"The results raise the possibility that ... American democratic society cannot be counted on to insulate its citizens from at the direction of malevolent authority. A substantial proportion of people do what they are told to do, irrespective of the content of the act and without limitations of so long as they perceive that the command comes from a legitimate authority. If in this study an anonymous experimenter could substantially command adults to subdue a fifty-year-old man, and force on him painful [and potentially lethal] electric shocks against his protests, one can only wonder what government, with its vastly greater authority and prestige, can command of its subjects."


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