Month: January 2017

Conditions under which people obey authority and commit actions which go against conscience by Courtney Duncan


The essay proves that ruling power impacts our lives in more way than one. However, it is used to oppress and support groups of people in society commonly known depicted as Middle to lower class. The purpose of this essay is to prove that we as citizens subjugate ourselves to State laws and religious doctrines. The composition incorporates the study of Stanley Milgram, Phillip Zimbardo, a comparison of Nazi Germany, various readings and videos. My conclusion supports the statement that authority and compliance in our state are ultimate, controlled by groups of individuals known as the elite upperclassmen.

Keywords: [nazism, Stanford Experiment, Obedience ]

The Conditions under which people obey authority and commit actions which go against conscience.

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Obedience is a form of social influence where an individual performs an order under the command of someone with authority. Compliance is the hierarchical laws dating back from the time of antiquity. Obedience or compliance is the direct result of the power figure or structure implementation of legislation to govern their state. The formations of law are passed by our government ultimately influencing economics, history, politics, and society. Our government implements judicial doctrines to protect our rights as citizens to live in a perfect utopian society where everyone can develop to their potential. In the study of psychology, I learned that obeying authority is not always the right thing to do. On many occasions in history, a ruling power uses its official position to make a person question his or her conscience to obey that authority. A prime example would be the Nazi regime, and the crimes of atrocities Hitler regime committed to Jewish people and mixed-blooded white Europeans known as gypsies. Consequently, the essay complies that people obey authority in respect of the ruling political party, social and economic factors. Any actions action that goes against his or her conscience is influenced out of fear, obeying the rule and just rewards. The essay proves that ruling power impacts our lives in more way than one. However, it is used to oppress and support groups of people in society commonly known depicted as Middle to lower class. The purpose of this essay is to prove that we as citizens subjugate ourselves to State laws and religious doctrines. The composition incorporates the study of Stanley Milgram, Phillip Zimbardo, a comparison of Nazi Germany, various readings and videos. My conclusion supports the statement that authority and compliance in our state are ultimate, controlled by groups of individuals known as the elite upperclassmen.

Ruling Political Party-State Government

Stanley Milgram article titled, The Behavioral Study of Obedience, is the overall analysis of destructive obedience and authority of power in our society. The study is an understanding of our social environment and how things can turn ugly because of compliance to rules. Milgram experiment is one imprudent answer to what went wrong in Nazi Germany. In the article Milgram states Obedience is a fundamental element in the structure of social life as one can point to some system of authority is a requirement for communal living, and it is only the man dwelling in isolation which is forced to respond to defiance or submission to the commands of others. Obedience as a determent of behavior is of particular importance to our time. (Behavioural Study, 1962, para 1). The study is unethical to link a series of studies to the millions of people who died in gas chambers. As stated in Gas article chambers were built, death camps guarded, the daily quota of corpses produced with an efficiency as the manufacture of appliances. (Behavioural Study, 1962, para 1). You as the reader of this essay must remember that it took millions of German soldiers to implement the plan.   How did humanity degenerate to such squalor and is there a connection with Milgram experiment? There is a small link on completing the research. Nonetheless, painful shock treatments as opposed to the horrific death scene in countries camps this is an irrational connection. The only connection is an understanding that man’s life on planet earth is a history of cruel and inhumane punishment of the weaker sect. Society teaches us that the weak dies for our social world to evolve ultimately, one must suffer for the other to multiple. Obedience and Compliance is a part of our genetic disposition handed down from one generation to the next. Our instinct tells us to obey and comply. For example, Milgram study implies that we have no control over our life. The man is more concerned about the future and new technologies than to show empathy to the weak. The Nazi soldiers trained in a regime where it meant death to disobey an order of the superior. Therefore, Nazi atrocities adhere to men committing barbaric acts out of fear for life. Moreover, German citizens were weaned into Nazi Party that blamed the demise of Europe on the Jews.

