When ordinary people become infected by their insane rulers, they often lose the instinct of self-preservastion. This psychological malady is known as Captainitis or normalcy bias, the inability of ordinary people to act contrary to an authority's commands or to understand that conditions are so life-threatening that they must act to save their lives. Most ordinary people do whatever an authority tells them to do and believe their "leaders" when they're told that conditions are safe. "In 1977, two Boeing 747s collided on an airstrip in the Canary Islands. According to accident investigators, those who survived the initial blast in one plane had time to escape before a fire consumed the wreckage. But eyewitnesses reported that many remained in their seat looking perfectly content--as if nothing was wrong. "Not surprisingly, dozens of these dazed victims were burned to death, and the episode became a reminder of the so-called normalcy bias--a cognitive phenomenon whereby many who are faced with imminent disaster instantly convince themselves that everything is normal and that they don't have to modify their behavior."
David Sirota, "The Economic Normalcy Bias," truthdig.com, Jan 26, 2012