Both conformity and obedience are our responses to social influence exerted by other people. Indeed, they are different things, one is conformity, another is obedience. We tend to do what others want us to do, because that's what we were ordered to do. This is called obedience and is directly related to an authority figure. On the contrary, we tend to also act when others suggest that it is appropriate or that it is in our interest. And that is conformity (or matching, agreement with the group).



I hope you will give up the (moralistic) evaluation of these social processes as bad or good. They do not suffer moralistic labels (recipe). This is the course of the social world like the course of the stars in the sky. I suggest you avoid the self-righteous prescription trap if you want to be part of the  club  of smart thinkers. Oh! What I have just done? A form of social influence, that is, I convince you. How do you answer? He probably complies, or rather tends to  agree,  given my message that it's not an order, just a reasonable way, I think, of social influence.

However, the effects of obedience and conformity can be  circumstantially  positive or negative. For example, those who want to think smart are more likely to  agree  with some articles on this blog (conformity). Those who do not want to, because they probably prefer the mystical-esoteric delusion that brings them certain benefits at this stage of life, will most likely respond  with disapproval  in various forms, from moralizing criticisms and justifications to slanderous comments. As you can see, we have compliance situations here.

As for the second type of response to social influence, no one (almost) has observed the obedience of gendarmes to the orders of a commander (proposed for promotion, ptiu!). You don't need a PhD in social psychology. But, some basic knowledge is needed to understand how his brutal action against a peacefully demonstrating majority was carried out. The most convenient thing is to consider them "raw" or "trepanati". (But naming is not explaining). I also do not think. Rather we can believe that they are ordinary people, but that they have found themselves in a more  unusual situation  (with paranoia induced by systematic misinformation). And that can scare us much more. If they are not inherently violent (sadistic psychopaths), how did they become such brutal individuals?

Two ways… First, through dogfish training, they were trained to automatically respond to commands from a superior officer. And two, the ambiguous social situation and crisis of the demonstration. The ambiguity (are they aggressive protesters or not?) led them, in the midst of the crisis, orders and misinformation (disseminated several days before), to intervene more aggressively and, in the end, violently. Once action was triggered, they entered an upward spiral of aggression that unfolded in several stages.

Of course, this does not  absolve  those  who were violent, nor their officers who gave the orders (nor the sinister lady who led the operation). And the responsibility is distributed along the chain of command, from the senior officer (highly responsible) to the gendarme in the field. Um…I haven't heard of anyone being charged, although their orders were clear. It seems that the Judiciary in this country has been under  the influence  of the Power elite (perhaps even control?). Here is another case of conformity presumably built on mutually beneficial social exchanges (kleptocracy). Let's not forget where we live. For the ruling elite to prosper, the country  tramples to its citizens, both ways, so to speak.The title of the film made by Recorder.

Regarding the aspects of obedience and ambiguity, but keeping the proportions, it seems to me that it is similar to the massacre of the village of My Lai in Vietnam (March 16, 1968), which my recollection serves as an example in a textbook. of social psychology. (In a textbook I hope to find the December 1989 revolution and the mines as examples). Nearly five hundred peaceful villagers were machine-gunned by US soldiers. In situations of extreme social pressure mixed with ambiguity, people could behave bestially without being sociopathic.

Other people, in other conditions, can behave like a surprisingly peaceful crowd, even if their suffering is extreme. They may  conform  to an ideal of peaceful protest. Demonstrations of civil rights or democratic values ​​and principles (such as exist in the country) that incorporate the concept of non-violence or “ahimsa”, a Sanskrit term with quality of fundamental principle in Jain, Hindu and Hindu religious thought come to mind here. Buddhist (brings with "Turn the other cheek too"). The first to resort to him in actions of civil disobedience was Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi.

Finally, incredible as it may seem, social influence  shapes  our personality. Sometimes immorally and brutally. Other times, they can make us better people. It is worthwhile, I think, to reflect carefully on what kind of situations we systematically expose ourselves to. And from the first impulses, whether of conformity or obedience, even if they come to us spontaneously, let us refrain and ask ourselves: "Am I a better person  if  I do this?"