Here’s Why People Submit To Authority


Are the psychological forces that compel people to obey same or different? Is there a conflict between obedience to authority and personal conscience?BZ1C2KUCOSU

World War II’s war-criminals claimed they were simply following orders and could not be held responsible for their ghastly acts. Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted a series of social psychology experiments in July 1961, three months after the start of the trial of German Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Milgram devised his psychological study to answer an intriguing question: Could it be that Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?

Milgram found that obedience to authority is ingrained in all of us – people can follow orders from a morally right legitimate authority even to the extent of killing an innocent human being. His experiment demonstrated that most people would give a helpless victim fatal electric shocks when ordered to.

Milgram summarized the experiment in his 1974 article The Perils of Obedience:

The legal and philosophic aspects of obedience are of enormous importance, but they say very little about how most people behave in concrete situations. I set up a simple experiment at Yale University to test how much pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another person simply because he was ordered to by an experimental scientist. Stark authority was pitted against the subjects’ [participants’] strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, and, with the subjects’ [participants’] ears ringing with the screams of the victims, authority won more often than not. The extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study and the fact most urgently demanding explanation.

Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.

“The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority,” Milgram concluded.


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  1. if most poeple dont want to have decent moral values and just do whatever authority says, do most poeple than even deserve a society with decent moral values?

  2. That’s true… but it’s more than that really. It’s cash. Submitting to an authority figure is a matter of survival for a lot of people. It’s not like, people just want to do it all the time.

  3. I think the reason for this lies in social conditioning. For centuries, generation after generation, people have been taught ever since childhood in many ways that truth always comes from authority. Be it parents, teachers, employers, police officers, poiliticians.. it applies to all forms of authority. And to make matters worse, conformity is also encouraged while critically thinking is discouraged or even punished.. multiplying its effect.

    The result is a society in where the natural order of authority is completely unbalanced, or even opposite of how it should be. And I see this principle coming back in almost every aspect of common modern behavior. For example; self-image. The reason why insecure people feel insecure and have a low self-esteem is because they have never learned to take their own responsiblity for their own self-image. Technically, insecurity means that people don’t know well enough who they are, so they need other people’s approval to feel good about themselves and to tell them who they are and what’s good or bad for them.

    This is the same psychological mechanism a child has. A child is not yet able to fully sustain itself, so it needs the approval of an authority figure (usually parents) in order to survive. But naturally as with all animals, during puberty the child starts to form his own identity and learns to rely upon itself. This can also be seen in tribes still living in the jungle and who haven’t been (or very little) in contact with modern society. Now here’s the problem; because of the inbalanced authority roles in our western society, this maturation process gets disturbed, causing a majority of people to not properly mature on an emotional level.

    This is also one of the reasons why many people are quite passive in certain aspects, always depending on others or blaming everyone else for all their problems or unable to think for themselves. And also following orders without (hardly any) question. On an emotional level, they still reason in a child-like manner. Authority has many aspects.. power, control, potential, accountability & responsibility, it’s all connected and part of the same thing. You can’t have one aspect without the others. So, when you blindly follow orders given by someone else, it’s also the reason why you don’t feel responsible for the consequences of your actions. Because the way you experience it, the one giving you orders has the authority over your actions. And this is something very dangerous in my opinion, the most horrible & brutal things people have done to others throughout human history were done because they were ‘just following orders’.

    The only way to counter this massively scaled epidemic of ‘terminal obedience’ (as I like to call it), is by drastically altering our children’s system of education. So that they are being taught & encouraged to think for themselves, question things etc.

    • Very well thought out and express Lody Brian, thanks for sharing. However, a lack of maturity in no way excuses the wrong doings of many in authority positions, such as police officers, politicians, soldiers, etc. They are adults, and they have the power to exercise discretion.

      • Thanks! And exactly, it should under no circumstances be an excuse. People need to start realizing their own authority, and with that authority also comes responsibility.

    • well the problem is that governments control education. modern education does not prepare you for your life, it conditions you, it molds you to follow the norm to be norm-al. but ofcource they define the norm.

      as long as we do not take matter in our own hands, we will continue to submit to and obey authority.

  4. Hey when i read this i can give you some informations how they really act , i think they have a really high expirienced technology to control all our minds with scalar and ultrastrong electronic field which is used to control the mind , based on nicola teslas work , it called mind controll they work with scalar waves over many different points and radar stations … they got this technolgy since a very long time like microwave signals , they have figgured out a world wide mind controllinng network , like haarp or the giant tesla towers in russia or the ground radar System, they have on earth, i come from germany, warburg and i felt it one day , that they can read out and write data to other peoples brain … i done research about it and found some interessting things about that… look at elektronische folter at google and look at other victims , or nikola teslas todesmaschine and you will see, that they can manipulate peoples brain like a robot … and i think , that they could that since a long time , i also think that they got this technology early in the third reich for give Hitler his empidemic mind power over all the people maybe there is a deep right orientatet organization which have the world in their hands and they got this technology since a long long time … someone like the freimauerer or bilderberger read about this organizations and the technology its syntetic telepathie based on electronic fields and waves which is the satans self , it could be, that that is a technologie from a different liveform which is in contact with the earth since a long time… there a some good species and also some bad species which visit us since thousands of years and i could think that they overgive this technology to some organizations with bad energy in themselve

    • Everything you wrote is completely ACCURATE. The people they do it to are called Targeted Individuals. I know this because sadly, it is happening to me. I wouldn’t have believed it if it wasn’t happening to me but it is. 24hrs, every day of my life. It is sick and the people who do it are weak and soul-less.

    • Everything you said is true – but people don’t or can’t believe it.

      This technology should be banned, it is anti-freedom and anti-God.

  5. Obedience to authority is a contractual expectation. I haven’t considered every paper I’ve signed be it military, work, or otherwise… nor have I thought out every form I’ve written my name upon online. Parents are a child’s first authority figure, a teacher runs a class, a boss runs a restaurant, a coach runs a team. When people are formed to any sort of unit, it’s up to the authority to delegate the team to their assigned task.

    But… you could be a farmer? A farmer doesn’t have to answer to any specific authority. Farmers live out in the country, and their well being relies on their own hard work and effort.


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