“The government cannot enforce its mountain of laws and regulations without voluntary compliance.”

– Charles Murray

“The most influential people strive for genuine buy-in and commitment – they don’t rely on compliance techniques that only secure short-term persuasion.”

— Mark Goulston

“Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.”

― Daniel H. Pink

“It is often disturbing to see how even intelligent people do not have straight thinking minds of their own. The pattern of the mind, whether toward conformity and compliance or otherwise, is conditioned rather early in life.”

― Joost A.M. Meerloo, author of The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing

“People follow leaders by choice. Without trust, at best you get compliance.”

― Jesse Lyn Stoner

“We’ve built a way of life that depends on people doing what they are told because they don’t know how to tell themselves what to do.”

― John Taylor Gatto, author of Dumbing Us Down

“A great leader is a sponge with filter, observes everything, but obeys nothing.”

― Abhijit Naskar

“Domination is a relationship, not a condition; it depends on the participation of both parties. Hierarchical power is not just the gun in the policeman’s hand; it is just as much the obedience of the ones who act as if it is always pointed at them.

― CrimethInc

“All I want is compliance with my wishes, after reasonable discussion.”

― Winston Churchill

“’Compliance’ is just a subset of ‘governance’ and not the other way around.”

― Pearl Zhu

Our world is devolving into one of obedience and compliance. This is not tyranny, at least not yet. It seems to be arising from our enormously complex and confusing existence. People need some degree of order and certainty. These are being created by emerging societal processes that appear to require more obedience and compliance. Is this good, or not so good? 

Things seem to have gotten more chaotic in recent years. Everything is changing so rapidly that most of us struggle to keep up. At the same time, systems are being introduced and elaborated to bring some degree of stability and predictability to our lives. Or something.

While we surely need more stability and predictability, there is an aura about what is happening that is troubling. Our leaders and their supporters seem to be taking advantage of this situation to swiftly further their own agendas and visions. No surprise here, since similar things have taken place in much less complex times. Perhaps we are seeing just a natural systems response to the growing complexity.

Are obedience and compliance really different?

They are truly different, as this comparison illustrates:

Obedience can be defined as carrying out the orders, instructions or commands of someone in power or authority. All individuals go through different types of obedience in a variety of settings such as schools, work places, etc. In order to obey, a person does not necessarily have to agree with the person in authority or even consider it as correct. The person usually follows orders either to avoid punishments or else to get it over with.”

Compliance is to follow instructions. Compliance does not necessarily require an individual in power or authority to give orders. This can be due to the influence of peers, friends and even family. Compliance in this sense is changing the behaviour in accordance to the demands of a social group. In this instance also, the individual may be uncomfortable as he or she disagrees with the others. Yet he would comply with the instructions just to remain within the comfort zone.“

Obedience is our response to someone in power or authority. It usually involves force or coercion, and punishment for the disobedient. We obey because we must.

Compliance is our response to instructions and procedures that develop via social, political, and economic processes. We comply because we agree that these are necessary and reasonably fair. We comply more or less willingly.

Both may well be vital in maintaining order and stability in large populations where our tribal heritage is inadequate. While tribes had obedience and compliance, the mechanics for these was personal and limited in scope. Today, where so much is global and becoming impossibly complex, new mechanics have necessarily evolved.

This seems, in principle at least, to be neither good nor bad. It just is. It is part of our human nature that evolved over eons of human existence. We are, as I have suggested in a couple of recent posts (here and here), strongly inclined by our human nature to obey and comply as required by the society in which we live.

Do obedience and compliance lead to tyranny?

Some folks out there surely think so. For example – from Dr. Joseph Mercola via The Burning Platform site: “Why Are People so Obedient? Compliance and Tyranny”:

“Story at-a-glance:

  • Humans may be biologically wired to go with the flow and stick with the majority group, even if they don’t agree with its intentions
  • In the 1950s, psychologist Solomon Asch conducted a now-classic social psychology experiment showing the power of peer pressure and the desire to fit in
  • Governments, corporate giants and globalists are able to shape public opinion and behavior of the masses by ‘manufacturing illusions of consensus’
  • False beliefs about public majority opinions may drive people to censor their true opinions about an issue, furthering an altered perception of reality and conformity
  • Even minor displays of noncompliance can give others the courage to follow, triggering a ripple effect that can change society”

“Plans for a totalitarian future are dependent on obedience of the masses. Without compliance, criminal authoritarians cannot succeed in their plans to gain control over society and humanity. Given the choice, it seems clear that most people would choose freedom and autonomy. Yet, history shows a different reality, one in which an evil few succeeded in laying down a nefarious path and gaining supporters to walk down it.”

