Presentation on theme: "What would Yertle the Turtle’s Turtles do?. What would Yertle the Turtle’s Turtles do? : Lecture Objectives 1. Describe what a turtle did to Yertle. 2."— Presentation transcript:
What would Yertle the Turtle’s Turtles do? : Lecture Objectives 1. Describe what a turtle did to Yertle. 2. Distinguish between authority and expertise and between obedience/conformity, anti-conformity, and independence. 3. Discuss and describe checks and balances on illegitimate use of authority.
The two faces of obedience All the good of which humanity is capable is comprised in obedience – John Stuart Mills (On Liberty) Obedience, Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, Makes slaves of men, and of the human frame, A mechanized automaton. – Percy Bysshe Shelley (Queen Mab) Milgram on the two faces Obedience provides an evolutionary advantages (to meerkats, wolves, and humans) Obedience can result in atrocities
Disobedience in a turtle hierarchy How to disobey an illegitimate authority Show DVD to find out how a citizen turtle responded to Yertle the Emperor.
The Overthrow of Yertle Yertle was overthrown by an everyday turtle. Dr. Seuss wrote the book after WWI. Yertle originally looked like Hitler. During WWII, Dr. Seuss used his cartoon skills to argue for the war, develop citizen morale, and train military. After WWI, he helped with communication efforts in Japan during reconstruction Yertle (and other stories) were written to capture the essence of American democracy as a way of instilling these values in the next generation and in other nations as America found itself increasingly on the world’s stage.
The norm of disobedience to authority: An American tradition Thomas Jefferson: “Disobedience to tyrants is obedience to God.” Amazon reviewer: With an eye for negative influence on children, I submit the following criticisms: "Yurtle the Turtle" has a secondary lesson in anarchy… I want my children to learn respect for authority, …., hence the mediocre rating. Please consider these and preview for yourself and your children. JFK’s Profiles in Courage; John McCain’s Hard Decisions
But how to disobey? Mr. Jefferson, Dr. Seuss, and Senators J. Kennedy and McCain (but not Amazon reviewer) see it important to establish a norm of disobedience to authority as essential to democracy. But disobedience is easier said than done. Difficult to recognize legitimate from false authority Difficult to stand up to the social forces of obedience Disobedience requires citizen skills and checks & balances on authority & power.
Definition: authority Two meanings of authority: Authority to control another’s life Milgram experiment isolated this meaning Reading Lolita in Tehran describes what happens when the Iron Law is not checked: Evil becomes the control of another’s life. Someone with expertise Legitimate and illegitimate use of each
Definition: disobedience Milgram in his teaching emphasized three social processes: Obedience/conformity: doing what the authority and the group says to do Anti-conformity: doing the opposite of what the authority and the group says to do (oppositional identity) Independence: a careful evaluation of the course of action resulting in behavior independent of social pressures Anti-conformity is not independence and is still obedience/conformity (to another rule or group); Milgram stressed that it was important not to see anti-conformity as disobedience.
The first problem: Recognition Show AARP DVD #2
Problem: Authority can be faked Take on the trappings of authority (con criminals, advertising, wanna-bes) Take on the trappings of phony credentials (quack medicine) Gurus Oppositional leaders Authority can come in many shapes and sizes besides white males.
Faked authority The goal is to recognize phony authority and to recognize a legitimate authority’s illegitimate command. The rub: One needs enough expertise to recognize the expert/authority.
Checks & balances on faked authority Individual citizens should ask: Is this person truly an expert or authority? What is the basis for their claim? (“Ask and check”) Is there expertise/authority relevant to the issue at hand? Are they using their expertise/authority in a legitimate manner? Society credentials authority Problem: Can result in an accumulation of power Debunking faked authority requires technical skills and expertise which is why a free press, open access to information, science, independent research & scholarship, and education are important in democracies
Problem #2: How to resist an illegitimate authority or an illegitimate command Show parts 3 & 4 of Burger replication
Checks & balances on authority and power Burger and Milgram research show it is difficult to resist authority However, experimental and historical analysis have identified the conditions under which people will act independent of authority and what checks can be placed on power.
Evolution’s answer: Psychological Reactance Reactance: when humans feel that their freedom is being taken away, they attempt to restore that freedom Romeo & Juliet; X-rated movies; censorship; the passion of the forbidden “do the opposite;” “smoldering resentment,” “sabotage.” Humans are the only social animals to display reactance Reactance is the source of liberty for the human spirit; America is the world’s hope Problem: Reactance can be manipulated
Human society’s first answer: gossip and rumor The community can bring down the “tall poppy” through rumor and gossip; the leader is bad because….. A common check and balance on authority in traditional societies. Problems: Rumor could be false (false memories; false accusation of sexual abuse; swiftboating) Rumor can be accepted due to social influence processes as opposed to truth value. Rumor’s can be manipulated to increase the power of others. Rumor can bed based on envy and not truth. Without an ability to verify rumor and gossip, there use as a checks and balance can be very, very dangerous. Again the importance of free inquiry (free press, education,etc.)
Increase human closeness Milgram: physical closeness reduces obedience (Realistic) empathy: see another’s view of the world and to feel their pain and joy* See Twin Oaks from Kat’s, new members, and your point of view Individuation: see each person as an individual (not a category or thing)* Foreign exchange, friendships, jigsawing. * How to do it specifically will be discussed later in the course (John 3:16; Granfalloons)
Invoke moral conscience Milgram’s dissenters reduced obedience by invoking moral conscience (not right to shock that person beyond his will) vs. Burger’s “I can’t do it.” Mr. Rickey’s Americanism Dr. Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham jail “One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo-Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.”
