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Why do people defend unjust, inept, and corrupt systems?

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posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:22 PM

Why do we stick up for a system or institution we live in -- a government, company, or marriage -- even when anyone else can see it is failing miserably? Why do we resist change even when the system is corrupt or unjust? A new article in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science, illuminates the conditions under which we're motivated to defend the status quo -- a process called "system justification."

System justification isn't the same as acquiescence, explains Aaron C. Kay, a psychologist at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, who co-authored the paper with University of Waterloo graduate student Justin Friesen. "It's pro-active. When someone comes to justify the status quo, they also come to see it as what should be."

Reviewing laboratory and cross-national studies, the paper illuminates four situations that foster system justification: system threat, system dependence, system inescapability, and low personal control.

When we're threatened we defend ourselves -- and our systems. Before 9/11, for instance, President George W. Bush was sinking in the polls. But as soon as the planes hit the World Trade Center, the president's approval ratings soared. So did support for Congress and the police. During Hurricane Katrina, America witnessed FEMA's spectacular failure to rescue the hurricane's victims. Yet many people blamed those victims for their fate rather than admitting the agency flunked and supporting ideas for fixing it. In times of crisis, say the authors, we want to believe the system works.

This to me is the million dollar question...Why?

I think it is the fear of change. I think people just plain and simply think I am not dead yet, so everything is okay....

Rather than striving for more they are just content with being, I know there are people out there that do strive for more and embrace change, but it just seems as if the ones afraid to change are controlling everything. I don't know if they have the power or the numbers, but they are winning.

Everything is falling apart around us and no one seems to want change. The monetary system sucks, the government sucks, infrastructure sucks but yet we sit back and think, 'oh well, it will get better someday'. What the hell are they waiting for?

People need to realize if they want a change to happen they have to take it in their own hands and be the change they want to see.

That includes all of us bitching about the world and how it should be better.

Any thoughts?


posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:27 PM
Everything isnt falling apart around us. Things arent great, but the skys not falling so dont be so over dramatic.

I choose to defend the United States and its allies because this side of the world doesnt seem to want to execute people for things like evil thoughts and sexual orientation or which fake god you want to have conversations with. Do you really honestly think that there is any system of government that isnt corrupt?

I mean thats just delusional... you have to live somewhere. Here at least you have a good chance at doing something with your life.

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:38 PM
People are sheep. It's as simple as that. One person may have a twisted rationale and if said person voices their reasons people are bound to follow suit. Take Hitler (not the greatest example...) , he spoke what was on his mind, many may argue that his rationale was a little "tweaked" but sure enough he had followers. Those followers then got others to follow. And we all know what a following Adolph had. It is a cycle. Propaganda also has its place in said cycle.

HItler was just an example that I could think of on a whim. I hope you all get the jist of my point.
edit on 4-2-2012 by kimish because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:42 PM
reply to post by predator0187

I am currently writing a thread on this topic and will be posting it shortly..

Keep an eye on this post as I will edit the link in when it’s up.

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:45 PM
If you defend a system, it WILL be unjust, inept, and corrupt. It is inherent to any and all institutions/establishments/"systems".
The only "system" that could potentially maximize freedom and dignity of individuals is one of massive decentralization. A "non system" if you will. The micro-systems that would arise would be extremely diverse. Many from one would consider the other to be horrific and vice versa. But communities would get to pick their own leaders and be able to live by their own values.

As long as humans are stuck on insisting that everyone else live by their standards (Western culture, Islamic extremists, Communists, etc) it will always be unjust, inept, and especially, corrupt.

There will always be hierarchies in human communities. Denying that is like saying that wolves form packs and hierarchies due to learned behavior. Like other social animals, hierarchy is absolutely ingrained in our genetic structure. We cant avoid it. It is a biological fact.
What we can do is ackowledge our own nature and work with it. In a decentralized "system" where communities are sovereign, natural leaders would emerge. And if leadership abuses power or is corrupt, it is that community's own fault.
In our current system, officials elected in California or New York can affect and even dominate the lives of those with very different values in Arizona, Montana, and Louisiana. How can this system not be unjust?

Calls for the world to unite are calls for tyranny, violence, and failure. The world should separate instead. This doesn't mean isolationism. Communities can still engage in commerce and communications and communities could work together on certain things (Space travel, helping another community hit by a natural disaster, etc.).

I know this is a little pie in the sky at this point, but until we can figure out how to get to that scenario, everything will remain largely the same. All centralized systems are inherently corrupt, unjust, and inept.
Especially ones that are formed "in the name of the people" or "the 99%". The mob is the most evil and cruel of all tyrants.

edit on 4-2-2012 by pierregustavetoutant because: sp

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:46 PM
Sheep? Or just not willing to throw out the system without something better to replace it with?

Do any of us have a solution? If so, delineate it. Get it out there where people can see it, discuss it, perhaps even find a way to implement it.

It's all very well and good to say the system is corrupt. Evil. Whatever... Hey, I even agree with you.


Where is the solution? What is it? Identifying the problem is only step one. Identifying a solution is the next. Making sure the supposed solution is actually an improvement follows that. Which is followed by implementation.

Realizing that it's a multi-step process doesn't make one a makes one a realist.

Look before you leap. Act in haste, repent at leisure.

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:48 PM
Cultural hegemony is the reason people defend unjust systems. The ruling class or the ruling persons in a system manipulate certain aspects of society so that it seems to be the norm. This then takes form as 'common sense' which means that the lower class hold the values of the ruling class as the only way to live and thus won't even bother trying to change it.

