The man who knows how to split the atom, but has no love in his heart becomes a monster.
- Jiddu Krishnamurti
You're locked in a room with 100 other people. You're informed at least five of them have no conscience, want to take advantage of you, and possibly murder you.
This subset are masters of deception, and can seamlessly blend in with the group, so it's extremely difficult to discern who they are. That said, they can target you - an ethical person - with ease.
The shameless know us much better than we know them. We have an extremely hard time seeing that a person has no conscience, but a person who has no conscience can instantly recognize someone who is decent and trusting.
- The Sociopath Next Door
These predators are deep evening hunters, sporting Night Vision goggles, and state-of-the-art weaponry, while you're blind and vulnerable.
Do you feel uneasy? How do you sleep, knowing when you do, any one of these five - if not all of them - might kill you?
They're incapable of feeling remorse, so what's to stop them from destroying you? They'd harbor zero guilt in doing so.
Can you ever relax, as long as you're stuck in that room? Existing in perpetual fear is exceedingly painful. Stress this extreme and protracted can result in adverse mental and physical effects.
Is the above some delusional scenario, or do these creatures exist, hidden among us?
Known as psychopaths and sociopaths, it's been asserted 1% of the global human population are the former; while 4%, the latter. If such is the case, and psychopathy and sociopathy are real, you've almost assuredly interacted with one or more of these hunters.
How would you know who they were? Wouldn't it be helpful if you could determine who was a psychopath, or sociopath?
Such could save you immense pain, when you consider these purported predators could exterminate you, and feel no contrition in doing so.
What if there was a separate species existing among humanity that looked like Homo sapiens, and acted like humans, yet were devoid of remorse, and ultimately vicious?
And what if some freak job of this ilk found his or her way into a position of power. What if a flotilla of 'em did?!
When conscience falls into a profound trance - when it sleeps through acts of torture, war and genocide - [...] a leader with no seventh sense can hypnotize the group [...].
Using fear-based propaganda to amplify a destructive ideology, such a leader can bring the members of a frightened society to see the "its" as the sole impediment to "the good life" for themselves; maybe even for humanity, as a whole, and the conflict as an epic battle between good and evil.
Once these beliefs have been disseminated, crushing the "its" without pity or conscience can, with chilling ease, become an incontrovertible mandate.
- The Sociopath Next Door
How many fools became paid assassins, known as soldiers, ready to kill their own species - they'd never met before - in "Iraq"? Such is the same as exterminating a stranger on the street. You don't even know them! Why would you want to kill them,...unless you were brainwashed, insane, or both?!
Because they believe in "authority," the monetarily impoverished contract themselves out to assassinate other humans they've never interacted with. "Leaders" - "authority" figures - have indoctrinated these financial insolvents into accepting they're "Americans," those in "Iraq" are "Iraqi," and the two are mortal enemies.
The same brainwashing is implemented in every other "country." "Russians" are informed it's imperative they fight for some non-existent ideal, while citizens of "Britain," "China," "Iraq," "Israel," "Pakistan," etc., are fed similar bullshit.
If we're that easily mind controlled, why are we still here? What's the point of being, if we allow ourselves to be dominated? Constantly domineered by the deceitful, we'll never accomplish anything of worth.
We'll collect pointless pieces of paper - called cash - perpetuate the reign of our slave masters, and be wiped from Earth, leaving nothing of value in our wake. As long as we capitulate to this system, the only thing we'll ever do is sustain said system. Those we view as "authority" will never allow us to do anything significant.
The recurrence throughout history of this [...] type of leader raises a long list of dumbfounding questions: Why does the human race tolerate this sorrowful story over and over like a mindless broken record? Why do we continue to allow leaders - who are motivated by self-interest, or by their own psychological issues from the past - to fan bitterness [...] into armed confrontation and war? In the worst instances, why do we let people [...] play games of dominance with other people's lives? What becomes of our individual consciences? Why do we not stand up for what we feel?
One explanation is our trance-like state, which lets us believe the ones who are dying are only "its," anyway. And there is fear of course; always, and often, a sense of helplessness. [...]
Very simply, we are programmed to obey authority, even against our own consciences.
- The Sociopath Next Door
People place more credence in "authority" the closer it is to them. Your parent - an "authority" figure - orders you to do something immediately. Are you more apt to follow that mandate if they deliver it in your presence, or on the phone from the other side of the planet?
The "authority" of television is right there in your home. It couldn't get any more intimate, unless TV was jammed up your asshole. Most view this medium as another loyal member of the immediate family. After all, television is inside your house, and you wouldn't allow somebody you didn't trust within that sacred space, would you?
Walter Cronkite couldn't have been more full of shit if he was a sewage plant operating at 1,000 times its intended capacity. Yet, there he was, every night - a fatherly "authority" figure - distributing lies and propaganda in your living room!