Image result for Stanley Milgram article titled, The Behavioral Study of Obedience,

Obedience and authority cover religious values. Religion is the absolute power to identify the man in society. The leading religions Christianity, Islam and Sikhism all revere obedience and authority. Milgram states that obedience is ennobling and educative and refer to acts of charity and kindness as well as destruction. (Behavioural Study, 1962, para 2). Our religious houses conform to authority and power only to use power to instill obedience to allow Canon laws to govern us with state law. The experiment allowed people to administer shocks to subjects under the context of a learning experiment, ostensibly set up to study the effects of punishment on memory. (Behavioural Study, 1962, p 372). The test allowed the person to administer shocks at the level of danger. Some of the subjects received the level death shock. However, some administer protested as the risk level approached. Milgram states that behavior before the person delivering danger level is considered “obedience,” in that subject complies with the command of the experiment. The point of rupture or protest is the act of disobedience. A quantitate value assigned to a person’s performance based on the level of shock he is willing to administer. (Behavioural Study, 1962, p372). The experiment truthfully implies that obedience is a natural pattern in all beings life globally. It is a universal and vital feature of our life. When obedience crosses with obeying the rules and just rewards. It is easy to control a person to the whims of a figure with authority to pass command.   Milgram states each subject paid whether they participated in an experiment or chose not to participate. (Behavioural Study, 1962, p 373). The person in control of test played by a 31-year-old articulate high school teacher.

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The victim was a 47-year-old working class Irish-American stock whom observers find mild-mannered and likeable. (Behavioural Study, 1962, p 373). To continue the 1960s differs drastically from our current era. Discipline in schools was a common occurrence. A student is beaten with a cane or whip for being late to class, not completing homework or talking out in a classroom. Today’s society protects young people from this form of abuse in school and at homes. Moreover, the subject receiving the shock treatment is conceived as someone of lower intelligence and social status. I believe social status conforms to man’s evolutionary gene pool and political perception that the higher class benefits by punishing or destroying the weak. In this experiment, the person administering is justly rewarded like the subject receiving shock treatments. The job to administer punishment serves to help society to improve the status of a working class citizen. He is smarter than the subject receiving the shock treatment, and it will only contribute to making life better for this man offspring. The experiment success owes to the misguided belief of the person administering the shock treatment. Fear factor comes into the analysis when the danger levels of pain increases and the person believe that the subject is experiencing significant pain. He fears that the man may die, and he would be an accomplice in a murder. Milgram experiment sufficiently entails that just reward, obeying the rule is the essential contribution to the success of the case study. Fear is defining factor in operation halting. The research proves millions of Jews and Gypsies died out of fear by Germans to help them. Moreover, obeying commands that seem ethical if given a just reward demonstrates that a group in power with laws implemented can manipulate people to do their bidding. Hitler led a nation out of debt owed from the previous world war. The people revered him as the {FUHRER} or saviour. The manipulation of the Bible served to instill in Germans a sense of Aryan pride. Humankind perilous destruction is a result of the poor desolate regions of the ethnic world. Along with minor Jewish and gypsy strain to weaken Aryan gene pool. The initial victories and rise in status of Germany in Europe blinded the people to the truth.   The Milgram experiment similarity is shocking. However, it does show differences. The defining variable involves a person receiving a dangerous shock. The similarities curtail the experiment is for humanity, the shock treatment inevitably a base for scientific knowledge. I ask myself would Milgram experiment been a success or even possible if the males and females are administering shock treatment knew that the subject would die if he received another shock? With this defining thought, I cannot conceive that people carry a gene or trait to commit acts of barbarity. Authority and obedience are part of our lives none more so with relations to our economy, Judicial, and prisons.

Social Factors 1

The class structure, a person’s economic status usually implies all the majority of men and women in prisons evolve from the middle to lower class population. Phillip G Zimbrano conducted a prison experiment from Stanford University in 1971. (Zimbardo, Maslach and Haney, 2000, PG. 1) Zimbardo research explores whether brutality reported among guards in penitentiaries owes to the bad traits of the guards or having more to do with the prison atmosphere. The second cohorts endured six days and nights of intense, often hostile, interactions that escalated daily in the level of interpersonal aggression of guards against prisoners. An example of hostility occurring repeatedly, this statement: “During the inspection ‘the prisoner’ grabbed my throat, I was scared, and I lashed out with my stick and hit him in the chin.” (Zimbardo, Maslach and Haney, 2000, PG. 1) The article and video imply that if a prisoner gives in to his power figure, he has at the mercy of the system. Jewish people in Nazi death camps willing went soon after the Nazi tortured, experimented on them and grotesquely burned millions in incinerators. The researcher randomly assigned cohorts task of prisoner or jail keeper.

