Archive for the ‘Obedience’ Category

Three Disproofs Of Authority

Three Disproofs of Authority

When discussing politics with non-anarchists, the subject of authority often comes up as an objection to accepting any ideas of liberty. Indeed, authority is that pesky stumbling block that we must overcome if ideas of liberty and freedom are to be successfully communicated and understood. Consider the following statements that often come up when discussing authority:

    We need to have authority otherwise there’d be chaos; thus we need a group that has authority.
    Authority is limited to those things the people allow through their consent.
    It allows people in government to set moral rules for society; otherwise there would be chaos!!!Whenever people vote they give authority to politicians to make certain decisions that we can’t do.

    And so on…

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The Perils of Obedience by Stanley Milgram


I came across this article a while ago, then forgot about it. Now, rediscovered, I thought I’d share it with you.

It really is a primer on how politics work. Separate responsibility from action and people will kill for you.

Although I wonder if it’s contingent on our current circumstances, or if indeed it’s a flaw of human nature. All you can do is judge for yourself:

Obedience is as basic an element in the structure of social life as one can point to. Some system of authority is a requirement of all communal living, and it is only the person dwelling in isolation who is not forced to respond, with defiance or submission, to the commands of others. For many people, obedience is a deeply ingrained behavior tendency, indeed a potent impulse overriding training in ethics, sympathy, and moral conduct.