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Monday, January 4, 2021

The Milgram Experiment & The Social Experiment Of 2020


I know that this video is longer than most people are willing to watch.  But it's important to consider what is presented here (hat tip to Infidel Bloggers Alliance):

Related reading: The Milgram Shock Experiment.  Excerpt [my commentary]:
Milgram suggested that two things must be in place for a person to enter the agentic state: 

1. The person giving the orders is perceived as being qualified to direct other people’s behavior. That is, they are seen as legitimate.  [Dr. Fauci?  Other scientists, including the various departments of public health?]

2. The person being ordered about is able to believe that the authority will accept responsibility for what happens.  [Government stimuli packages?

Agency theory says that people will obey an authority when they believe that the authority will take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. This is supported by some aspects of Milgram’s evidence. 

For example, when participants were reminded that they had responsibility for their own actions, almost none of them were prepared to obey. In contrast, many participants who were refusing to go on did so if the experimenter said that he would take responsibility.
Please read it all HERE.  

Your thoughts as to if the COVID-19 Pandemic is being used to program Americans to be both the inflicters and the submissives of the agentic state?


  1. The authority must be recognized by the agent as a properly constituted authority, and even then be willing to recognize if that action demanded is moral or ethical.
    We have sheriffs who are refusing to enforce lockdowns/masks because they disagree with the legality or priority of the governor/health-department's order.

    1. Yes, thanks Ed. There are positive signs out there as well. All is not lost.

  2. That was a good video. I think the petty tyrants ordering the whole citizenry under house arrest are doing it out of cowardice and also the heady frisson of exercising tyrannical power over others. Has anyone else notice not one state legislature has stepped in to check the power of the governors? Btw, most of those state houses are run by a GOP majority.

    Excellent post, AOW.


    If your comment disappears, its because it was off-topic.

  4. For me, the key is: Right to Withdrawal - The BPS states that researchers should make it plain to participants that they are free to withdraw at any time (regardless of payment).

    Did Milgram give participants an opportunity to withdraw? The experimenter gave four verbal prods which mostly discouraged withdrawal from the experiment:

    Please continue.
    The experiment requires that you continue.
    It is absolutely essential that you continue.
    You have no other choice, you must go on.

    Milgram argued that they are justified as the study was about obedience so orders were necessary. Milgram pointed out that although the right to withdraw was made partially difficult, it was possible as 35% of participants had chosen to withdraw.

    How do we "withdraw" from the 2020 experiment when the consequences are either unclear or perceived as "impossible"? If we wish to encourage disobedience, then we must present a clear alternative with more acceptable "consequences" when compared to continued obedience.

  5. As to obeying authority, I'd love to hear Silver and CI chime in on this about how Milgram's works in the military. What does it take for a soldier to disobey and not get sent to the brig?

    I'd also like to hear Ed's thoughts on Milgram and Christians obeying authority as it relates to Romans 13 and how whether something is ethical or moral is decided in a pluralistic, diverse society.

    1. Dave: See My Lai. Also see how many people have been punished for war crimes, and those who reported it did not suffer punishment. In my biased opinion and based on my experience, the military as an institution does a good job enforcing good order and discipline while supporting those who disobey and report unlawful orders. Of course, there are always exceptions.

    2. You have to excuse Dave, he has been suffering from TDS for 4 years now.

    3. I answered Dave. I guess he agrees.

  6. Interesting but frightening example of how to control society by totalitarians. The left uses fear instead of electric shocks to accomplish the same thing: fictitious catastrophic man-made climate change, and now the Covid pandemic being the foremost examples. The goal is the tight control of the populace, to make them think and act as the totalitarians deem necessary.

  7. Well, I'm definitely have been on board the whole time with Covid=Mail-in Ballots = Election Fraud, and now the left are thinking of or have thought of ways to get a lot more mileage out of it especially with so many submissives running around.