This is if you're a fan of Antonio Gramsci anyway.

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:49 PM
reply to post by predator0187

A person put in a leadership position is doubly accountable to God. As we view our leaders, their role is to keep the people living in safety. In an ideal world, we would be able to live at peace and have no need to mistrust our leaders. When love is the law, no other law is required. A society that is taught to give above all other ambitions is a society that will thrive. Objectivism--our current ambition-- cannot give. It takes.

There is only one place the root philosophy of truth (Altruism) can be found. Jesus told men to turn the other cheek; bless those who curse you; pray for those who persecute you; give your coat and your tunic if asked and go two miles if asked to go one. This simply flies in the face of all other current philosophies of men. Negative can only be walked back from debt with positive. Hate cannot dispel hate. Only love dispels hate.

What's the answer? Easy and simple. Those who choose to take are thieves. They have had 6 days (6000 years) to amend their practices. A day (1000 years) of freedom is at the door step for those who repent from taking. Those who give will be baptized into the kingdom. As for those who do not give:

Remember, Jesus said "you must be born again." Baptism is the process of immersion into the water of reality. Who is refused baptism?

Matthew 3

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

Water and Spirit Baptism

No need to defend a corrupt system. Make sure the kingdom (50 trillion cells in your body) you reside over is of a giving nature. Have faith and God will bring a new day and age. You must be born again.

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:52 PM
reply to post by predator0187

Because unless unjust, inept and corrupt is affecting them directly in the here and now. This system is working for them. Also a lot of people don't know there is a problem until someone points it out for them. Hell I don't know

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:58 PM

Originally posted by predator0187
This to me is the million dollar question...Why?


A few answers might be found at this link here...

Why Do People Defend Unjust, Inept, and Corrupt Systems?
posted on 14-12-2011 @ 01:11

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 06:58 PM
How are they defining an ''unjust'', ''inept'' or ''corrupt'' system ?

Unless there's some universally agreed pre-defined, absolutist concept of ''justice'' and ''fairness'', then this ''study'' appears to be nothing more than material which you'd put out in your rubbish bin.

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 07:01 PM
Unfortunately, the brainwashing has been relatively successful.
It's a shock to the organism to learn about the wide range of deception, accept it and then
have to search for a way out of the manmade maze of corruption and deceit- all in one go.
A daunting task. But not an impossible one.

Up until this point - there hasn't been time or the obvious "in your face"
need to question the absurdity of the systems we've been led to
believe are in our best interest - so it's taking a while.

But - like an old boss use to tell me -
No one changes unless they have to -
until they are up against a wall -
then they see.

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 07:04 PM
I can only quote one of the bad guys here as it seems most appropriate:

“By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.”
― Adolf Hitler

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 07:14 PM

Originally posted by alfa1


A few answers might be found at this link here...

Why Do People Defend Unjust, Inept, and Corrupt Systems?
posted on 14-12-2011 @ 01:11

My fault, the story on the source is new, I thought it would be around the first couple of pages...

You do realize that ATS is a fairly big place right, and that there are different forums? Some people only hang around on certain forums so placing it in different places is a good thing.

Why not add something contructive to the thread than bitch that it was posted in a different forum?


posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 07:18 PM
I have no idea why people defend Social Security,Medicare and Medicaid and welfare doubt those answers will ever be found.

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 07:20 PM
Because just, eficient and not corrupt systems doesn't exist.

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 07:34 PM
Very true.

here is another.
While I am uncertain about the "how", I am certain of the "why".

It is like the void of a home when the potency of the father as the progenitor is transferred to an offspring and his family. The filling of that void, little by little, is the shell that life occupied. Values switch at a critical point several times in a person's life. They react to the situation of mortality and potency being lost. "Mojo" is a hard thing to get back once it is lost to time and negligence.

If people find value in their lives and are occupied with rewarding enterprises, Social diversity and interchange will enrich all people involved in the exchange.

Imagine a world where information and knowledge were foremost in every person's life. The technology we create is only an extension of our will to survive. The harness on our destiny. The soul we leave for posterity, it is all part of our tradition of life.

We love being alive. Even if you hate your life you still want to stay because it is your life. When you lose control of that single thread, of "who is your life about" "what was it for", and you begin to unravel your dignity fiber by fiber. You do this until you become the spaghetti mess of a person torn between lies and the possible truth of things. Reality as best you can see it.

The moment we seek of perfect peace and perfect harmony is not the pinnacle of excellence. It is the foundation.

edit on 4-2-2012 by casenately because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 09:27 PM
I don't now about anyone else, but I do so because I am confident there is nothing wrong with the "system". It is the "unjust, inept and corrupt" people who bastardize the system. As far as they go, it's our fault for continuing to re-elect them. Over 80% of the American People (by polls, of course) disapprove of the job Congress is doing. But, just wait and see what happens in November.

Obviously, those polled believe it is only everyone else's representatives who are the problem.

posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 01:21 AM

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

--The Declaration of Independence

People are more likely to put up with unjust, inept, and corrupt systems than to change them, until the systems become so bad that it is easier to change them than to live with them. It's just Human nature. We like to think of ourselves as a noble species, that we like to think for ourselves and defend our liberty, but in reality we mostly strive for the freedom to be complacent.

We will only rise up against TPTB when they have squeezed so tightly that our ability to be numb and complacent is compromised. And when it is, we will rise up exactly long enough to become complacent again, and not a moment longer, and then we will stop. That's how it has always been.
edit on 5-2-2012 by vexati0n because: (no reason given)

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