Image result for Phillip G Zimbrano conducted a prison experiment from Stanford University in 1971

The case study followed the path of a convict to the exact point. They were blindfolded, strip searched and hosed down with water. Zimbardo witnessed the behavior of the inmates and guards (taking notes) and acted as the warden. The prisoners lost the will to rebel soon conforming, and obeying the power figure. The experiment is unique because it opened the world of psychology to new cosmos. I believe people place themselves in a subjugated role due to our outdated constitutional laws. Behind bars rich or poor you have no control of vast wealth or freedom to choose. Once a person sees the situation, he complies out of fear, obeying the rules and just rewards. The just reward could be free cigarettes, contraband drugs or not being beaten. Nazi death camps prisoners who follow or spied on the prisoners for guards they may have received the generous helping of foods or having the life for one more day. Where is the weakness in Zimbrano experiment? The experiment has me questioning the toughness of college students. For example, this experiment may not have worked on all convicts. In the real world, the correctional officer understands the limitation of his power and the hierarchical structure of prisoners. Many people speak of the danger of being a corrections officer. Research show that over 10000 correctional officers are killed every year in American prisons. (Konda, Tiesman, Reichard and Dan Hartley, para. 1) Although more convicts die in American prisons, the statistic implies obedience, conforming has many levels of a person economic status, ethnicity, social background, occupation, and status. Living in prison is difficult prisoners have their own sexual, test of strength all based on a hierarchical social structure similar to the outside world.

Image result for Phillip G Zimbrano conducted a prison experiment from Stanford University in 1971


Economic Factors. It is impossible to live our lives away from other human beings. People are social creatures adapting to changes and connecting with opposite sex for stimulation, warmth, and procreation influenced by conformity, compliance, and obedience. An infant is born into the world with adults who have an impact on the baby’s actions, personality, and growth. Adults interact with each other, and such interactions directly influence the thoughts and actions of our children and members of the community. (Ciccarelli, White, Fritzley and Harrigan. 2016, p. 356). Conformity is a type of social influence involving a change in belief or behavior to fit in with a group. Solomon Asch is the definitive researcher on conformity. Asch test proved that if everyone chooses an incorrect answer, the lone participant in study complies with the wrong answer. The experiment social setting indirectly establishes a connection to Nazi German citizen’s obedience to the evil regime. Germany economy strengthens ultimately, winning over millions of citizens believing the masses cannot be wrong.   Compliance is similar to obedience because it changes one behavior at the direct order of an authority figure. (Ciccarelli, White, Fritzley and Harrigan. 2016, p. 360). For example, your parents telling you to stop smoking, clean room or paint the fences. Moreover, your supervisor, teacher, judge or police who has the right to demand certain behavior from people under the figure power command. (Ciccarelli, White, Fritzley and Harrigan. 2016, p. 360). The man or woman with authority commands. Authority, obedience, and compliance is a divine power not used correctly. I identify nineteenth-century psychologist Sigmund Freud.