“So, why are people so obedient, even when following along parts ways with their morals and belief systems? … In short, humans may be biologically wired to go with the flow and stick with the majority group, even if they don’t agree with its intentions.”

Biologically wired? Psychologically wired seems more accurate, as part of our socially-evolved human nature.

Maintaining order and stability via obedience in a chaotic world.
Maintaining order and stability via obedience in a chaotic world.

Human nature has evolved for obedient and compliant behavior

Human nature is our psychological, interpersonal, and tribal heritage. It is who we are, or most of us at least. It is how our world functions, to the extent that it appears to function.

It integrates our internal, psychological selves with our external, interpersonal social groups, and further with our political, economic, and legal structures on larger scales. At the bottom, however, it is just us individuals and our unique human natures.

Population and technology growth since around year 1600 or so has led to fundamental changes in the way in which humans and their various groupings interact. Complexity and interconnectedness have increased enormously, along with system fragility and unpredictability. See here and here.

Source: Our World in Data.
Source: Our World in Data.

Huge, fragile, complex social structures – complex dynamic systems – are inherently unstable and prone to major disruption by even small, random disturbances. The social scale operational today is truly global, unlike at any time in past. This means in practice that it is increasingly intolerant of disturbances by its human-nature-based components.

The most explosive growth in population and technology has occurred roughly since about 1900, when the global population was a measly 1.5 billion or so. As the truly exponential chart above shows, we are over 8 billion today and headed for a likely peak of around 11 billion later this century.

Our world system structures are still evolving rapidly to handle, or attempting to do so, this still-growing complexity. You may have noticed that our evolutionary process seems to involve increasing amounts of behavior control and uniformity among its human components, aka us. You know – greater obedience and compliance kinds of stuff.

Absent a major system reset such as a nuclear WW III, this process is going to continue. Requirements and systems for enforcing greater obedience and compliance will also continue to grow. At some point, possibly in the quite near future, this will turn into some form of tyranny, thanks to our ever-present collection of rulers-and-ruler-wannabes.

Huge populations tend to coalesce locally into “mass formations”

One especially nasty aspect of human nature is its propensity to form large crowds, masses, or mobs that behave very differently from its individual members. Psychologist Mattias Desmet has recently popularized this tendency as “mass formation psychosis/hypnosis”, building on earlier works by Charles Mackay[1], Etienne Le Bon[2], and Eric Hoffer[3].

Desmet saw this trend as leading toward totalitarianism.

[1] Charles Mackay was a Scottish poet, journalist, author, anthologist, novelist, and songwriter, remembered mainly for his book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

[2] Gustave Le Bon was a leading French polymath whose areas of interest included anthropology, psychology, sociology, medicine, invention, and physics. He is best known for his 1895 work The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind, which is considered one of the seminal works of crowd psychology.

[3] Eric Hoffer was an American moral and social philosopher. He was the author of ten books and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in February 1983. His first book, The True Believer (1951), was widely recognized as a classic, receiving critical acclaim from both scholars and laymen.

The world is in the grips of mass formation―a dangerous, collective type of hypnosis―as we bear witness to loneliness, free-floating anxiety, and fear giving way to censorship, loss of privacy, and surrendered freedoms. It is all spurred by a singular, focused crisis narrative that forbids dissident views and relies on destructive groupthink. (Amazon)
The world is in the grips of mass formation―a dangerous, collective type of hypnosis―as we bear witness to loneliness, free-floating anxiety, and fear giving way to censorship, loss of privacy, and surrendered freedoms. It is all spurred by a singular, focused crisis narrative that forbids dissident views and relies on destructive groupthink. (Amazon)

The common thread here is that the world presently consists of various flavors of masses, crowds, or mobs that are increasingly hard to control. Naturally, our various leaders aka rulers-and-ruler-wannabes see this real need as an opportunity to further their own particular ends – whether or not we human-subjects agree to obey and/or comply as they require.

