Thursday, October 10, 2013

Park Service Brown Shirts

The news has been full lately of the tactics used by National Park Service rangers to enforce the government shutdown. The vision of friendly guides with Smokey the Bear hats has pretty much been replaced with Gestapo tactics. The nadir for me was the idea that they would prevent foreign tourists from leaving their hotel in Yellowstone Park giving the tourists, who didn't speak English well, the idea that they were under arrest.

How, you ask, can this happen? Aren't most of these guys nice upstanding family men? Well, go do a little study on the Milgram Experiment and the Stanford Prison Study. I have blogged about these before in relation to the TSA, but it applies to the NPS just as well. Good people, when given complete authority over someone else or are ordered to perform an onerous task by someone in authority, will behave counter to their moral compass. The ultimate example is Nazi Germany but you can see it in everyday life in fraternity hazings, police brutality and now the National Park Service.

We do not live in Russia where a passport and permission was required to travel within the country. It is time for Americans to exercise their First Amendment right to free travel and perform a little civil disobedience by stepping around the barrycades.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Discussed BOTH of those this weekend... Excellent post Sir!