What Makes Filipinos the Perfect Slaves?

blind_leading_the_blind_large-300x209Most of us regular bloggers here attribute the problems of the Philippines to the country’s culture. For us, it’s too obvious. Our culture has customs and practices that make us do things that we better not do. Spend beyond our means, generate huge numbers of children, vote for who is popular despite their being poorly qualified, and just saying that trying to find a solution to our country’s problems is useless.

Filipinos easily fall into self-destructive traps, but some wonder if there is something else aside from culture that influences such behavior. Could there be a psychological mechanism that could explain this?

In the 1960s, Stanley Milgram, a social psychologist at Yale University conducted some experiments. These had participants deliver electric shocks to a subject in another room when that subject gave wrong answers to a question. The subject was actually acting, so while he was wired with electrodes to an apparatus, he actually felt no shocks. But the participant was made to believe they were actually shocking the subject. Gradually, the participant would deliver increasingly higher levels of shock, being told that it was necessary. Before the last and most powerful shock, the subject/actor would cry that they could not take it anymore, and might die. But the accompanying researcher would tell the participant that it had to be done. The researcher could flip the switch for them, thereby “reducing” the guilt, although the participant remained responsible for the decision to deliver the final “shock.”

His highest rate from participants in delivering the final shock was 37 out of 40 in one session, the average of all experiments being 65%, which Milgram said proved his thesis that people are “wired to obey,” even if the order is illegal or harmful. People do wrong not because they are usually evil themselves, but when given sufficient coercion to do so, they are capable of the worst evil. While Milgram’s experiment has been criticized ethically, I believe that its results and conclusion are reliable and valid.

milgram_wp3c2b00a5-300x168After World War II, philosopher Hannah Arendt wrote an eye-opening piece explaining the people who carried out the Nazi Holocaust were not especially evil, abnormal people; they were as normal as any of us. Arendt said that the soldiers were just “following orders,” and did not dare question these orders. In fact, Milgram held his experiments after hearing of the trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Holocaust, who Arendt wrote about. He addressed the question of why the Holocaust could happen on such a tremendous scale. Why did the Germans involved participate in such genocide without question? Basically, it was the “obedience factor” that allowed the Nazis to perform such wide scale murder. Of course, one could factor anti-Semitism, and the threat of death upon disobedience, among other factors. But so the same, it was eerie that nearly no one on the German side was as questioning as common sense would require.

The 1968 My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, the 1994 Rwanda Massacre, Pol Pot’s Cambodian Killing Fields, the Bosnian War and the Srebrenica Massacre can all be explained using Milgram’s theory. The private army guards of the Ampatuans can also be seen as such. If there was a brave dissenter that dared oppose these actions and call others to help stop them, there might have been a way to avert them.

The Milgram theory can be applied to Filipinos. Filipinos certainly exhibit the same traits as the experiment participants and Nazi lackeys; they tend to obey the wrong orders. When told by co-workers that they should embezzle a few funds or steal some materials “once in a while,” they do it. When enjoined to jaywalk, they’ll join dozens of others who cross the street at the wrong time, even if there’s an overpass available. In my high school, a classmate told me, “you’re not a true student of this school unless you know how to forge a document,” since many students have forged documents one time or another. This implied that I should join the bandwagon and not be a “different” person with my integrity. In other words, I should just “obey” the bandwagon. Thus, corruption is easy to spread especially among the ordinary people.

An additional factor in this is a flawed culture that insists on obedience. Filipino parents tell their children that absolute obedience to authority is a value. However, the culture somewhat craftily confuses who is actually an “authority.” The tendency is that we are told to be obedient, even if the “authority” is actually a despot or crook. As a result, Filipinos can be easy for bandwagons to seize because of this “Milgram obedience factor.” It can be taken advantage of to force a candidate choice onto someone.

Ours is also a culture that discourages dissent. For example, if one barkada is full of Noynoy supporters, while one member wants to dissent and vote Gordon instead, the other members of the barkada can turn on him, bully him and call him a traitor. They imply that he should “obey” them as a member of their group, and be all the same. Most less educated people fall for this, unwilling to lose friends even if he doesn’t deserve them.