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He noted finding many cases in which clear memories of childhood sexual abuse were based more on imagination than on real events. During the late 1890s Freud, who never abandoned his belief in the sexual etiology of neuroses, began to emphasize fantasies built around the Oedipus complex as the primary cause of hysteria and other neurotic symptoms (Gomes, 2016). The essay proves when power is abused individual ignore the problem to protect the patriarchy or power head. Freud reasoning is hiding an embarrassing situation within the community, because of the superiority and ethnic dominance of the society. Nazi German leaders did everything to hide Hitler’s evil and madness. Nobody mentions German citizens who fled Fuhrer regime before the war or aided European Jews. Our social network adheres to infinite rules on dating, choices of reading materials, sex, and fashion. Society essential fuel is sex, love and economic status. Sex result in mutual, consensual, bondage, consensual rape and many other themes less are graphic. Domination and submission, an apparent connection to compliance, obedience, and authority. Our cultures state humankind must respect all citizens. Who judges if a woman or man complies with sexual fantasies resulting in their death? Going back to Nazi German, it is conceivable that soldiers and scientist found a sexual gratification in torturing and killing individuals. The following stanza taken from the article, Nazi War Crimes is outlined below. The material contains sequences of reports of acts of sexual sadism that modern-day readers would find them difficult to bear. As a rule, they are told in the third person, a tactic that the teller uses to distance himself from the story he is telling. Sometimes he also makes it clear that what he saw or heard disgusts him.Reimbold: “In the first officers’ prison camp, there was a stupid guy fromFrankfurt, a young lieutenant, a young upstart. There were eight of us sitting around a table and talking about Russia. And he said: ‘Oh, we caught this female spy who had been running around in the neighborhood. First, we hit her in the tits with a stick and then we beat her rear end with a bare bayonet.

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Then we fucked her, and then we threw her outside and shot at her. When she was lying there on her back, we threw grenades at her. Every time one of them landed near her body, she screamed.’ And just think, eight German officers were sitting at that table with me, and they all broke out laughing. I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I got up and said: Gentlemen, this is too much.” The outrage some felt over the sexual practices of some of their comrades had exceptions, however. When it came to stories of sex with Jewish women, there were no limits. As a rule, all sexual contact with Jews was forbidden, even in the Wehrmacht. The military leadership gave no quarter to “racial defilement.” But this didn’t stop the soldiers from sexually assaulting Jewish women, or to claim to offer protection in return for sex. Many of the women were shot afterwards to prevent them from incriminating the soldiers. (Fleischhauer, 2011, pg. 4)   In pornography, sex, violence and debauchery go hand in hand. Pornography is socially acceptable if viewed by adults. Pornography is socially acceptable because it’s lucrative organization making billions of dollars per year. Our social culture mires itself on fear, obeying the rule and just rewards. The fear of punishment distributed by a parent, following rules of the law out of fear of being killed or charged. Police murder of innocent black teens. The just reward is allowance money from patriarchy or matriarchy. Ignore the evil and debauch article and videos because they sell. Money and the economy go hand in hand.

Conclusions. My findings construe that obedience or obeying authority has no genetic genes strain. My results point to fear and the levels of fear men and women encounter may have genetic influences. The genetic strains were constantly cross-breeding thorough billion of people every day a baby conceived. The strongest the toughest benefit from their culture and the cultures they meet. The poor lower class serve to protect our world. Today poorer and middle-class people enlist in the army, it is an opportunity to make a better life, though a dangerous risk. From the beginning of time, the state classified the poor as peasants, slaves in gladiator rings. The captured noble warrior loses privileges aligning himself with low caste. The educated noblemen, the wealthy minister landowner since antiquity these groups have taken spiritual laws, state laws and liberal doctrines to manipulate society. A person obeys and conforms to his whim or will. The Upper-class is evidently calling the shot.


Eleanor of Aquitaine Rise of feminism by Courtney Duncan




The feminist movement or women’s liberation society is thought to have developed its initial stages in various countries at different times in Western Europe and North America. In the present day, scholars attest that the initial spores of feminism blossomed during the Enlightenment period from (1685-1815). The enlightenment period questioned the old feudal regime and power structure of the upper-class statement. In the period following the enlightenment, many views developed, however, feminism proved to be the most controversial and consistent impression-a-movement recognized today as one of the definitive oppositions towards a patriarchal administration. The purpose of this research paper is to challenge the historical intellectuals by identifying an earlier start period to feminism by illustrating the iconic High Middle Ages Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine life. The thesis statement eclipses the ideologies and struggles of the Victorian era by outlining Eleanor economic freedom, political independence and social freedom through courtly love all resulting in one woman achieving more for women than in any period of our existence. I am confident that my thesis holds up against the scholars, my conclusion briefly explains the historian’s arguments to feminism having it roots in the late nineteenth century along with supporting my evidence for the High Middle Age period.

