2 min read

The Human Tendency to Obey

The Human Tendency to Obey

From childhood, we were all taught to obey. We first obeyed the parental figures in our lives and then other adults who were in authority over us. We even played games like "Follow the Leader" and "Simon Says." Occasionally though, we were reminded, usually by our parents – not to follow the leader – when they thought we were involved with the wrong crowd. Our mothers would say something like "if someone tells you to jump in the fire, are you going to jump in the fire?" To which we would reply, "Uhh...let me think about that mom and I'll get back to you."

The point is, we were inculcated as children to obey. As adults, that may either benefit us or be detrimental to us depending upon whether the authority figures in our lives have our best interests in mind. When we figure that one out, we act accordingly and either bestow our trust in that person and follow, or we no longer follow along because we realize that it's not in our best interest to obey. In regard to Covid-19, if we think it's in our best interest to get vaccinated, we obey authority. If we think that it's not in our best interest to get vaccinated, we disobey authority.

But what happens when an authority figure tells us to do something that is not in the best interest of someone else? What happens when an authority figure tells us to do something that violates the freedom or wishes of another person? Do we still obey, or do we maintain our respect for the rights of others? In 1961, Stanley Milgram Ph.D., a social psychologist at Yale University developed an experiment to answer those questions.

We live in a Covid-19 "agentic state." We have taken on the role of agents in a hierarchy controlled at the top by the government and medical authorities. We are told by these authority figures that "for the betterment of society" everyone should be vaccinated. So by default, the individual who chooses not to get vaccinated becomes a threat to everyone else. For example, nurses last year were rightly hailed as heroes on the front lines when Covid-19 hit, carrying out their duties often without proper protective equipment. This year however, some of these same nurses are leaving their jobs because they refuse to be vaccinated. For the betterment of society, they are being told to get vaccinated or lose their jobs. We are told by these authorities whom we perceive as the experts, that these rules and mandates are based on science. Yet, any information that happens to conflict with "science" is censored and labeled as "misinformation" and not open for public discourse. "Scientific theory" has been replaced by "scientific mandate."