Compulsive Compliance: Why We Do What We’re Told


Why do we compulsively do what we are told?  Despite advances in humanity in today’s modern era we still  automatically accept imposition of authority over us by politicians, civil workers, teachers etc… but also even in social environments.  In some ways we are even more accommodating than previous eras throughout human history.  Why is that?  Are we trained to accept subjugation and conditioned to comply?  Is it healthy?  How does this manifest in our social environment?

First, a relevant update on the home ed community and mainstream reaction to the unschooled “reality” episode.
Then, an examination of the human nature of compliant behavior illustrated by the film “Compliance”
The conversation continues with examples of subjugation of liberty and abdication of independent thought in our culture.
How language is used as a tool to manipulate humans and what we can do to avoid that snare by improving our cognitive skill.

How did we get here? Why do we accept it and finally, what can we do to break the cycle of over-reaching authority?

These topics and more explored in this episode.  Listen up! Feedback always welcomed and appreciated.

This episode is not yet sponsored.  We appreciate your contributions and support!

Special Thanks to Cesar Diaz for audio assistance

Intro Music:
Killing in the Name of” by Rage Against the Machine

Outro Music provided by:
Band: Single Bullet Theory (with drummer Justin Arman)
Record: The Arena (In Stores Summer 2013)

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avatar About the Author: Laurette Lynn is the Unplugged Mom© Founder of and Host and founder of Unplugged Mom Radio© Learn more about Laurette Lynn by clicking here.

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  1. avatar Gina Basteri says:

    As a Massachusetts residence, I felt I had to respond to this one. Although I would like to point out that that Friday it was not the entire state that was in lock down – despite the fact that most people outside of our region assume that Boston is the entire state :) – it was however the second time in less than a few months when the government did block off access and mandate residence stay in place ~ during the Nemo blizzard we were also put under a state of emergency and there was a driving ban for nearly 24 hours, something that we had never witnessed before, yet everyone just seemed to accept it.

    I live less than 40 miles from the area that was in lockdown and things proceeded as normal here on the South Shore. I had to work and I did call to remind my 15 year old daughter who was at home alone to NOT answer the door to ANYONE and to remind her of our standing rule – if a police officer appears at the front door, call the police dept and verify that an officer is actually at our residence before opening the door and DO NOT let them in without a warrant and a female officer present.
    When I mentioned this to a friend of mine she was quite shocked – you mean you wouldn’t have let them search the house for the suspect? My response was NO! I wouldn’t. Why would I unless I thought the suspect had somehow gotten into my house. Why would you just let police officers in to prove you’re not harboring a fugitive?

    Why do people who think they are free and think they have rights, not stand up for them? Why do they just let their civil rights get trampled on? It is brainwashing – there really is no other explanation for it.

    I share in your concern with the ease of the compliance and to think that something this relatively small garnered such drastic measures. It also has been all that is on the television stations for the past two weeks, we have been held hostage with nothing but discussion of it – we heard only a few blips about the fertilizer plant explosion and that had a far greater impact. I am not trying to play down the situation, but am disturbed by the media attention that it has occupied.

    • Thank you Gina, for these clarifications. I should know better ya think? LOL It’s just one of those things that bites me hard, when I see military troops and gunners riding down residential streets terrorizing innocent folks for one a**hole. Jefferey Dahmer killed WAY more people and didn’t evoke this kind of manhunt. It’s such a show.