Keywords: Feudal, feminism, Aquitaine, Poitiers

Eleanor of Aquitaine Rise of Feminism

Eleanor of Aquitaine was heiress to one of the richest domains in medieval Europe. In the twelfth century, the county of Poitou and the Duchies of Aquitaine and Gascony covered a vast region to the south-west of what is now France, encompassing all the lands between the river Loire in the north and the Pyrenees in the south. (Weir, 2007, p.3) Upon the sudden death of her father William X, Eleanor obeyed his testimony by marrying Louis V11 of France. The marriage consisted of all elements of feudalism. The nobility paid homage to Kings, rather than the nation. Feudalism required a lord to defend his territories. On occasion, a powerful Baron, Duke or Count might throw down his pledge of allegiance to fight against his own King for land. In the early twelfth century the kingdom of France found itself in a struggle for supremacy with feudal vassals who had extended their territory becoming stronger than the crown whose authority had little weight outside of the royal demesne. (Weir, 2007, p. 22) marriage to Eleanor provided an army, ships and vast wealth for Louis V11. Feudal marriages bestowed certain privileges to the husband. For example, a woman property would be controlled and taken by her husband. All women took a servitude position towards the spouse, and a man could beat his wife at will. However, Aquitanian laws favoured women in cases of land rights and adultery. Therefore, when William X died in 1137, bequeathing his daughter Eleanor to the future Louis V11. (Weir, 2007, p. 23) The marriage contract established that the lands were to pass to Eleanor or any children she had with Louis. Queen Eleanor, ruled her lands independently from her husband, however, bestowing large amounts of money to strengthen her husband’s territories and to build thousands of ships for the invasion of Jerusalem. Eleanor marriage to Louis lasted fifteen years. The union provided two girls for Louis V11. For a time, everything seemed right. However, during the secound crusade in March 1148, Louis had rushed Eleanor away from Antioch suspecting her if an adulteress involvement with Raymond of Antioch. Reddy (2012, p. 56). Upon return to France Eleanor and Louis tried to reconcile, however, they divorced three years later. It was Eleanor who engineered the divorced and handled the settlement. Eleanor divorced Louis on the grounds he was a fourth cousin. Eleanor convinced the pope to annul the marriage based on God not bestowing a male heir due to the sin of marrying her cousin. All of Eleanor lands were awarded back to her. Less than two months later Eleanor married the Duke of Normandy and Count of Anjou, Henry Plantagenet, who thereby acquired Aquitaine. Louis thus found himself confronted by a shrewd and aggressive vassal who ruled western France from the English Channel to the Pyrenees. Two years later Henry became King Henry II of England. (Louis V11, 2004, para. 4).   In comparison to 19th century Victorian England, Eleanor would have seemed like a harlot. Men were now allowed to divorce their wives for adultery, whereas women had very limited excuses to gain a divorce, henceforth the sexual double standard because it laid down different grounds for divorce. Going back to Eleanor period women faced the penalties, however, Queen Eleanor, was shrewd and vigorous enough to deal with the Pope and her first husband. Scholars such as Nancy Hewitt state that Feminist ideas and social movements emerged in Europe, Great Britain, and the United States due to the liberal writings of Stuart Mills. (From Wollstonecraft to Mill, 2002, para 1). Furthermore, a feminist is term developed in the 19th century to identify the goals of equality and the ongoing struggle of middle-class women. Eleanor of Aquitaine was far from a liberal middle-class woman. She was a princess and with Merovingian bloodline, she would have been entitled to all the privileges the world could offer in 12th century Europe.