  8. Dave, I'm not sure what you are asking, but I will answer that om my radio show, a couple times at least, we have examined the Biblical precepts for obeying the government.
    In the U.S., the people are the king. They create law through their representative bodies.
    Orders based on Executive Fiat are not binding.
    and legislation must be guided by the Constitution.
    Beyond that, if a law or mandate is given that is not moral or ethical (does not agree with the Word of God), a Christian must obey his God.
    The Hebrew Mid-wives and Corrie Ten Boom come to mind.

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  10. Stimulus/response has been with us for a very long time; Pavlov was among the first to study it. By this time in the human/social evolution, we have all conformed to expected behavior. Wearing masks or staying locked up inside our homes is simply the most recent iteration and by the way, government has been doing this since the beginning of government. And conditioned response is how most religions work, too. Our self-appointed chaplain (Dave Miller) is one of this sites biggest Nazis, but in the name of the father, son, and holy spirit, of course.

    So, if you aren’t wearing a mask, then you can’t enter the store for groceries. If you won’t pay a fee to the government, you can’t have a driver’s license. If you don’t have a driver’s license, then you can’t drive a car, or buy booze, or get on a plane – in fact, you can’t do a lot of things without some form of ID (except vote, of course). Oh, and if you get on a commuter train without a mask, some ape will tase you with his device – because he can, because you aren’t conforming. No one says you can’t get on the commuter train without a mask; they’re just saying that if you do, there will be a price to pay. By now, we should all realize that the price to pay for living “peacefully in urban society” is doing what “the people” tell you, through their elected representatives or the communal leaders of St. Mark’s frontage store church. The only way to escape it is to become a hermit in the mountains of Vermont. Stay home – or face the prospect of coming down with COVID and get your ass kicked besides. Dude, it doesn’t get any better than this.

  11. The left has a great deal of disdain for the middle class. Their previous leader did everything he could over eight years to take the middle class and small business down and to enrich his millionaire contributors.

    Now we have the elected elite say if you own a small business you have to shut it down. If you work in an hourly wage job you have to stay at home. If you want to go to church you have to limit the number of people attending. If you need to vote for a speaker of the house you can gather in mass even if you have covid. We will send you a little money so we look like we care but this is what you get for wanting to control you life and not kneel at the feet of the leaders because they know what is best for you.

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  14. Hey I started out satirically blogging in 2004 with a claim to be from a future where everyone has to wear a gas mask. Don't say I didn't warn ypu.

    In all seriousness, I don't like to attribute to malice what can be easily explained by stupidity, but the America-hating leftist Donald Trump has provided no room to settle upon writing him off as merely stupid. It is demonstrable fact that the Trump administration's main response to the coronavirus crisis has been to set herd immunity as its goal, a policy that requires the deliberate infection and death of as many people as possible. Maybe it is all a misanthropic agenda darkly engineered to wipe out as many elderly, poor, and disabled welfare and entitlement recipients as possible so the debt to GDP ratio can compete with Trump's elevation of China's economic status in the world as they become the manufacturing base of everyone else in the world including the United States. We're at the point where Trump doing everything he can to destroy America and doing absolutely nothing to stop the effect of the coronavirus on America looks, smells, tastes, walks and quacks like the same duck. Why is the United States suffering the most in the pandemic? It's an inescapable conclusion that other countries don't have a Donald Trump in charge of them. In a few weeks we'll have lifted the ban on rationality in the White House and see what an actual pandemic response looks like, but we'll still have close to half a million deliberately or negligently murdered American citizens by then, while the rest of the world enjoys the decline in coronavirus deaths in their nations that comes as the fruit of actually doing something about it for the past 13 months.

    It's going to take awhile to reverse the effects of Trump turning the US into a petri dish full of weaponized disease carriers. I suggest everyone treat anyone entering the public square without a mask as a emboldened terrorist with mass murder as their intent and put them down at small arms range and burn them in piles where they drop. It's past time to stop coddling stupid. We've had enough of evil.


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