Mark Alfano argues that the Milgram experiments tell us a lot about how to effectively resist authoritarianism.
In a boon for psychological science and a moral test for the country, the Trump presidency will be the most ecologically-valid, large-scale replication of Milgram’s studies ever conducted.
Instead of issuing verbal prods, Trump commands the FBI, Homeland Security, the CIA, and the military. Instead of torturing an obviously innocent victim, he targets African-Americans, women, Mexicans, Muslims, gay people and other groups who have faced dehumanizing animus since the United States enshrined slavery in the Constitution.
If 67% of us maximally comply with the destructive orders that are sure to flow from the Trump White House, Milgram will be proven scientifically right and we will be proven morally wrong.
Milgram’s studies aren’t all bad news, though. He and other researchers have identified six ways that you can be part of the resistant 33%.