And if you don't think ol' Walt lied to you, he sold you on "America," didn't he? The same "America" you can easily prove doesn't exist, by flying over the planet at 33,000 feet, looking down, and seeing no borders around any "country." The same "America" that nuked its own citizens on over 1,000 occasions, and attempted to disguise such as "tests." The "USA" that brainwashes you you live in the "land of the free," yet forces you to pay it, in order to survive.
Yeah, Walt was as much of a prize as a blue ribbon for Most Productive Pedophile. But you believed him because he looked like your grandfather, and everybody knows gramps is "authority," and hence someone to be heeded.
Packaging is, thus, also important. Deliver demands in sweat pants, as opposed to a white lab coat with your name and "Ph.D." embroidered on it, and the number of folks obeying "authority" drastically declines.
Our society is divided into a hierarchy whereby some members are viewed as "authority," while others aren't. We don't often doubt those afforded prestigious positions, but those who haven't warranted credibility are marginalized or discounted.
Refer to yourself as a doctor, and most will be hesitant to question you. Toil as a fast food slave, and you'll receive a vastly different response, even though the information the latter has to dispense may be more valid than what the former is imparting.
The president assumes a particular role in our minds, as do congresspeople, governors and senators. In contrast, somebody who's homeless - although they may be extremely smart, and speaking the truth - are often ignored.
In the early 1960s, psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted a series of tests at Yale University, proving the lethal nature of adherence to "authority."
A classified was placed seeking subjects for an experiment. Allegedly, these trials were an effort to determine whether inducing punishment - in the form of pain - caused people to learn more readily.
Applicants were divided into two groups - denoted "learner" and "teacher" - and separated into adjacent rooms. The learner could hear the teacher, as he spoke into a microphone, and the teacher could ostensibly hear the learner through the wall between them. Neither were able to see one another.
With an "authority" figure present - a "scientist" in a white lab coat - the teacher was instructed to speak a word association test through the mic.
Strapped to a chair, and wired to a source of "electrical current," the learner was directed to answer the questions posed, by pressing one of four buttons on a numeric pad in front of him. If the learner gave the correct response, the teacher would move on to the next question. Should the learner provide an incorrect answer, the teacher was mandated to administer a voltaic shock to the learner, and then proceed further into the test.
In front of the teacher was a large switchboard, complete with toggles at regular intervals. Above these switches were demarcations denoting the amount of voltage per lever. With each incorrect answer, the number of volts increased by 15.
Below the dosages were designated terms like "Moderate Shock," "Very Strong Shock," "Extreme Intensity Shock," "Danger: Severe Shock," and finally "XXX." In this way, unless the teachers were blind or illiterate, they knew full well how dangerous the electricity was they were delivering to the learner.
In addition, each teacher was shocked once themselves, prior the experiment, in order to provide them a barometer, as to the level of pain they'd be inflicting. Immediately afterward, the "authority" figure in the lab coat would ask them to venture a guess regarding how much voltage they received.
Invariably, the teachers believed they had been given far higher a dosage than the 45 volts they had actually been administered. They now had personal comprehension of how painful even a slight dose of electricity was, let alone a lethal amount of 450 volts.
One might surmise, after delivering an electric shock to someone, and hearing screams of protest emanating from the opposite side of the wall, a person would stop inflicting such agony. One would be correct...but only a partial percentage of the time.
Two-thirds of the teachers delivered lethal shocks to the learners, simply because the "authority" in the white lab coat ordered them to. This is proof positive these people became anything but individuals, and failed to think for themselves.
Consider the ramifications of that, as this trial has been conducted thousands of times over the years, by multitudinous experimenters. Provided circumstances of the test remain constant, the same percentage of folks are so brainwashed, they're willing to kill another human being, because "authority" tells them to do so. That means two-thirds of the population would shock you to death, if ordered by "authority."
A substantial proportion of people do what they are told to do, irrespective of the content of the act, and without limitations of conscience, so long as they perceive that the command comes from a legitimate authority. If, in this study, an anonymous experimenter could successfully command adults to subdue a 50 year old man, and force on him painful electric shocks against his protests, one can only wonder what government - with its vastly greater authority and prestige - can command of its subjects.
- Stanley Milgram
If that isn't definitive proof regarding how dangerous it is to believe "authority" has the "right" to command people, nothing is.
Dress a mass murderer in a suit, and folks have been brainwashed to believe he's "successful," superior and somebody they should listen to. Put a serial rapist in a cop uniform, and suddenly he can order you around, and you feel forced to comply.
I would say, on the basis of having observed a thousand people in the experiment and having my own intuition shaped and informed by these experiments, that if a system of death camps were set up in the United States of the sort we had seen in Nazi Germany, one would find sufficient personnel for those camps in any medium-sized American town.
- Stanley Milgram
Nobody was actually shocked during the Milgram Experiments, as no current ran through the electrical wires between the teacher and the learner. Moreover, the latter was always an actor, working on behalf of these tests, to determine to what extent the "teachers" would go, when coerced by "authority." The cries of anguish delivered by the learner were actually prerecorded responses, played at the various "voltaic" intervals, by those conducting the experiment.