Invoke moral conscience Problems: It takes wisdom to recognize illegitimate authority – anyone can recognize immorality after everyone else does It takes moral courage and skill to break the social forces of obedience and conformity Without a link to moral authority, direct action and dissent can be Ineffective (as in Burger case) Little more than a child throwing a temper-tantrum because she didn’t get her way
Clear role and norms for the exercise of authority The authority role has clear norms guiding its use and exercise and sanctions for violating these norms Doctor (guidelines for regulating intimacy) Teacher (responsibility for education not indoctrination; make clear objectives and points of view) Journalism (two-sided presentation; news separate from editorial; multiple and disclosed sources; rules developed during the progressive era and ceased to guide journalist behavior in the 1990s) Psychotherapist (APA Ethical Guidelines governing issues such as confidentiality, intimacy, responsibilities) Lawyers (client confidentiality; officer of the court; client’s interest first) Investment advisors (fiduciary responsibility, illegitimate & quasi- investment advisors pretend to have such a relationship but don’t)
Clear role and norms for the exercise of authority Problems: Difficult to implement sanctions to maintain role False allegations against doctors, teachers, etc. Journalism role has succumb to the need to get ratings and tell audiences what they want to hear. Some authority rules do not have clear role requirements Solution: Professionalization or a period of socialization into the role that inculcates role requirements such as a doctor’s internship or a scientist’s training Decline of professionalization such as in the teaching profession where it has been replaced by rules and testing
Increase a sense of responsibility for one’s action Ironically, knowledge of the power of the situation results in an understanding of the need to establish a norm of individual responsibility and accountability. Accountability for performance and behavior Norm that one is responsible for one’s behavior US legal code allows social circumstances (peer pressure, cultic influence) to mitigate punishment (sentence) but not as a factor of guilt or innocence Avoidance of the victim’s role: Notion that a given person is a victim of authority; such a role can be very dangerous as it can be used to justify cruel behavior Serb propaganda: “You have victims for enemies.”
Separation of powers Break down the tasks an authority must perform and assign them to different persons who serve as check and balance on each other Three branches of US government; two houses of Congress; people determine government: President executes war; Congress declares war. President executes government, Congress sets budget. President executes foreign policy; Senate approves treaty. Fraud prevention (assign accounting functions to different organizational members) Zimbardo as experimenter and prison warden Problem: collusion of powers
Power vs. power To counter the accumulation of power with a counter force of power Progressive era reforms: Big government served as a check against big business 1912: Taft (laissez-faire; false free markets) vs. TR (government as check) vs. populist (no big business) vs. socialism (government owns business) vs. Taft (laissez-faire; false free markets); Wilson wins. Labor unions vs. big business In democracies, the role of the military is to serve as a lever of influence to counter the power of autocratic and rogue regimes. Problem: Someone can win the power struggle Labor power reduced by off-shoring jobs in countries without US labor regulations. Collusion of power: Consumer protection now at state level not at FTC Problem: Not everyone is represented by the big powers.
Which Nazi Generals Disobeyed Hitler? Lt. Col. Robert B. Kane (USAF) investigate those Nazi Generals who disobeyed Hitler (including conspiring against him) to find that Generals are more likely to disobey when: Nurturing, democratic childrearing Humanistic, liberal education Strong moral conscience based on spirituality and not formal religion Had support of friends and family Recognized when Hitler’s actions conflicted with military procedure and traditions Oath to Hitler not nation or constitution Took small steps of disapproval and disobedience that increased over time
US Military and obedience after Vietnam The generation of military leaders who fought in Vietnam were concerned about the failure of the military: Specific cases of atrocity such as Mi Lai “A failure of generalship” (Lt. Col. Paul Yingling) and A Dereliction of Duty (Col. H. R. McMaster): the failure of top military leaders to speak truth to power and the American people. Many in the US military leadership did what most people lack the courage to do: Faced up to their failure and overcame the urge to rationalize mistakes.
US Military post-Vietnam interventions to prevent blind obedience Elaborate checks and balances on decision making (as detailed in later lecture) Evaluation of decisions by outsiders to the group Civilian approval of targets Taught Milgram Taught soldiers when and how to disobey an order; disobedience of unlawful orders is the moral duty of each member of the Armed Forces Clarification of soldier’s role through explicit rules of engagement Clear command structure with clear lines of authority and responsibility for any violation of military code Basically, the military implemented the major points in this lecture.
US Military post-Vietnam interventions to prevent blind obedience The Weinberger–Powell-Clark Doctrine on the use of military power (war): Is a vital national security interest threatened? Do we have a clear attainable objective? Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed? Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted? Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement? Have the consequences of our action been fully considered? Is the action supported by the American people? Do we have genuine broad international support? Use of maximum force to obtain objectives Basically, the military implemented the major points in this lecture. So what went wrong?
First, what went right General Shinseki correctly estimate it would take 300,000 to 500,000 troops to occupy Iraq. Strategic objectives of the war first challenged by (retired) Generals: Paul Eaton, William Odom, Anthony Zinni, Greg Newbold, Bernard Trainor, John Batiste, Joseph Hoar, Adm. William Crowe, Robert Gard, John Johns & Wes Clark Recently, Admiral Fallon resigned as CENTCOM commander over statements on Iran
Circumvention of military procedure by civilian leadership Overriding of military planning and decision making Military reconstruction plans ignored Politicization of intelligence (intel agencies compete for funding based on their reports) Use of private militia independent of military command (Halliburton & Blackwater) Unclear lines of authority (Karpinski not present at Abu Ghraib & Tier 1A not under her supervision, for example) and no senior accountability Inadequate equipment (armor & communication) and inadequate training for key specialties (no training for guards at Abu Ghraib) Repeated and long deployments placing stress on troops that places a strain on military discipline Removal and lack of promotion for Generals and officers that did not follow civilian leadership A failure of citizenship