Hitler's Essay: The Perils Of Obedience

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"Be quiet! Write this down." We sometimes hear this or something like this quite often. We experience, witness, hear or come across commands, instructions, directions and orders daily at our workplaces, homes and schools. What are the factors that forces us or obey (or disobey) them? During the Nazi Germany concentration camps millions of people were killed. However, Hitler and a few others couldn't have been the ones who did it all. Why did everyone considered following the orders that were given? Was it the people who gave the order or were the people afraid? Was it the personality of the individual giving the orders? “In order to obey authority, the obeying person has to accept that it is legitimate for the command to be made of them.” There …show more content…

We have been trained to be obedient to authority. This quality is deep-rooted in us all from the manner in which we were brought up. It is natural for people to obey orders from those whom they recognized as their authority. This is the natural response to legitimate authority and can be learnt in a variety of situations. In a summary written in the article “The Perils of Obedience” (Milgram 1974), states: “The legal aspects of obedience are of enormous import, but they say very little about how most people behave in concrete situations.” The experiment set up at Yale University was to measure how much pain an ordinary citizen would mete out onto another person just because an authoritative direction or instruction to do so was given. 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.” 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 idea is reinforced by some characteristics of Milgram’s evidence in his

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