The Abuse of Power in the Military

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A Few Good Men is a movie that adequately causes debate among renowned professors, philosophers, and psychoanalysts. The film demonstrates multiple qualities of commands and power in the military, specifically the Marines. A Few Good Men has an early distinguishable gender distinction, where women are subordinate to men, despite being higher in rank. Marines use a punishment known as a Code Red to discipline any soldier who fails to comply with any and all given orders. Philip G. Zimbardo is a professor at Stanford University who composed the article, “The Stanford Prison Experiment,” in 1973 (Zimbardo 240). Zimbardo’s article covers his experiment which tested college students’ abilities to adapt in either an authoritarian role as a guard or into a submissive role as a prisoner (Zimbardo 243). The guards were quickly subjected to factors, such as boredom, and began to expand their power by harassing the prisoners. The simple experiment swiftly deteriorated into a more realistic prison situation which exemplified the need for the college students to exert their power as guards. Erich Fromm is another prominent author who wrote “Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem” in 1963, shortly after the Cuban missile crisis (Fromm 258). His article mainly discusses obedience; Fromm divides obedience into an authoritarian conscience, obeying out of fear or to please, and humanistic conscience, listening to a person’s own morals and ethics (Fromm 261). Fromm explains rational and irrational authority by stating that rational is to benefit all involved and irrational only benefits the person in charge (Fromm 261). A major component of the film is the abuse of power and how that power is usually exerted over lower ranking officers to... ... middle of paper ... ...lm. Dalrymple, Theodore. “Just Do What the Pilot Tells You.” Writing and Reading for ACP Composition. Eds. Thomas E. Leahey and Christine R. Farris. New York: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2009. 254-258. Print. Fromm, Erich. “Disobedience as a Psychological and Moral Problem.” Writing and Reading for ACP Composition. Eds. Thomas E. Leahey and Christine R. Farris. New York: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2009. 258-263. Print. Powers, Rod. Military Orders. 2011 Web. 7 November 2011. “When Good People Do Bad Things.” Dr. Phil. Harpo. Inc. Los Angeles. 10 December 2010. Television. Zimbardo, Philip G. “The Stanford Prison Experiment.” Writing and Reading for ACP Composition. Eds. Thomas E. Leahey and Christine R. Farris. New York: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2009. 240-252. Print.

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