Rulers-and-ruler-wannabes have done such things forever. Alexander the Great conquered most of the known world in a few short years around 330 BC. The Roman Empire, one of the greatest civilizations of all time, began with the Republic’s fall in 27 BC, and ended with the last Emperor in 476 AD – under a succession of mostly insane, grossly ambitious, and ruthless emperors.

More recently, we humans experienced Napoleon’s French Empire from 1804-1815, which ended rather badly for both the French and the emperor (also the Russians). Things of this nature became exceedingly messy as the twentieth century dawned. Two world-scale wars, with smaller-scale wars thereafter – everywhere and for reasons.

We now enjoy the early days of WW III in which there is a major effort (efforts, really) to create a one-world-government. Non-nuclear, thankfully, at least so far. The world’s response to all of this mess is to coalesce into major power groups (West, Eurasia, Global South, …), variously-aligned nations (about 190 or so at last count), and internal factions within nations.

Even factions and nations struggle to maintain some sort of order and stability as all of this change takes place.

Obedience and compliance are our future, like it or not

It is simply impossible to achieve order and stability among so many players who are today almost completely interconnected by communications and computing technologies. Instability breaks out routinely and in many places. This is highly inconvenient for our rulers-and-ruler-wannabes, yes?

Obedience and compliance are from necessity gaining acceptance almost everywhere. Even for “stuck managers”, if you can believe that:

“Because most societies and companies reward compliance. They do that because when you comply:

1. Your behavior is predictable.

2. You are not a threat to anyone because you are ‘normal.’

3. People don’t feel inferior because of your special aptitude or attitude.

4. You are easier to understand because you are like everyone else.

5. Companies find it much easier and efficient to apply one standard set of policies and procedures irrespective of your attitude or aptitude and hence prefer those who fit in. This also allows them to scale.

So, you can see that being ‘normal’ is mainly for the benefit of others, not for you.”

― Binod Shankar, Let’s Get Real: 42 Tips for the Stuck Manager

If organizations are steadily getting on board with all of this, it is going to become a permanent and dominating part of our world in fairly short order.

But, as you will immediately see, the real problem is not obedience and compliance per se, but the almost certain misuse of these by various groups of bad guys and their supporters. Which is happening rapidly today.

Obedience and compliance are built into our human nature

I have argued in recent posts (here and here) on human nature that our particularly-human needs for belonging and for going-along-to-get-along make the formation, surveillance, and control of large groups of humans quite feasible. Perhaps as much as 70% of a given population is behaviorally dominated by these two components of our human nature.

We humans seem to have evolved into beings rather willing to accept and support arbitrary requirements for obedience or compliance, and often both.

This probably means also that we have evolved into mostly willing subjects for whatever our current crop of rulers-and-ruler-wannabes may have planned. Assuming of course that these nasties don’t self-destruct first – as I still expect.

If they do, there is likely to be another set of nasties waiting in the wings to try their hands at world domination.

In any event, our human nature in its present state coupled with the recent ability of nasties to seek control over huge populations using digital IDs and digital money (CBDCs) is probably our greatest threat. Even today, it is very hard to resist the growing scope and strength of mechanisms for imposing all manner of actively enforced laws, regulations, and raw dictates requiring unquestioning obedience. What was once mostly a matter of voluntary compliance seems to be moving broadly toward the enforced obedience ends.

Non-compliance is becoming increasingly costly and difficult. We seem to have crossed the line in many instances from compliance to obedience. If this continues, we may soon have a world in which virtually everything in our lives is dictated, enforced, and surveilled – and we must obey, or else.

The United Nations (UN) and its World Health Organization (WHO) unit appear to be up to something potentially nasty.
The United Nations (UN) and its World Health Organization (WHO) unit appear to be up to something potentially nasty.

The UN and WHO forcing their International Health Regulations

Here is a very recent (September 2023) and particularly troubling example of what is going on via global health machinery:

“The official concluding statements by the UN and WHO at the completion of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York regarding the High-level Meeting on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response are summarized as follows:”

United Nations. The high-level meeting on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response will focus on the theme: ‘Creating and maintaining political momentum and solidarity for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response’. Plenary Segment: Statements by Member States and members of the United Nations specialized agencies.”

