Was planning to write on something else, but wandering through other blogs , came upon this link to Milgrams experiments on - authority? Not sure if the word authority covers it all though.
It struck a chord because this was something I've always wondered. For any authority to continue, it always needs a huge army of foot soldiers. What I could never understand was, what was the viewpoint of the foot soldiers when the voice of authority seems to cross the bound, the bound as we know it at any rate? When the villain of the hindi movie orders his lanky to burn down the hero's house. When the coloniser orders the torture of the freedom fighter. When the neta orders the elimination of the other. When the prison warden orders the whipping of the innocent presoner. When so many "horrifying" things happen, things always associated only with the evil of the figurehead, how is it that they get executed without a murmer from the underlings... So are they all just doing the job? Would I? Would you? If the authority was good enough? If the money was needed? If we did not believe that ends justified the means? What if we did not understand the ends? What if there was an easy option to walk out?
Disturbing thoughts, and deeply disturbing answers too if the findings are to be believed..