Obéissance et soumission : tous condamnés?

Pour poursuivre mon dernier billet sur les violences policières, je vais vous parler de l’obéissance. Car en revisionnant les vidéos des manifestations au Québec ou en Espagne, je n’ai pas cessé de me demander comment des individus comme vous et moi, ayant juré de surcroit de protéger leurs semblables arrivent à agresser gratuitement des innocents.

Je n’ai pas su répondre à ma question. Je ne comprends pas. Ces policiers québécois doivent aussi avoir des enfants, peut-être même en âge d’être étudiants en faculté. Ils doivent donc comprendre la colère de ces jeunes. Pourtant, ils obéissent aveuglément aux ordres. On leur dit de frapper, ils frappent. On leur dit de gazer, ils gazent. On leur dit de tirer, ils tirent. Mais pourquoi ?

La peur de perdre leur emploi ? Peut-être oui. Mais un emploi ne vaut pas la vie ou l’intégrité physique d’un individu. En tout cas pas dans mon échelle de valeurs. La soumission à l’autorité ? Je pense que la réponse est là. J’ai repensé à mes cours de psychologie et à l’expérience de Milgram.

Pour ceux qui ont la flemme de cliquer sur le lien, Milgram a mis en place une expérience destinée à analyser le degré d’obéissance d’une personne. Pour cela, un individu, l’expérimentateur demandait à un autre d’infliger des punitions via des chocs électriques à une troisième personne qui se trouvait être un acteur qui simulait la douleur. La majorité des participants continuait d’infliger des décharges électriques allant jusqu’au maximum (450 V) supposé mortel à ce niveau. Il en est ressorti que les Hommes sont soumis à l’autorité qu’ils jugent légitime. L’obéissance est une composante de la vie en société. Dès qu’il existe un système hiérarchique, l’individu perd son autonomie et passe à un mode systématique où il n’est qu’un agent de l’autorité. Je vous conseille tout de même de lire le compte rendu de Milgram pour bien comprendre l’expérience.

Ce serait donc ça. Les policiers sont enfermés dans leur système hiérarchique. Ils sont soumis aux ordres et trouvent une échappatoire en déchargeant la responsabilité sur leur hiérarchie. Quand on y pense, c’est exactement ce que les soldats nazis clamaient à Nuremberg. Ce n’est pas moi mais mon supérieur.

Nous en sommes donc encore là. Le pouvoir est tout puissant. Il trouvera toujours des sujets pour lui obéir car c’est dans la nature humaine. Clap de fin, pas de happy end. Je ne sais pas pour vous mais moi, ça me fait froid dans le dos…

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One Response to Obéissance et soumission : tous condamnés?

  1. Dogukan says:

    As is usal for you Miki. you ahve written an atrcile that is self-revelatory, and asks the critically important wuestions about human behavior. Choice is key and critical but the motivtion is to choose a certain course of behavior is something else again. I disagree almost completely with your conclusions, Miki, although i respect your excellence in penning this thought-provoking and insightful piece in such a way that you allow for discussion, and for both agreement and difference to be grounded in your balanced atrcile’s nuanced expression. I also very much appreciate how you so so clearly give your own reasons for drawing the conclusions that you do. The perspective that i hold is drawn from experiential knowledge and research. In fact, human beings are deeply responsibe to the enculturative process. We have a combination of genetic temperament and learned behavior, and elcited responses in social situations, that can be combined variously to encourage or to discourage critical thinking, in situtaions of urgency. If such thinking and ciommitment to a lifestyle of reasoned and principled behavior has been developed over an indiviudal’s lifetime, that individual is much more likely to become a refusenik, and less likely to become a bully. In fact the movie 12 ANGRY MEN illustrates very well that one person can use critical thinking and leadership skills to make a moral stand that challenges hatred (and make no mistake, whether shedding copious tears for the victims or none at all, it is group think and surrendering personal values to cooperate and placate that allows individuals to choose to become part of a conspiracy to harm others ) this truthful work of fiction illustrates beautifully that standing up by even one person to combat fear and judgemental bullying with reason and an appeal to our higher nature can even in a crisis back a mob down, if that mob is made up of even a few folks who do not entirely lack empathy or human decency.I give a qualification here that folks who are active addicts lack both, and we have a very dangerously violent society at present that is writhing in a pandemic of addiction.There are patterns of human behavior which show tendancies. The human tendancy is for the great majority of people in any iven culture, wther macro or micro, to be Indians, and for there to be a few naturally endowed Chiefs. The Indians take the least problematic course of action through acquiescence and social smoothing in the majority of their interactions. The Chiefs tend to keep folks on a groove through sometimes almost unconscious leadership capacity, by which they guide or at times comandeer. Most people maintain fluidity in their roles according to what subgroups or microcosms they belong, such as in the family that raised them, where their role may be very different even in the families that they raise and especially in organziational cultures like a work or other social grouping. So everyone gets chances adn choices to be an Indian AND a Chief. This isn’t obviously rocket science. But however it is true and readily demonstrable.When a pile of risk factors outweigh the benefit factors to behaving in a certain way, there are enculturative factors that may converge in any one individual’s life that can cause that person to stand upand do the right thing (thank God). certainly the first and most proactive of factors is lifelong habitual crtical thinking and principled behavior.Standing up against a mob or dictator backed by a mob, REQURES individuality, and the HABIT of self-criticism and self-confidence in one’s developed values and the value of other people. A HABIT of empathy is very helpful, but as your own atrcile points out, the majority of those who torturd others did do while sobbing for them . (this makes it even more despicable actually, and MORE callous than if they were somehow disposed to objectify people to such an horrific extent that they felt nothing for them, as social darwinism has innured so many to the consweuences of their business decisions and rotten lives which are built on harm to others, today)Obedience may have been the point of the experiement and how it was couched, but it is group think and capitulated enabling to hurt vulnerable others by those who shrink from confrontation, even when necessary, that was studied and shown.That may be why so many rogues have proven good if they lived long enough and if society was forgiving enough of course for every rogue who has used their powers to cahrm and to strengthen good in the end, there are also the many many fundamentally good humans who, on a large scale adn a small have strengthened the goods in society’s organizational cultures by simply telling the truth even when the messenger gets shot and refusing to be part of hurting others, even when the act may cause ramifications as strong as death.It isn’t the people who are brought up being asked whther they wish to do what their parents want them to do vs the kids who are told you do this or else that are fundsamentally different in whther their comfort zone is sufficent to allow them to contst cruelty, tro forego cheating on lifetests to get ahead, to be kind to otehrs whom are ostracized, even if it keeps them out fo the alpha packs of winners and makes them losers according to social group think.IMO and expereince it is the children who ahve been since childhood urged to think for themslves Kids who are enjoined to be true to a belief system that they eclectically and maybe at times even simplistcially make their own becasue of its capacity to break them free of teh shackles of selfishness and empitness, aimlessness and wickedness , and that guidance from adults and peers that reincforces their capacity to cooperate AND to compete AND TO SELF GAUAGE thier maturation to be the best person that they can be for values they develop on their own and with help and guidance, which in the main INCLUDE the religious and/or the philosophical jewels of a hundred generations., and people who love, value and respect them.

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