“WHO statement on the high-level meeting on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response:”

“The World Health Organization welcomed today’s historic commitment shown by global leaders, at the UNGA, to strengthen the international cooperation, coordination, governance, and investment needed to prevent a repeat of the devastating health and socioeconomic impact caused by COVID-19, make the world better prepared for future pandemic, and get back on track to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“’The first-ever head of state summit on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response is a historic milestone in the urgent drive to make all people of the world safer, and better protected from the devastating impacts of pandemics,’ said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. ‘I welcome this commitment by world leaders to provide the political support and direction needed so that WHO, governments and all involved can protect people’s health and take concrete steps towards investing in local capacities, ensuring equity and supporting the global emergency health architecture that the world needs.’”

“The political declaration, approved by Mr. Dennis Francis, President of the 78th United Nations General Assembly (2023), and the result of negotiations under the able leadership of Ambassadors Gilad Erdan of Israel and Omar Hilale of Morocco, underscored the pivotal role played by WHO as the ‘directing and coordinating authority on international health,’ and the need to ‘commit further to sustainable financing that provides adequate and predictable funding to the WHO, which enables it to have the resources needed to fulfil its core functions.’”

“Neither the UN nor the WHO statement mentions the number of world leaders or heads of state, who approved the crucial WHO documents, the severely revised (more than 90 points of revision) International Health Regulations (IHR), including the Pandemic Treaty – which is actually no longer a treaty, as it is planned to ram it through during the next World Health Assembly (WHA) in May 2024 – making the new IHR effective without a vote.”

This will surely result in a great deal of activist pushback and opposing legal responses. Will it succeed? My sense is that it will fail in its present form.

Another global lockdown or worse seems to be the goal

There are so many efforts underway today to place the world into some sort of globally-centralized control. Most such efforts require digital IDs and digital currencies (CBDCs) as enabling platforms and technologies. These are rapidly becoming a reality in quite a number of countries.

Inconveniently however for our current crop of rulers-and-ruler-wannabes, the world system seems to have other ideas. Large-scale, complex dynamic systems are inherently fragile and unpredictably prone to serious disruptions by even small random disturbances. See for example this post.

This means that whatever the globalists are planning is almost certain to self-destruct as a result of the fragile complex system world going about its own business.

The globalists, however, have another set of probably more pressing problems. Their machinations, although greatly advanced in recent years, are not moving fast enough to prevent serious opposition from getting organized. Consequently, it seems likely that they will create some sort of catastrophic happening, or happenings, that will allow them to implement their goals almost immediately.

What sort of catastrophic happening(s)? Why, a mini-world war (non-nuke if possible), another pandemic (perhaps far worse than COVID-19) linked to a climate crisis scare, and a global financial and economic collapse (affecting only the great masses, not the rulers-and-ruler-wannabes).

Timeframe: sometime in 2024, likely earlier than later.

Super-catastrophe coming? World war + global pandemic + financial collapse.

Multipolarity efforts are effectively opposing the past unipolarity

Also quite inconveniently for our current crop of global rulers-and-ruler-wannabes, the world seems to have reorganized itself as the result of Ukraine sanctions and similar mischief by the West. These seem to have backfired colossally on the West, with Russia, China, and many Eurasian and Global South nations (BRICS+) joining under a multipolar organization of states structure that, so far at least, allows substantial member independence.

The multipolar gang includes somewhere between 50% and 70% of the global population, depending on who is counting. These multipolar meddlers have replaced the West-owned SWIFT system for international payments transactions with one that they operate and control. They are also working toward a common currency for use between nations (not between individuals – yet).

Oil producers are beginning to line up with the apparent victors in all of this mess. Support for further Ukraine warmongering is fading rapidly. Whatever may be going on in the Middle East at the moment is adding further distractions and confusion. The globalist West folks are having an extremely bad year, and it’s not over yet.

Obedience and compliance are here to stay

As noted above, these two facts of life are part of the enormous complex world system we already have. You simply can’t manage such a colossal mess without relatively strong, enforced controls based on extensive if not complete surveillance. This means digital IDs nearly everywhere, very soon.

We appear to be facing one of two possible outcomes as the world system and ruler-et-al machinations compete:

  1. The world system wins and globalist efforts collapse or at least localize and shrink.
  2. The globalist machinations prevail through the likely set of catastrophic happenings outlined above.

My guess? The catastrophic happenings will get rolled out first since so much of the required organization and infrastructure is in place. They are just waiting for a good (for them) point at which to trigger their chosen catastrophes. Next 3 to 6 months seems like about the right timing.

