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Humans and their Impulse to Rebel Against Authority

Updated on November 16, 2015
Talk about Authority! US Supreme Court
Talk about Authority! US Supreme Court | Source

Resisting Authority

The idea that human beings resist authority could be quite an understatement. Why even think of it at all? In observing our societies today, and even just watching the news, it is a topic that I have been thinking quite a lot about.

One need not go very far into the life of any human being we know of, to observe a little toddler attempting to defy the authority over them. It seems to be an innate thing in all of us. A young person to even an old person can be observed as having a near temper tantrum when they are told "no." If we are honest with ourselves, we have to relate on some level to the frustration of being told in essence, "no, you cannot do that." Add to that, the knowledge that if we do indeed do something we are not to do, we can get some kind of punishment or consequence. Thus, we have our societies and the hierarchy of control.

Authority - Is it a good or bad thing?

Generally speaking, a good and necessary authority is a wonderful thing in our lives, even to the point of enabling a peaceful society where we can thrive together. Without rules and regulations being put into place, life would or could break down rather quickly. No one really wants this. So all of us, on a regular basis submit to authority all the time when we would maybe rather not. The reasons vary, and we often don't balk at these things. Despite our own possible frustrations even, deep down we are likely glad things like our police force are there to enforce the laws with people that want to defy those authorities.

Submission - It can be a Good Thing

Therefore, we see examples playing out where our submitting to an authority over us turns out to be not only for our own personal good, but for the greater or collective good. We pay our taxes when we would rather not, we don't steal something we want but can't afford, and we stop at a red light when we don't really have the time or desire to. These are little examples of a greater point being made, but they ring true and we can relate and cannot deny the truthfulness of these ideas.

It is not just Man Made Laws We Submit to.

We submit to the laws not made only by man, but laws found within nature and science. It is very rare for instance, to find a human being that wants to fly, yet not actually give in to the reality of the law of gravity. We submit to the laws found within nature all the time. We don't pretend those realities do not exist, or we could actually perish! We can pretend that we can swim under water for long periods of time, yet we don't test those laws very often, we submit to what we know is true of them. Despite our possible desires to the contrary, we don't usually break other laws even, like laws of logic, unless we have a death wish of some kind.

So What Is Prompting My Writing About Authority?

Now I am getting to what my real point is. Do we sometimes stick to the ideas above as being good for us and society, and other times act like we can just defy reality? What is currently of concern to me is the mentality I see permeating America. It seems that many people either don't care, don't have time, or are in denial of many things going on in both our world and especially the United States. I see it up into the highest levels of government.

More specifically, I see people and our leaders regressing somewhat, back into mentalities that seem to nearly hurt us all. Things we should know better about, yet act like suddenly old truths just aren't true any more. Add to this dilemma, that many seem to not be wanting to think critically. It is a very bad mix.

Not only this, but I seem to be observing even our government testing its own limits and its people to a huge degree. It is as if they are seeing what they can get away with, before Americans and other leaders really speak up. It doesn't help that those that do speak up often are ridiculed or nearly demonized, or called conspiracy theorists.

So this is why I write on this topic, that we may all consider if what I am suggesting could possibly be true or not. Is it true? Do you see this in some form or other as well? Can we stand to be hurt if we are acting we like all answer to no one, including our government needing to answer to no one? Has this worked in societies in the past, in history?

It has often been said that the best things in life are never easy. The best results in life often come from hard work, not a cake walk. Our wants, desires and wishes don't generally dictate how our actual reality plays out in our lives.

So, perhaps the biggest question is this. Why are we doing this? Is it just our natural born innate desires to defy authority, no matter the authority we must submit to? Isn't it an actual good thing, when am other is carrying her kicking and screaming child away from the street they want to run in to? Yes, that is an actual good thing, even when the child is turning beet red from the kicking and screaming.

Jump back to today in our societies. Are we giving in to the temper tantrum equivalents of humans lashing out when they are upset and not getting their way? I mean the equivalent of a fit here, if not an actual one. In the name of being politically correct, is that what are doing? Let us not give in to such things and their equivalents, and not just because it would be immoral to do so, but for the collective and individual good.

Anyone can pick a fight with an authority, no matter what it is. The bigger question is whether or not that is a wise or smart thing to do. The best things in life are not usually easy or free. Let us not grow weary in doing the right thing no matter how hard or costly it is. Add to that, nor how ridiculed you may become for doing the right thing.

Please consider again, that even if you are presented with a contradictory idea to what I am saying here, if you are being sold a bill of goods or not. Finally, if there is indeed a being with which we owe our existence to, do we do a form of resisting that possible authority as well? Crazy as that sounds, if it could be true, what would that look like? Would anything explain such a thing?

A good authority can and does exist, as we have seen in history and currently at times. Let us not be fooled.


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