The Correlation Between Genocide And Obedience

1005 Words 5 Pages
Genocide is an aspect of violence/aggression that has a huge impact on everyone’s lives. Numerous factors play a role in why people would choose to participate in mass genocide. Many aim to satisfy their need for safety and security during a violent time, so they murder people to keep themselves out of harms way and avoid death themselves. They are afraid that if they do not obey their authorities instructions, their safety will be compromised. Since safety is a step on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it is a motivator of human activity. Most of the people that do kill would not normally participate in violence. Although they are acting in accordance with aggression, they are still worried about the victims; however, they are more worried about …show more content…
Authority governs the social hierarchal scale, and people are afraid to go against someone above them. People believe someone in authority is making the right decisions for societ, so they have no reason to go against them. Milgram and the Holocaust: A Reexamination explains the correlation between genocide and obedience. George R. Masteroianni looks into Milgram’s research and its account for the blind obedience of Nazi’s during World War II (Masteroianni, p. 159). He explains that many people choose only to follow the direction of a figure in a high position; for example, policemen during the Holocaust only followed the orders of a higher authority member and refused when someone lower instructed their actions. It was also found that when policemen were in charge of rounding up the Jews, they were less harsh to them in the face of small groups with less surveillance. Masteroianni argues that it does not take people with aggression already present within them to perform violent acts. Ordinary people can simply become agents of hostility and aggression with the right authority. Masteroianni explained that if the camps like those in Nazi Germany were set up in America, a mass murderer could find enough people to work those camps in any good sized town (Masteroianni, p. 163). Moreover, environmental factors …show more content…
People are most likely to think that someone else will stand up and stop the killings. They think since there are thousands of people involved who deduce that it is morally wrong to kill, there is bound to be someone who will stop it. However, this usually leads to not a single person taking a stand: the main reason genocide lingers for some time, longer than it should. The research in Psychosocial roots of genocide: risk, prevention, and intervention uses diffusion of responsibility to explain the bystander effect. The personal responsibility of each individual to step up diffuses across the many people involved (Wolf, p. 120). Not one person feels responsible to be the one to make a stand about the issue at hand. Additionally, if there is a consensus of apathy and dispassion among other nations or people, others will believe that there is little reason to intervene (Wolf, p. 120). This further deters bystanders from taking

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