Thus, the “Milgram obedience factor,” along with our dissent-suppressing culture, has helped make Filipinos into perfect slaves. We are the slaves of the oligarchs who control business with monopolies and a church that seeds us with faulty values. We are bombarded with media (TV shows and movies) that give us false lessons about life (such as being rich is being evil, or illegal means are the only way to fight against corrupt powers) and we are suckered into making them real. We have allowed incompetent people to become leaders in the nation and arrest growth and development. We thus have no choice but to become a nation of servants, as Chip Tsao described, serving other countries. We can be the perfect slaves, as long as we let the authority (or even so-called authority) hold us by the neck.

My challenge to people is that they should be aware of and suppress this “Milgram obedience factor”, challenge their culture and think carefully about their actions. We need to encourage people to increase their individual initiative and resist the crowd. But we also need to teach the right kind of obedience; for example, if Bayani tells us to use the overpasses, instead of jaywalk on the street because it’s inconvenient to go up stairs, we should do so.

This is not impossible. A recent study abroad showed that behavior demonstrated by a few can influence the majority. As long as the few repeat the behavior and demonstrate to others, those others might follow. In fact, that is how fads start; it starts with a minority, and picks up until the majority are doing it. You need only start with a gust to cause a large thunderstorm.

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About ChinoF

I stick with this blog because I believe, as my cohorts do, that many things Filipino embrace as part of their culture keep their society backward. And blogging freely to show that in a truly decent society, with true freedom of speech, even nobodies have a voice.

27 Comments on “What Makes Filipinos the Perfect Slaves?”

  1. My girlfriend’s family are suckers for the slave OFW jobs, especially the ones with live-in prison barracks accommodation to keep the immigrants from contaminating the public. I see it as inhumane prison, but she considers her brother-in-law so ‘lucky’ for getting his job in Saudi Arabia, which turned out to be a dodgy contract meaning he isn’t even getting paid any more. Lucky, lucky, lucky!

    I admire the resilience of people working those thankless jobs, but it does require a servile mindset and lack of self worth that I just could not stoop to, especially when you know the risks and what’s involved but still fall victim to them.

  2. Most Filipino religions are blind faith. They don’t encourage critical thinking or any philosophical views. Filipino religious fanatics or extremist are on the rise, making the Filipinos slaves from their own belief system. That’s the reason why the Filipinos would rather idolize than seek the truth.

  3. Please, not the Nazi stories again. Give it a rest already. Most of those stories and most of the historical background is as correct as reports about the fantastic performance of B.S. Aquino. I’m just sick and tired about the lies. A bunch of propaganda crap!

  4. If you are patient enough to read books about: unconsciousness, advance Psychology, mind control, etc…you will stumble on the Theory of Carl Jung, about :”Collective Unconsciousness”…it is more advance theory, than the one formulated by Sigmund Freud…id, ego and superego…

    This wiring in our brains was understood by Joseff Goebels…the operator of the Propaganda Machine of Hitler.

    Aquino is doing the same to us; with the YellowTard Media, as his propaganda machine…

    1. The media gate keepers no longer hold the keys to education….they can try to curtail internet access but the cat is out of the bag:

      Neo-classical economics doesn’t work, the bull-shit media is exactly that, BULL SHIT MEDIA and when the people wake the fuck up…

      THAILAND WILL COME TO THE PHILIPPINES AND GOLD WILL ONCE GAIN BE MONEY.

    2. Hydie, it looks like you might be patient enough to read those books, but sadly, you’re not smart enough to understand them. Your jump from Jung and Freud and Goebbels to Aquino and the media is a complete non-starter – worthy of PNoy, to be perfectly honest. Frankly, dear boy, if you’re the best that the opposition has to offer, then shit really is Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition.

      And you can stop the name-dropping already. It just makes you look insecure, and no one here is impressed. Wear your learning lightly, if you really did learn; otherwise you look just as vulgar as good ol’ Brother Mike.

