I will most certainly cover the speech that President Obama gave in Cincinnati involving the Brent Spence Bridge replacement, but for this event I found the kind of people who follow and listen to the President more fascinating. When I learned that 300 tickets would be given away by the White House for the event, I pondered what type of person would get in line to actually listen to the man speak. Because it is clear to me that this current president is not a manager, he’s simply an actor. He is a mouth piece for special interest himself, in this case organized labor and I can see through him. So who in their right mind would take off work to see a guy fly into downtown Cincinnati to basically put peer pressure on Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell to pass a Jobs Bill which is basically a “bail out” of organized labor, particularly teachers? Teachers as a group have dug their own graves financially, and here was the President of the United States coming to the battleground state of Ohio to tie the plight of teachers to a much-needed bridge. So this was a very interesting case of group psychology to me.
Who are these people who support the president? Who are these people who can’t see the truth even when it’s right in front of them?
Watching those people speak proudly proclaiming their support of President Obama my mind was directed to the Milgram Experiment conducted in 1961 at Yale University by Stanley Milgram. The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of notable experiments in social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram, measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience. Milgram first described his research in 1963 in an article published in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, and later discussed his findings in greater depth in his 1974 book, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View.
You can learn more about the Milgram Experiment at this link:
Be sure to watch the following videos which show this experiment in action.
It was clear to me the way that Obama set up his visit so that he was establishing himself as an authority figure otherwise known as “the experimenter” who orders the “teacher” in this case the union representatives at this event (SEIU, AFL-CIO, Teamsters), to inflict upon the “learner,” (meaning the rest of us), whatever level of shock necessary to achieve his agenda. In this case the learner was Speaker Boehner and Mitch McConnell directly. By targeting the bridge both of Obama’s political rivals are joined both metaphorically, and physically, Obama placed himself on the national stage as the “experimenter.”
In Milgram’s first set of experiments, 65 percent (26 of 40) of experiment participants administered the experiment’s final massive 450-volt shock, though many were very uncomfortable doing so; at some point, every participant paused and questioned the experiment, some said they would refund the money they were paid for participating in the experiment.
Milgram summarized the experiment in his 1974 article, “The Perils of Obedience”, writing:
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.
Ironically, that 65% who were willing to administer the most deadly amount of shock seem to be consistent with my own observations of the people around me, and I saw them in that audience wanting to see the president. They were there chanting when he told them to, repeating the words he did like mindless robots, believing the authority figure that President Obama represents.
When I see the president I see a mindless figurehead, who I wouldn’t trust to coach a little league football team. But then again, I know I’m certainly not one of those 65% who would administer the most deadly amount of shock. I am the type of person who wouldn’t even sit down to ask the first question, and I certainly wouldn’t be coaxed to push a button which administers pain, because I would question the validity of the experiment at its root. So it is clear to me, and many others, but it’s not so clear to people like the citizens who went to see the president speak in downtown Cincinnati on September 22, 2011.
The crimes of humanity have always been perpetrated by that 65%, those mindless followers who are too timid to think for themselves. It is they who prop up the dictator, the authority figure and open the door to tyranny time and time again. They were there to collapse the Roman Empire, to crumble Egyptian Civilization, to cause Japan into Feudal conflict. They followed Genghis Khan into a conquest of the East. They propped up the expansion of Napoleons’ Empire. Those 65% have committed enormous evils upon the face of the Earth because they were too lazy to think, and submitted too easily to authority.
We are all taught to trust authority figures, and to submit to them when told without question. This starts in our elementary education (hence the emphasis by the president on “education”) and for many people they begin digging their own graves toward a free thinking life before they ever get out of kindergarten. So it was no surprise to see the most mindless among our society clamoring to an authority figure represented by President Obama hoping to be told what to do, and what to think.
It must be terrible to have such shallow will, and minds of mush to lazily await the flowery words of an “experimenter” to guide their minds to its next destination of thought. Such a prison isn’t worth any level of financial reward the “experimenter” is paying to play in their little game which is always a climb for power by the “experimenter.” Such beliefs are part of the static patterns of our society, and shamefully so long as they exist will always be the people who hold the door open for the tyrants of the world as those tyrants attempt to be the next ruler of the masses in the history of humanity.
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