Stanley Milgram – Obedience to Authority – 1965 Experiment – Google Video

Stanley Milgram – Obedience to Authority – 1965 Experiment – Google Video

This is an old experiment, but a chilling one nonetheless. At around 43 minutes and 33 seconds in the video, right near the end, the experimenter laments “The results, as I observed them in the laboratory, are disturbing. They raise the possibility that human nature can not be counted on to insulate men from brutality and inhumane treatment at the direction of malevolent authority. 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. If in this study, an anonymous experimenter could successfully command adults to subdue a fifty year old man, and force on him painful electric shocks against his protests one can only wonder what government, with its vastly greater authority and prestige can command of its subjects.”

I am willing to bet that the architects of Abu Ghraib know this movie by heart, as well as the complete published results of the study, the way my generation knows the dialog of the Breakfast Club…

-Chris Knight

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