      Get Real, Hydie!

      1. Hydie, you silly little boy. Wow. Just wow. Now that I’ve finished laughing at your limp-dicked attempt at a comeback, allow me to retort. Since you need to use profanity, let’s just cut the bullshit, shall we?

        First of all, learn to write English. That’s right, English, motherfucker. If you can’t even insult me correctly (I quote you, again: “whom you are kissing his ass” – now what the fuck is that mangled shit? Even a deaf mute choking on a donut can articulate better than that!), then how do you expect me to take you seriously?

        Secondly, calling me names with no reason has to be one of the more stupid things that you can do, but given what I and everyone on the blog have seen of you, stupid is what you do best. I quote you, yet again: “Anyway, you are just a YellowTard.” Well, that’s news to me: if you even read what I post, you’d see that I have a slightly higher opinion of yellow tards than I do of you, and even so, I hold them in utter contempt. You, dear boy, are beneath that. Yellow tards are just stupid; you, Hydie, are stupid too, but your problem is that you think you’re smart. Your pathetic name-dropping gives that away.

        Third, let everyone who reads this blog know that you are the embodiment of all that this blog criticizes about the Philippines: you are nothing but a butthurt little crybaby who thinks he’s king because he said so. Carry on living in your fantasy world, fucktard. You’re still the object of our ridicule.

        Oh, and just for the record: I agree with Pedro Sanchez. You need to behave better, though I have serious doubts that you can. Just so you have it readily available, here’s what he had to say about you. It’s a little extreme, but it’s beautiful in its own way. That shit about your “AIDS-riddled whore of a mother” is priceless. You probably should share it with your family – your momma will surely appreciate the true-to-life description of her. Maybe others reading this blog will enjoy it too. And maybe they’ll be inspired to share it among their friends and relations.

        See, Hydie, the only idiot here is you. Pull up your panties and wipe your snotty nose now – you’re just disgusting.

        Get Real, Hydie!

        —–
        Hello, Hyden –

        I don’t understand why you have to call me a yellowtard idiot. I wasn’t rude with you. All I was asking for was some clarification. And you were rude to me in response. Is it because I didn’t agree with you or take your side? That’s no reason to be rude.

        But let me reply to you now. You only understand rudeness. So I will be rude to you. You only want people who agree with you and who think how you do. So, candy ass, you should go find your AIDS-riddled whore of a mother at the Angeles City titty bar where she works and climb through her diseased cunt back into that septic tank of a womb she shat you kicking and screaming out of. That would be the perfect echo chamber for you. It should not be too hard for you to burrow your way back through her dusty pussy after all the sex tourist cock that’s split it so wide open you could drive PNoy’s presidential motorcade right through and still leave space for a crowd of yellow tards to howl and dance about like bitches in heat.

        Fuck you, Hyden, you thin-skinned little emo bitch. Fucktard half dicks like you have no place among people.

        So, to get back to business: answer my fucking question if you can, bitch. I dare you. I double dare you, mother fucker.

        Maraming salamat po! Have a nice day!

        Pedro.

        P.S. Next time, please don’t be rude.”

      2. Oh, and Hydie – have you finally checked your facts and backed up your claims? You need to tell us more about the Theocratic Republic of Germany and that church that Hitler attended and all that shit. You know what I’m talking about, so don’t try to hide. Stop being such a pussy and grow a pair of balls, if you can. Face the fucking music, asshole.

        1. Oh, Hydie. Three posts in a little more than two hours? I really got to you, silly little boy: everybody can see that you can’t get me out of your head. I like how you tell us all that you’re insignificant – that’s the first thing I’ve actually seen you get right. Still, it doesn’t let you off the hook. You’re full of shit and you couldn’t take being called out on that. You couldn’t admit your mistakes. Instead you had to resort to name-calling – and you couldn’t even get that right. Worse, it turned out that others were better than you at that.

          Then your mother got insulted in a pretty gruesome way. And you did nothing. It was someone else who spoke up for your mother. That shows that you are the lowest of cowards. You’re beneath contempt.

