Tag Archives: Nazis

ELECTRIC SHOCK: HOW OBEDIENCE WORKS

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Mind Control – Stanley Milgram’s Experiment

In the aftermath of the Nazi Holocaust the world was shocked that normal citizens could be ordered to carryout heinous crimes.

Stanley Milgram developed experiments to test people’s obedience to authority and determine how far regular people would go in inflicting pain on others simply because some authority told them to.

The experiment consisted of two people on Milgram’s team, an Experimenter and an Assistant.   The Experimenter represented the authoritative figure and the Assistant was secretly assigned to represented the citizen subject.

A newspaper advert for a Psychology Experiment offering $4.50 per hour Recruited willing participants who became the Teacher representing ‘government’ workers under officials.

On arriving the Experimenter explains to the Recruit that they will be testing the effect of punishment on learning ability.  

The Assistant and Recruit draw lots to determine who will be the “Teacher” and who will be the “Student”.  The lots were rigged so as to ensure that the Recruit always became the Teacher.

The Assistant Student is then strapped into an electric chair connected to a switch marked with increasing shock voltages controlled by the Teacher.  The switch started with 15Volts and increased in 15 Volt increments all the way to 450 Volts.  The switch is also rated with labels starting from “slight shock” to “danger: severe shock” and the final two switches are labeled “XXX”.

The Teacher then reads two-world pairs from a list and the Student has to repeat the two word pair.  If the Student answers correctly the Teacher moves on to the next two-word pair in the list.  If the Student gets the answer wrong, the Teacher administers a shock to the Student starting at 15V and increasing the shock 15V for each incorrect answer.

The Student is actually part of the test team and acts as though being shocked.

Astonishingly every Recruit shocked the Student up to the 300 Volt switch.
65% of the Recruits shocked the Student to the maximum 450 Volts.

Milgram also conducted several follow-up experiments. In one experiment the Recruited “Teacher” was required to hold the hand of the Student when shocking the Student at any level above 150V.  32% of the Recruits held the hand of the Student when administering shocks in excess of 400V.  Other experiments revealed that Recruited Teachers were less obedient to Experimenters instructions to shock the Student when the Experimenter communicated with the Recruited Teacher remotely via telephone.

The experiments have been replicated by may other researchers around the world from 1961 to 1985 revealing the same astonishing obedience of Recruits to inflict pain on Students just because they are told to by someone claiming ‘authority’.

What is also interesting from Milgram’s research is that some “Teacher” Recruits would question the Experiment as to who was responsible for any harm to the Student.  When the Experimenter told the Recruit they accepted full responsibility, the Recruits, often despite being extremely uncomfortable continued to shock the Student.

“I observed a mature and initially poised businessman enter the laboratory smiling and confident.   Within 20 minuets he was reduced to a twitching, stuttering wreck, who was rapidly approaching nervous collapse.  He constantly pulled on his ear lobe, and twisted his hands. At one point he pushed his fist into his forehead and muttered ‘Oh God, lets stop it’.  And yet he continued to respond to every word of the Experimenter, and obeyed to the end.” – Milgram

The Big Question is whether recruits under some sort of authority are not guilty when they commit crime when their authority tells them to.  Milgram’s experiments were inspired by the Eichmann Trials.  Eichmann was a high ranking Nazi official largely responsible for setting up concentration camps and exterminating millions of Jews.  When he was caught in South America many years after the war and brought to trial in Israel, Eichmann’s primary defense was that his authorities told him to do it and that he was just following orders.  Eichmann with his calm, cool and collected posture on the stand during trial shocked the world.  Here was what appeared to be a reasonable man calmly saying that he slaughtered millions of people in the most horrific way because he was a good respectable official simply obeying the orders and wishes of his authorities.  Eichmann was properly found guilty and executed.  (See also Bushes and Bush Bolt Hole).

Clearly a key to this behavior, as reflected by the Recruits who asked who accepted responsibility for hurting the Student, is accountability.  Clearly authorities are accountable, despite the fact that they are seldom held accountable.  Those carrying out the crime for the authorities are also obviously accountable.  However, unless their is a clear and obvious understanding in society and law that if you commit a crime, no matter who tells you, you are responsible, their is little to prevent criminals running amuck in our government.

Results from Milgram’s experiment would be interesting if the Recruit “Teacher” was told that they would be held fully responsible for any injury suffered by the Student. At what voltage level would the Recruit stop shocking his subject?

Biblical Law which is defined in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, perhaps reflects a severity intended to bring the realization of responsibility and accountability to everyone.  Judge law, or “Case Law” as it is more commonly referred to, while obviously void it is however currently the de-facto law in U.S. Courts, is creating exactly the opposite problem.  See 11th Amendment which eliminates Judicial Power and how the U.S. Judiciary is absurdly claiming that the 11th Amendment grants government officials “sovereign immunity” when in fact the 11th Amendment and the very construct of the Constitution states just the opposite.  Criminals are often not held accountable by U.S. courts because they claim something in their past made them do it..

