A Thoreau Haiku

RadioEye, an Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio show, recently did an interesting program about Stanley Milgram’s famous obedience experiment.

The show has audio from some of the experiments themselves (hear the “victim” scream as he pretends to get shocked!) but also interviews from some of the experiment’s subjects — many years after the fact — describing what was going through their minds as they unwittingly participated in one of social psychology’s landmark experiments. Interesting stuff.

Fred Reed, a curmudgeonly columnist whom I follow not least because he’s done what I dream of one day doing myself (fleeing to Mexico and living a life of mad bliss), turns his pen on America’s militaristic culture:

“The Pentagon, methinks,” he says, “is out of control. We no longer have a military in service to the state, but a state in service to the military.” Reed believes that the military is becoming both further divorced from mainstream American society, and increasingly independent of civilian control (once you note the ease with which it assimilates the “commander in chief”). He warns: “We are going to pay for this.”