          For all I care, you can keep calling me a YellowTard. My feelings aren’t hurt; after all, you’re the one who just shows that he can’t read. And why would I get angry when you’re just being yourself – a complete idiot? Only an idiot would get angry at an idiot.

          Anyway, you’ve lost face, my boy, and you have absolutely no way of saving it. You are a fraud and a coward, and everyone here knows it. Any attempt you make to distract us from the issue (more name-calling – it seems to be all you can do) only shows how desperate you are.

          Hyden Toro – not a man. Hyden Toro – the worm who lost face and has no hope of saving it. Hyden Toro – a contemptible and desperate fraud and coward. The truth is cold, isn’t it, Hydie?

  5. Another useless essay on the effects of the ‘Milgram study’,ugh..psych 101,HA!. Stanley Milgram and ‘human studies’ were all brought to a halt after the 1968 ‘Stanford Prison Experiment’.Why is another topic altogether and beyond the scope of this.
    Being qualified to expound on the why’s how’s and if’s of this subject, yes:

    BUT BUT BUT, human beings are all 1 in 8,000,000,000 at least and to make a generalized statement about certain groups/sub groups etc, etc and back those statements up with scientific studies & statistical analysis is all very good(or a complete waste of time too!).

    BUT BUT BUT, the fact is the answer to any one question regarding any ONE person(or group of person’s) can have 8 million different answers, so for all the statistical and scientific studies combined and all the money spent on all of that shit….NO ONE will ever be able to positively state WHY someone acts in a certain way with any more certainty than:MAYBE or PERHAPS….You just can’t, itssa waste of time.

  6. It’s just fatalism. If people believe everything is from some higher power or predetermined, there’s less impulse to act or change. Hence, we sit down and take abuse hoping something like “karma” punishes the abusers and does all the work for us.

  7. Wanna know what made this worse? Education. Yeah. Check out Seth Godin and his talks on youtube and you’ll understand.

  8. That recent study I linked to isn’t the original one I found when I first wrote this article. These was this study I noticed where there was a deliberate effort to try and teach people to follow traffic rules or some other project like that. The title was something like the majority can follow the minority, or the message is that examples of good behavior can be contagious. I hope to find it again or something like it.

  9. ChinoF: thoughtful article. If you’ve never read it, go read your constitution. Blind obedience to authority is sewn into its fabric, and schools are enjoined to teach ‘patriotism’ (unquestioning pride in one’s country and/or race).

    Dave: I’ve noticed this too. What depresses me is that the whole OFW thing and export-based economy is fundamentally flawed. It’s a policy designed either by children who know nothing of economics, or a clever ruling class who get to hoover up all that foreign currency and spend it on useless shit.

    1. Interesting point you make about the 1987 Constitution. I’ve read that it’s among the wordiest and longest constitutions ever with a lot of vested and particular interests slipped in. Perhaps that’s what gives it its “blind obedience” aspect.

    2. Your definitions are mixed up.

      ‘Patriotism’ is the love for or devotion to and support of one’s country. Generally speaking, it has to with a cultural attachment to one’s homeland.

      What you describe is ‘Nationalism’ — a sense of national consciousness exalting one’s nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups.

      There is a world of difference. Nationalism is a feeling that one’s country is superior to another in all respects, while patriotism is merely a feeling of admiration for a way of life. In this sense, patriotism is passive by nature and nationalism can lead to aggression or at least a misguided sense of ‘national pride.’

  10. I don’t know what the deal with Hyden Toro and Ben is, but from what I can gather on the blog, Ben really makes a strong case that Hyden is very pretentious. In any case, Ben is obviously a much clearer and more careful thinker. I don’t agree with slinging names and insults, but we’ve all got to admit that “AIDS-riddled whore of a mother” is much better than “Anyway, you are just a YellowTard” (@Hyden: did you scrub that post out? Ben doesn’t strike me as being someone who would make stuff up…). That thing about the presidential motorcade and Hyden’s mom’s kiki is so wrong but so funny at the same time… My office mates and I were laughing our asses off, we had tears in our eyes it was so hilarious… Then we were laughing even more because we made Junior laugh while he drinking water and it all went through his nose…

    Anyway, just wanted to thank all y’all at GRP for the laughs! And special thanks to Hyden for being such a good sport!

