison experiment but had either missed or forgotten about "the wave."
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Mikimouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-03 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
4. Howdy Pete
If you are interested, take a look at Solomon Asch's work on conformity to peer pressure. Then, imagine that the RW types are the test subjects and the 'peers' are Limbaugh, Boortz, Hannity, O'Reilly, G. Gordon Liddy and Laura Ingraham. Scary, no? :hippie:
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REP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-03 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
5. Familiar with the Experiment
Edited on Mon Sep-01-03 08:57 AM by REP
Don't think it has much to do with the goverment's disasterous foreign and domestic policies. The experiment had a much finer point than merely going with the flow. I think Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent and a pamphlet written during Gulf War I, which I am too lazy to go dig up but is titled something like "Propaganda in the Gulf War" and was published by the Open Pamphlet Series around 1990 is more relevant than the Milgram experiment.
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bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-03 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
6. "A substantial proportion of people do what they are told to do" - Milgram
"With numbing regularity good people were seen to knuckle under the demands of authority and perform actions that were callous and severe. Men who are in everyday life responsible and decent were seduced by the trappings of authority, by the control of their perceptions, and by the uncritical acceptance of the experimenter's definition of the situation, into performing harsh acts. A substantial proportion of people do what they are told to do, irrespective of the content of the act and without limitations of conscience, so long as they perceive that the command comes from a legitimate authority. (1965)" - Milgram

more...
http://www.stanleymilgram.com/quotes.html

just think how much control you have if you are setting the stage via the teeVee and how much power you have when you put all those flags (legitimate authority) behind you - read most reTHUG politicians

yet some think photo ops are trivial...

rove is a pro and i am sure he knows his mass-psycology well.

peace
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Orangepeel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-03 08:32 AM
Response to Original message
7. IIRC, most people were really upset about what they were "forced" to do
If there had been someone else in the room who had refused to turn up the shocks, most people would have joined with the rebel.

Most people want to do the right thing; they just need a leader to give them the right option.
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REP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-03 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Overlooking the Obvious
Not one of us is in a position to "turn up the shocks." We the people have NO control over what the administration does - none at all. People may be placated by their $400 per child bribe, but they have no control over what insane mission the administration takes up next. We can react - march in the streets, refuse to fight their wars, try to vote the bastards out - but we do not have the power to 'schock' an individual and most of us don't even believe we once had that power, even under less malevolent reigns. The nice authority figure in the white lab coat isn't telling us to commit individual atrocities; we're being to Shut Up, Marry and Reproduce, and Consume. What we are being subjected to is far more Pavlovian than Milgramite.
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bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-03 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Manufacturing Consent
is what we are being programmed for because if we didn't give 'OUR' collective consent not even electricity would be available to those who would willingly administer it.

peace
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zeemike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-03 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. You are right
60 Minutes covered this experiment many years ago and they speculated that this tendency to do what you are told led to the situation in Nazi Germany.
But the real reason that the Nazi took over and did the horrors that they did is that no one stood up and said this is wrong, And after the Nazi did get the power they just silenced anyone that would speak against them.
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bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-03 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. the nail that stands up
gets hammered

some stood up... but not enough.

peace
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REP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-03 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #10
14. In Poland, They Weren't Told What To Do
but asked if killing the Jews was permitted.

It was.

Hitler's Willing Executioners is an interesting book that posits what happened in Germany happened because pre-existing hatreds were catered to, and once it was known it was permitted, many were willing to join in.

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REP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-03 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
9. Related Experiment - Stanford Prison Experiment
http://www.prisonexp.org /

Has some relevancy to so-called War on Terror.
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-03 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
15. This, too, says a lot.
Edited on Mon Sep-01-03 08:59 AM by Buzzz
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/08/31/politics/main...

"Two-thirds of voters including two-thirds of Democrats were unable to name ANY of the Democratic candidates for president, said the CBS News poll out Sunday."

The electorate is oblivious.

(Somewhat off topic. Sorry.)
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-03 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
16. Vaguely familiar.
Never thought it was such a big deal, though.

As social creatures, we are constantly in positions of doing things we might not feel comfortable with, but are necessary, or fit in with the societal norm. It's difficult to imagine any working society where we all answer to our own moral leadings and ignore what anyone else, in authority or not, says.

It was an interesting experiment, and did show that there are often limits to what we can order people to do, but the discussion that Ahrendt's "banality of evil" started explores the limits in the real world.



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Gman2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-03 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. my experiment
I conducted a similar experiment many years ago. I was not strange looking or straggled like the punks. I went to punk shows and was attacked by 12 or so punks who encircled me and with fists flying at my face, I managed to duck them all and throw some blows before ducking under their feet and crawling out. I theorized that they even more than most valued conformity and not their professed nonconformity.

I went to a black flag show at Bacy's hall. The show was to start at 8. They didnt open the door and at 8:10. I wanted to test the theory of punk conformity, so I incited the crowd by yelling that we had all payed our tickets and they better open up. They cant do this to us. Lets rush the door. A security guard came thru and sprayed mace. I then trampled at least 50 or more punks as I escaped the mace. I was on a porch and they toppled like dominoes. I ran past the gathering riot police and was glad to leave the area. My friend stayed and relayed that the crowd entered the hall and took case after case of beer and booze. They tore the drywall off the walls. they tore the bathroom fixtures off. The hall was destroyed and Black Flag was banned from playing in Los Angeles. they were defacto banned in orange county too. Bacy's hall incident can be pointed to as the end of the punk era in calif. What it taught me is that humans are very gullible and can be lead by anyone willing to act with authority. It is clear that provacateurs can easily manipulate groups into actions not in their interest. This was one of the defining moments in my life. And yes, I knew of these experiments at that time.
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-01-03 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
18. Very few people generate
Edited on Mon Sep-01-03 10:08 AM by teryang
...their own decisions internally. Most rely on "projections" or superficial belief templates provided by government and religion to guide their behavior. These templates in no way correspond with reality. They substitute for reason, intuition, and and the "will" of individual psyches. But they relieve the individual of having to cope with reality because they provide the obvious signposts to "approved" thought and behavior for the daily routine existence 99 percent of people are faced with daily.

The projected template enables the average person to deny the barbarian in himself. He sees evil in others but is blind to his evil. The enemy does wrong, but we kill for a "just cause." The enemy is a terrorist, therefore we must kill "them" and seize their territory. It is unfortunate but necessary that we kill thousands of innocents. We are doing it for thier own good. They will see the light when they understand our projection. They must be civilized to our own way of thought.

It is the reliance on projection to the detriment of (destabilizing) critical thought that causes the state to blur the distinction between religion and state ideology in order to manipulate the mind of the masses with its own new religion. The inability to see its own "evil" is the source of the greatest crimes of mankind. The conquistator and missionary travel hand in hand with conquest and the "glad tidings" which require "smart bombs" and superior killing technology. Enemy bombs are terroristic and irrational, therefore they are evil.

This function of projection is operating at its most obvious when its proponents in describing the "evil" of the objects of its aggression appear (to those unaffected) to be describing their own character and motives. It follows necessarily that no one understands Saddam Hussein or Osama bin laden better than our occupants in the WH and executive offices for they are describing themselves. They are willing to lie and kill on a massive scale to get what they want. Of course those unaffected by the ostensibly Judeo Christian projection readily see through it. This explains the huge new gulf between the new American Imperium and the perception of foreign observers.

<The common man suffers from a hybris of conciousness that borders on the pathological. This psychic condition...corresponds by and large to the hypertrophy and totalitarian pretensions of the idealized State.> C. Jung (1944)


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