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Thursday, December 31, 2020

A National Milgram Experiment


A National Milgram Experiment

Have you heard about the rules for eating in public places in California?  You are supposed to wear a mask even after sitting at the table, removing it enough to take a bite and then putting it back on.  Who would have thought that anyone would propose such a ridiculous idea, or that people would follow these orders? 

The media feasts on the fear they spread like a disease.  The result is a cowed nation following orders that make little or no sense.  Healthy people shut themselves in their homes for months and avoid meeting with family and friends.  In Virginia, most of the people I see in stores and offices are wearing masks.  A fair number of people alone in their cars are wearing are masks, and a few people walking or jogging for exercise are wearing masks.  In California, forget about dining out anywhere until January 4th, 2021.

What’s interesting is that isolation and mask-wearing don’t seem to be helping.  According to the CDC, during the last 7 days California (the purple line) is off-the-charts for new Covid-19 cases compared to all other states.

Note that states like Florida (the green line) is open for businesses.  This brings into question whether the restrictions that have been placed on people in various states are either reasonable or scientifically valid. 

I suggest that any public official that issues unreasonably restrictive or medically questionable orders should be ridiculed and defied.

The rules we are living under resemble Communist societies.  State legislators have not passed these rules that we live under.  We are ruled by decree.  Legal penalties including fines and jail time are being imposed for non-compliance.  Pressures via social media are incredible.  People not wearing masks are literally accused of murder.  This is totalitarian.

 It reminds me of the Milgram experiment.  Here is a brief synopsis.

Why is it so many people obey when they feel coerced? Social psychologist Stanley Milgram researched the effect of authority on obedience. He concluded people obey either out of fear or out of a desire to appear cooperative--even when acting against their own better judgment and desires. Milgram’s classic yet controversial experiment illustrates people's reluctance to confront those who abuse power.

Milgram recruited subjects for his experiments from various walks of life. Respondents were told the experiment would study the effects of punishment on learning ability. Respondents thought they had an equal chance of playing the role of a student or of a teacher, but the process was rigged so all respondents ended up playing the teacher. The "learner" was an actor Milgram hired.

"Teachers" were asked to administer increasingly severe electric shocks to the "learner" when questions were answered incorrectly. Shock levels were labeled from mild, to painful, to deadly.

The "learner" (the actor) appeared to react to shocks depending on the supposed severity.  The experimenter would pressure the “teachers” to give increasing levels of shock for each wrong answer.   The actor would pretend to show increasing levels of pain, to the point of screaming.

Milgram was shocked to find those who questioned authority were in the minority. Sixty-five percent (65%) of the teachers were willing to progress to the maximum voltage level, which could have killed the “learner.” 

Milgram showed that many of us are willing to literally torture people when told to by an authority.   

Recall that at the Nuremberg trials the common excuse for Nazi atrocities was that “I was only following orders.”   

In many states, jobs and businesses are destroyed by Governors and mayors issuing fatuous, ill-considered orders with no concern for the damage caused to the people affected.  It is a disgrace.  We are being ruled by petty political hacks acting like medieval Barons ruling by decree.  They are using the Wuhan flu as an excuse to rule as dictators. 

There is a movement in California to recall Governor Gavin Newsome, evidence that there are a fair number of people there who are appalled enough to sign a petition, if not rise up and take to the streets.  Elon Musk is moving his entire organization from California to Texas, and others are doing the same.  

 Governor Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio are struggling to see which one can do more to drive the people out of New York faster.

The original Milgram experiment ended when Milgram explained to his subjects that they were being hoaxed.   The end of this experiment will end when we, the subjects, see through the hoax, refuse to take part and rebel.


thisishabitforming said...

This reminds me of a comment my father made at one time. He had lived thru the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. He was forced to work for the Nazi’s and although never in a concentration camp he was all to familiar with life under an occupying force. Years after the war, living safely in small town America, the question came up as to how could people be so cruel as to commit the atrocities of Nazi Concentration camps, Where do you find the people who could do such horrible things to other people? His response was, “You can find those people everywhere”. And how true, Milgram found them easily enough, you see Antifa members blocking the progress of elderly Jews making their way across a busy street with a walker, teenage thugs playing the knock out game on random people on the street, rioters burning city blocks because city officials tell the police to stand down, and Governors who control their populations with fear and coercion to their own self destruction because they have convinced them to wear that mask and close their schools and business or you’ll kill Grandma.

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