Political Accomplishment

Eleanor of Aquitaine’s life began after she returned to France from her travels on the Secound Crusade. With her union with Henry 2nd, the royal couple had eight children, five sons, and three daughters. Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine remained heavily involved in the ruling of King Henry II’s vast empire in France and England. (Eleanor Aquitaine, 2005, para 1). She is the only woman in history that could say she married two Kings, and this lady had two sons who became Kings of England. It was this period that witnessed Eleanor greatest victories and defeat. When Henry 2nd took a younger lover, she did not roll over and played dead like most Victorian women. Eleanor engineered a mutual separation moving back to Aquitaine to govern her lands.   More important than Eleanor’s resentment was her consummate ambition for personal power. She believed that with one of her sons on the throne, she would rule England. In 1173, Eleanor was imprisoned for financing the rebellion of her children against their father. (Eleanor Aquitaine, 2005, para 16). Her incarceration ended 16 years later with the death of Henry. She took over the administration of England and her lands across the channel on behalf of the new King. In fact, when the Duke of Austria captured Richard it was Eleanor who negotiated the bond money and release. It would be difficult to find a Victorian feminist who did so much for her nation with admiration from her men and women from every societal caste structure within the provinces of Norman English rule. Eleanor political abilities served to subdue the powers of the Church along with effect control of territories in England and France. Her political battles with Henry 11 forever, survive in movies and plays. The social restructuring of a Kingdom with the teachings of courtly love, forever, changed the way men and women interacted.




Courtly Love 1

The structure of Courtly loves served to create reactionaries in Northern France. The most powerful of opposition being the church. Courtly Love is a social sexual being identifiable to nobles, troubadours, and townspeople. Courtly Love is the medieval version of romantic love.

An art form and way of life that served to challenge the church and society that popularized the conception of sexual desire as a kind of appetite. (Reddy, 2012, p.3). Courtly Love involved much more than romance; there was 31 laws or code to be followed. Some of the codes protected the married woman. For example, the code Marriage is no real excuse for not loving. It seemed all of the medieval marriages practiced an agreement. Nobody married for love only for wealth and security. Courtly Love opened the door for terms such as gentlemen. In today’s world, the term gentlemen describe a man who wed for love rather than money. The last rule states nothing forbids one woman loving two men or one man by two women. Courtly love enables male and females to explore and enjoy carnal pleasures. According to some scholars, Courtly love soon pervaded the literature of Europe. The German minnesinger lyrics and court epics such as Gottfried von Strassburg’s Tristan und Isolde (c. 1210) are evidence of its power. Italian poetry embodied the courtly ideals as early as the 12th century, and during the 14th century, their essence was distilled in Petrarch’s sonnets to Laura  (Ency, 2016). Courtly Love added to the noble game of jousting in that Knights went into a tournament wearing a lady colour.

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The culture of Courtly Love is passed down to lower classes which implement the traditions dances of the nobility yet at a lower scale of grandeur. The culture and ideology are alive in books,  movies, and theatres. The basis of every story being a woman who has an obstacle in her path and a man tries to rescue or help. Usually, this woman is unattainable because of status, but the man must find a way to overcome these obstacles. Today this is found in every aspect of a life mired in the action of liberalism.


Feminism. In conclusion, the fixation with feminism occurring in the Victorian is not misguided if you believe that feminism as its beginnings in a rising of the middle and liberal classes. Eleanor achieved greatness because of the beauty, intelligence and noble birth. History shows a hand full of women who possessed the qualities of Queen Eleanor. However, neither of these women can make the claims she has. She ruled two countries as Queen; she travelled to the holy land to wage war, this woman was the sovereign of one of the richest kingdoms in Europe, and she successfully fought the church winning legal battles to keep her land and possession. I would add that feminism is a movement for every woman. Many Upper-Class women succumbed to abuse and unwanted sexual intercourse from husbands. Eleanor accomplishments guide the world today.




L Weir, Alison. (2007). Eleanor of Aquitaine. London: Jonathan Cape.                                                                                                                                                                   Reddy, M William. (2012). The Making of Romantic Love. Longing and Sexuality in Europe. Chicago and London: Chicago Press


“Louis VII.” Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2004. Retrieved April 12, 2016 from


McLay, Molly (2006) “From Wollstonecraft to Mill: Varied Positions and Influences of the European and American Women’s Rights Movements,” Constructing the Past: Vol. 7: Iss. 1, Article 13. Available at:


Mitchell, Linda E. (2011). Eleanor of Aquitaine: Queen of France, Queen of England – By Ralph V. Turner Available at!/


Courtly love. (2016). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from


Wheeler, B. (2004). Eleanor of Aquitaine, Courtly Love, and the Troubadours. Westpoint:   Phi Alpha Theta, History Honor Society, Inc.

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