Thursday, July 17, 2014

QUOTES ON LEGALITY AND OBEDIENCE



“We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was ‘legal’ and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was ‘illegal’.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail” 1963

“Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress had been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.” ~ Oscar Wilde 

“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that numbers of people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running and robbing the country. That's our problem.”  ~  Howard Zinn, from 'Failure to Quit'

“With numbing regularity good people were seen to knuckle under the demands of authority and perform actions that were callous and severe. Men who are in everyday life responsible and decent were seduced by the trappings of authority, by the control of their perceptions, and by the uncritical acceptance of the experimenter's definition of the situation, into performing harsh acts. 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.” ~ Stanley Milgram (Stanley Milgram was a psychologist who performed a series of experiments that proved conclusively that obedience to authority was so ingrained in the average US citizen they were prepared to cause lethal harm to others when instructed by authority figures to do so.  All those who took part were first asked if they would be capable of killing or inflicting severe pain on their fellow human beings. 100% replied categorically ‘no’.)