Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 1 Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 4 (5 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   2 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Film Highlights the Temptations and Perils of Blind Obedience to Authority

      (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Valuable 3   Must Read 2   Well Said 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 8/27/12

Author 4807
Become a Fan
  (127 fans)
- Advertisement -
Cross-posted from The Guardian

Indie film Compliance recalls notions that the past decade's worst events are explained by failures to oppose authority

One can object to some of its particulars, but Frank Bruni has a quite interesting and incisive New York Times column today about a new independent film called Compliance, which explores the human desire to follow and obey authority.

Based on real-life events that took place in 2004 at a McDonalds in Kentucky, the film dramatizes a prank telephone call in which a man posing as a police officer manipulates a supervisor to abuse an employee with increasing amounts of cruelty and sadism, ultimately culminating in sexual assault -- all by insisting that the abuse is necessary to aid an official police investigation into petty crimes.

That particular episode was but one of a series of similar and almost always-successful hoaxes over the course of at least 10 years, in which restaurant employees were manipulated into obeying warped directives from this same man, pretending on the telephone to be a police officer.

Bruni correctly notes the prime issue raised by all of this: "How much can people be talked into and how readily will they defer to an authority figure of sufficient craft and cunning?" That question was answered 50 years ago by the infamous experiment conducted by psychologist Stanley Milgram, in which an authority figure in a lab coat instructed participants to deliver what they were told were increasingly severe electric shocks to someone in another room whom they could hear but not see. Even as the screams became louder and more agonizing, two-thirds of the participants were induced fully to comply by delivering the increased electric shocks.

Most disturbingly, even as many expressed concerns and doubts, they continued to obey until the screams stopped -- presumably due to death (subsequent experiments replicated those results). As the University of California's Gregorio Billikopf put it, the Milgram experiment "illustrates people's reluctance to confront those who abuse power," as they "obey either out of fear or out of a desire to appear co-operative -- even when acting against their own better judgment and desires."

Click Here to Read Whole Article

- Advertisement -

 
- Advertisement -
 
- Advertisement -
Build a Community of Supporters

Ad info: click here

Top Content
in the Last 2 Days
(by Page Views)

Why the "Sultan of Chaos" is freaking out by Pepe Escobar (see # of pageviews)

Assange UN Decision Foreshadows Crucial Changes by Deena Stryker (see # of pageviews)

Peace Talks "Paused" After Putin's Triumph in Aleppo by Mike Whitney (see # of pageviews)

The Super Bowl Promotes War by David Swanson (see # of pageviews)

Who Would Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton Prosecute and Jail? by Rob Kall (see # of pageviews)

Falling in love with squats, sort of by Bob Gaydos (see # of pageviews)

Assange's Unlawful Detention Ruling Puts UK in the Dock, by Mark John Maguire by Mark Maguire (see # of pageviews)

The Federal Reserve Board and the Presidential Candidates by Dean Baker (see # of pageviews)

Who Hatched Rubio? by Greg Palast (see # of pageviews)

Can Bernie Survive "Strip & Flip"? by Joan Brunwasser (see # of pageviews)

If You Want to Win, Go Progressive by Thom Hartmann (see # of pageviews)

In answer to you question about what I have 'n: http://www.opednews.com/populum/showcomment.php?cid=569816 by Eileen Shinners (see # of pageviews)

UN Rules Julian Assange is "Arbitrarily Detained" by Paul Craig Roberts (see # of pageviews)

Hungarian Lessons by Linh Dinh (see # of pageviews)

Giving Peace Very Little Chance by Robert Parry (see # of pageviews)

Speaking for God! by Fakeer Ishavardas (see # of pageviews)

When in Rome: "Criminal Consequences" for Assange's Tormentors? by Thomas Knapp (see # of pageviews)

Are The Payroll Jobs Reports Merely Propaganda Statements? by Paul Craig Roberts (see # of pageviews)

Bernie Sanders lacks foreign policy experience, but also his rivals' errors by Trevor Timm (see # of pageviews)

Why Have New Hampshire Democrats Gone Gaga for Bernie Sanders? by David Corn (see # of pageviews)

Media Sets Up Another "Comeback Kid" Scenario for Clinton in Diebold Country, NH by Ralph Lopez (see # of pageviews)

At The New Hampshire Democratic Presidential Debate, Populism Wins by Robert Borosage (see # of pageviews)

Iowa caucus eccentricities: Heads I win, Bernie, tails you lose by Bob Gaydos (see # of pageviews)

Hillary vs Bernie: The View From Berkeley by Bob Burnett (see # of pageviews)

Des Moines Register, Questioning Caucus Results, Says "Something smells in the Democratic Party" by Rob Kall (see # of pageviews)

Go To Top 50 Most Popular

- Advertisement -
The Last War Crime movie
The Last War Crime movie
What if there was only one chance for justice?

- Advertisement -
the Republican-Christian Alliance
Traces the pathway the Republican-Christian Alliance took, from historical reality to an all-too-predictable dystopic future What if there was only one chance for justice?

Classics of Liberal Thinking

Progressive Radio Links

- Advertisement -
Help us restore justice and free Don Siegelman