  11. Wow!!! I never thought my insignificant blog
    comment would get noticed and attract so many readers and detractors…Keep howling on the moon, Yellowtards!!!

  12. I believe I hit someone in their Balls hard, with my blog comments…they are coming at an insignificant blogger like me…Wow!!!…I never thought I was a threat to anyone…or my comments would have an importance to people…How wonderful to know it…out of a hundred GRP bloggers, and I’m noticed? Can you beat that?

  13. Stockholm Syndrome it is! Under the authority of Spain and continued by the USA. To end this slavery – decolonization is necessary…start by dissolving the Filipinas (instead use our Austronesian based enthnolinguistic divisions, i.e. Bicolano of the Republic of Bicol, Ilocano for Ilocandia, Tagalog for Tagalog Republic, Bisaya for Bangsa Bisaya etc)…this is our true identity!…until we are Filipino…we are slaves of king Philip (Spain then, now Vatican).

  14. Si Aquino ay matagal nang maysira ng ulo. Hinawaan na niya si Roxas, mga Senador at mga Kongresista…at any mga kasama niya.
    Ang mga YellowTards ay hinawaan niya rin.
    Ang mga angkan ng mga Aquino, ay sakim sa lupa (Hacienda Luisita); sa kapangyarihan (Corona impeachment); at sa pera (Pork Barrel scam)…pina-imbestiga niya, any mga Senador; para matakpan any pagnanakaw niya sa Pork Barrel.

    Mga angkan ng mga traydor , ang mga Aquino. Si Benigno Aquino I ay Japanese Imperial Army collaborator. Si Ninoy Aquino, Jr. ay NPA collaborator. Pina bomba niya ang LP miting de advance sa Plaza Miranda.

    Si Aquino III, ay trinaydor niya si Sultan Kiram, na ang tunay na nag-maymayari sa Sabah. Pinabigay niya ang Sabah sa Malaysia. Pinapatay pa niya, ang mga kapwa natin Pilipino sa Sabah.

    Pinabigay ni Aquino III ang parte ng Mindanao sa Al Queda.
    Pinawalaan niya ng mga sira ulo na YellowTard niya sa GRP blogsite; para mang-gulo sa matinong pag-uusap ng mga tao.

    Wala tayong hinahangad, kundi pagkatino sa mga namumuno sa atin…Tignan niyo, ma-uto ko ang mga YellowTard na ito: HEY YELLOWTARDS AQUINO ASS KISSERS…HOWL TO THE MOON, ONCE MORE FOR ME!!!

    1. Wow, Hydie. Looks like you just went off the deep end. Shit.

      But I’m sorry to have to tell you that you still have completely lost face. You’re still not a man. And you still are a contemptible and desperate fraud and coward.

      Try harder next time, okay?

      1. Mga kababayan…hindi Pilipino ang YellowTard na binayaran ni Aquino na ito…hindi marunong magsulat ng Pilipino…
        Howl to the moon, for me…again Aquino YellowTard Ass Kisser!!!

        1. Let’s see here, Hydie. Let’s make this easy for you.

          http://getrealphilippines.com/blog/2011/08/english-vs-tagalog-james-soriano-owes-no-one-any-apologies/

          http://opinion.inquirer.net/11649/language-learning-identity-privilege

          It’s English, motherfucker. Language of privilege. Language of the learned. You can’t speak it. So you go and hide like the scared little bitch bottom-feeder you are.

          Nice try, Hydie. You’ve still lost face. You’re still not a man. You’re still a contemptible and desperate fraud and coward.

          Try again, if you can.

  15. This Milgram thing could be applied to defenders of the Dingdong-Marian wedding. And that commenter who said, “we don’t have a royal family to look up to.” Sheesh, Filipinos are satisfied with being slaves.

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