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Friday, December 23, 2005

Robo-Public-Servants (aka slaves to authority figures)


Once again, certain inquiring minds in print media -- Froomkin, Hoagland, and Leibovich at the WaPo and Jehl at the NY Times -- are on to something. Froomkin quoting Leibovich:

Bush scanned the room for Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary.

" 'I want to especially thank Scotty,' the president said, looking at his aide. 'I want to thank Scotty for saying' -- and he paused for effect. . . .

" ' Nothing .' "

Leibovich's story about McClellan, the man who "has been credited -- or blamed -- for taking the craft of party-line discipline to new heights, or depths" suggests that his penchant for robotic repetition of meaningless stock phrases is just a matter of following orders.
Hoagland:

The kind of secrecy and obsessive concern about the powers of the presidency for their own sake that this administration showed even before Sept. 11, 2001, are inconsistent with the workings of American democracy
Call it a requisite for the mindset of this administration that for so long has been acknowledged by mainstream media, but rarely plumbed in depth.

What is it? It's been termed "loyalty", "silence", "secrecy", "towing the party line", "RNC talking points", etc. But it really comes down to OBEDIENCE to AUTHORITY (Stanley Milgram, Philip Zimbardo, Lawrence Kohlberg), GROUPTHINK (Irving Janis), and an utter lack of independent critical thought, which translates into lack of a spine, lack of courage, and a fear-based 'soldier-taking-orders' mentality, philosophy and actions (as specified above) . All followers, no real leaders -- especially not Bush, not Cheney for they serve the military industrial complex and neocon philosophy which mandates OBEDIENCE TO AUTHORITY and GROUPTHINK as their foundational philosophies.

Of course, the Dems aren't exactly stellar examples of speaking truth to power either as noted in Jehl's NYT article, entitled "Congressional Leaders: Among Those Told of Program, Few Objected" ...

At least seven Democratic lawmakers are known to have been briefed about the program since its inception in 2001, and only two, Mr. Rockefeller and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, are known to have expressed written concern about it.

Book: Perspectives on Obedience to Authority. More options:


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