Bottom line:

Our world is certainly devolving into one of obedience and compliance – not (yet) of tyranny, but more likely from our enormously complex and confusing existence. This is being created by emerging societal processes that appear to require more obedience and compliance. Left by itself, this process might be reasonably beneficial to most. 

The problem, however, arises as always from rulers-and-ruler-wannabes who take advantage of this clear need for order and stability to advance their own agendas, some of which are clearly totalitarian in nature. As a result, we are surely headed quite quickly for much greater imposition of obedience and compliance.

“On November 8th 2023, a virtual launch event took place for what was termed the ‘50-in-5’ agenda.”

“The United Nations, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and partners of the Rockefeller Foundation are launching a campaign to accelerate digital ID, digital payments, and data-sharing rollouts in 50 countries under the umbrella of digital public infrastructure (DPI) by 2028. (source).”

“The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has announced plans to roll out ‘digital IDs’ worldwide by the year 2030, and they will be mandatory for people who wish to participate in society, say Reclaim the Net, who advocate for free speech and individual liberty online.”

Social Credit System. The push for Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) which includes ‘Digital IDs,’ vaccine passports, and central bank digital currencies (CBDC) – is being championed by the globalist WEF and unsurprisingly is backed by Bill Gates along with the UN, and the European Union (EU).”

“The Sociable editor Tim Hinchliffe says ‘Advocates are adamant that DPI is essential for participation in markets and society — just like we saw with vaccine passports — only on a much broader scope’ and ‘If successful, DPI will give governments and corporations the power to implement systems of social credit that can determine where and how you can travel, what you are allowed to consume, and how you will be able to transact with your programmable money.’”

“BREAKING: Very bad news. The European Parliament and Member States just reached an agreement on introducing the Digital Identity, #eID. Directly afterwards, #EU Commissioner Breton said: ‘Now that we have a Digital Identity Wallet, we have to put something in it…’, suggesting a connection between #CBDC and eID. They ignored all the privacy experts and security specialists. They’re pushing it all through.”

“I just left the room where we had negotiations about the digital identity—and I have bad news. The member states and the European Parliament came to an agreement. That means that probably not far from now, the digital identity will be [in] effect in the European Union. Right after this agreement, Commissioner Breton said, ‘Now, we have the digital identity wallet; we have to put something in it.’ And what he meant was the digital Euro, also known as a central bank digital currency.”

  • From the same source, we have Dutch political commentator Eva Vlaardingerbroek in an X post explaining the high stakes of the situation:

“But do not be fooled: This ‘digital wallet’ will be much more than just your passport in a digital form. It will entail EVERYTHING the government wants to know about you. It will hold all of your personal information, biometric data, medical records and of course soon also your Digital Euro (Central Bank Digital Currency) that is currently being developed. Just like we’ve seen with covid, the government will have the power to track your every move. And of course, it’s all ‘voluntary’ for now. Until it’s not.”

“In fact, numerous academics and privacy experts have warned last week that with the legal framework that’s now been agreed upon, any European government will be able to surveil and spy on both their own citizens AND residents across the EU by providing them with the technical means to intercept encrypted web traffic. This will mean no less than the end of our privacy.”

“Not long ago at the height of fear over the global pandemic the US underwent a change that many people argued would never happen. For years I have heard people say that authoritarian controls in America are ‘tinfoil hat conspiracy theory’ and doom mongering – All the prepping, all the talk of community organizing, all the guns and the gear and the training were for nothing. Then…the covid agenda hit like a freight train.”

“Our constitutional rights were no longer set in stone, but mere guidelines that government officials could bend or break in the name of ‘public health safety.’ Laws no longer had to be passed through a series of checks and balances; mandates could be implemented as if they were laws without public oversight and enforced unilaterally.”

“… Medical authoritarianism collapsed because conservatives and independents were not onboard and they could not be shamed into compliance. But what happens when there is a crisis that DOES scare conservatives? What happens when the political right perceives a true threat? Does freedom then become untenable?”

“… In the midst of war the government desire to control information and public discourse will be at its apex.  However, as we have seen during covid and the Ukraine war, they have not proven effective at accomplishing this.  As long as the internet is in place it does not matter what kind of algorithms Big Tech applies to stifle the truth, the truth still finds a way.  This means that the establishment will have to pursue extreme measures that could only be achieved within a martial law environment.  I see this situation going one of two ways if the current geopolitical trend continues …”