In the article, the premise holds that a person will obey a command if and when it is given to him. In the example given by the author, he examines why the Germans, at the height of the Second World War, would follow Adolph Hitler in his quest to annihilate the Jews in such great numbers and in such murderous methods. But the author here is not about the problems of Germans and Americans per se, it is why people are obedient and can that obedience be given parameters for the obedience shown.
As the premise states, people will follow the command; the question is why. The author here states that in the example of the German conduct of exterminating the Jews, it wasnt centered on the policies of Hitler, but on the obedience of the people under him that aroused the authors curiosity. The author states that the main reason that the Germans in Hitlers time followed him even if the orders were so heinous since they, according to the author, possessed an inherent deficiency in their personality.
In his estimation, the Germans followed Hitler since they could not do otherwise (Philip Meyer, 2005). But isnt that obedience; it is just following orders? A personal take on the issue In my estimation, the orders given to a person cannot be obeyed if you know that the consequences of that obedience will create harm to another person, be it a major command or in trivial matters. If a person asked you to shoot him/her and that will result in the persons death, obviously one will not obey that request since the outcome is fatal.
But what if the person being commanded will suffer a fate similar in nature if he doesnt obey? The premise is that people are in control of what to obey; hence they can decide whether to obey or not (Meyer, 2005). And even if the person was just acting out for another, or as an agent (Meyer, 2005), that would not cover that act done by the person him/herself. References Meyer, P. (2005, December 2). If Hitler asked you to electrocute a stranger, would you? Probably. Esquire.