THE EUGENICS MOVEMENT

Article by Ransom Riggs – February 2, 2011 – 12:54 PM

Yesterday I wrote about an American breakfast cereal magnate who was a prominent eugenicist around the turn of the last century. After I posted it, I wanted to know more about the eugenics movement, and what I found was really disturbing. It seems that there’s quite a bit of evidence that the Nazis got their ideas about the “science” of racial purity from the American eugenics movement. Much of this can be found in a horrifying little tome called War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race, by Edwin Black.

This is incendiary stuff, I know, and since this is a blog post and not a journal article, I’ll stick to a few basic facts. It may all have started, strangely enough, with Charles Darwin’s cousin Sir Francis Galton, who in 1863 theorized that “if talented people only married other talented people, the result would be measurably better offspring.” Over the ensuing decades, a loose confederation of “race scientists” in America adopted and expanded upon these ideas, arguing that the opposite was also true — that by identifying and removing “defective” family trees, the gene pool could be improved. A 1911 study funded by the prestigious Carnegie Institute outlined possible “solutions” — it was titled “Preliminary Report of the Committee of the Eugenic Section of the American Breeder’s Association to Study and to Report on the Best Practical Means for Cutting Off the Defective Germ-Plasm in the Human Population.” There were eighteen so-called “solutions” outlined therein, including geographical isolation, forced sterilization, and euthanasia. (The Rockefeller Foundation also funded eugenics research.) A popular college textbook published in 1918, Applied Euguenics, writes that “From an historical point of view, the first method which presents itself is execution… Its value in keeping up the standard of the race should not be underestimated.”

There followed, in the 1920s and 30s, a number of state laws banning interracial marriage and state-legislated policies of compulsory sterilization. Virginia’s “Racial Integrity Act” mandated the sterilization of persons deemed to be “feebleminded,” including the “insane, idiotic, imbecile, or epileptic.” By 1956, twenty-four states had laws providing for involuntary sterilization on their books. These states collectively reported having forcibly sterilized 59,000 people over the preceding 50 years. Virginia’s law was finally repealed in 1979, and in 2001 Virginia governor Mark Warner issued an apology expressing “profound regret for the Commonwealth’s role in the eugenics movement.” The Supreme Court ruled a portion of Virginia’s law unconstitutional in 1967. Just forty years earlier the Supreme Court opened the floodgates for laws like Virginia’s in a decision in which, infamously, none other than Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind…. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” During the Nuremberg trials, the Nazis quoted Holmes and cited numerous American eugenics laws and policies in their own defense, to no avail.

Above: a eugenics exhibit from 1926. Similar exhibits found space at prestigious institutions around the country, including the L.A. County Museum — my city’s biggest.)  It’s pretty clear that Hitler studied the American eugenics movement, and co-opted a number of its most pernicious ideas. To quote Edwin Black’s book:

During the ’20s, Carnegie Institution eugenic scientists cultivated deep personal and professional relationships with Germany’s fascist eugenicists. In Mein Kampf, published in 1924, Hitler quoted American eugenic ideology and openly displayed a thorough knowledge of American eugenics. “There is today one state,” wrote Hitler, “in which at least weak beginnings toward a better conception [of immigration] are noticeable. Of course, it is not our model German Republic, but the United States.”

Hitler proudly told his comrades just how closely he followed the progress of the American eugenics movement. “I have studied with great interest,” he told a fellow Nazi, “the laws of several American states concerning prevention of reproduction by people whose progeny would, in all probability, be of no value or be injurious to the racial stock.”

Hitler even wrote a fan letter to American eugenic leader Madison Grant calling his race-based eugenics book, The Passing of the Great Race, his “bible.”

Of course, other nations practiced their own brands of eugenics. Australia stole thousands of mixed-race children from their Aboriginal parents so that they might be “assimilated” into the society of whites. In Canada, both Alberta and British Columbia had forced sterilization statues on the books, and made some new immigrants to the country undergo IQ tests to determine whether they should be allowed to procreate. Sweden had a sterilization program from the 1930s until the 1970s, which targeted the “deficient” and the “deviant,” though some report it also targeted ethnic minorities. Britain had its share of eugenicists during the time America did, but they never received state funding, nor were their ideas ever enshrined.

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LRS NOTE: The book “The Passing of the Great Raceby American attorney, Madison Grant, was immensely popular and went through multiple printings in the United States, and was translated into a number of other languages, notably German in 1925. By 1937 the book had sold 1,600,000 copies in the United States alone. Nordic theory was strongly embraced by the racial hygiene movement in Germany in the early 1920s and 1930s; however, they typically used the term “Aryan” instead of “Nordic”, though the principal Nazi ideologist, Alfred Rosenberg, preferred “Aryo-Nordic” or “Nordic-Atlantean”. Stephen Jay Gould described The Passing of the Great Race as “The most influential tract of American scientific racism.”