One of the odd things about me is that I have come to question authority *more* as I get older. As a child I was relatively placid, compliant, and obedient to my parents and teachers.
I wasn't one of those kids who reflexively yelled "No!" or "Make me!" every time an adult told me to do something (or refrain from doing something). I never thought I needed to break every rule just because it was a rule.
I didn't feel that I needed to be constantly running around and yelling and throwing things. I *liked* to sit still and read and study and draw. That was the part I *liked* about school.
(Other things, not so much. I didn't drop out of high school in my senior year because I couldn't hack it academically. And when I finally went to college 14 years later I was surprised by how easy the class work was.)
As a youth and young adult I did grow more balky and rebellious -- or more resistant to being pushed around.
But I wasn't just a rebel without a cause. I wasn't like the Marlon Brando character in _ The Wild One_ (1953) who, when asked what he was rebelling against, replied, "What have you got?" I still respected certain kinds and sources of authority. But as time wore on I respected fewer and fewer of them.
So am I aging backward in time, like Merlin in T.H. White's _The Once and Future King_? Or have my eyes been opened more and more (if only slowly and little by little) to how few of the commands and demands placed upon me are really legitimate?
' "Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed." -- Michelle Obama, sometime in 2008
I’m sorry, nowhere in the Constitution does it authorize the President of the United States to demand anyone shed their cynicism. And I’m all for people pushing themselves to be better, but I don’t think the President demanding it is the way to go about it.
And what if we kind of like our lives as usual? What about Americans’ freedom to be uninvolved and uninformed?' -- Jim Geraghty
"The practical reason for freedom is that freedom seems to be the only condition under which any kind of substantial moral fiber can be developed — we have tried law, compulsion and authoritarianism of various kinds, and the result is nothing to be proud of." -- Albert Jay Nock, "On Doing the Right Thing", in The American Mercury (1925)
"Men in a state of decadence employ professionals to fight for them, professionals to dance for them, and a professional to rule them." -- G.K. Chesterton
"No man is so exquisitely honest or upright in living, but that ten times in his life he might not lawfully be hanged." -- Montaigne
"But to live outside the law, you must be honest." -- Bob Dylan
"Unjust laws can be altered, as well as made. There's a new spirit in the world. Taxed out of existence, robbed of their independence by the government, the people must fight back how they can. What we're doing here is just a pin-prick. But a thousand pin-pricks put together ... " -- Christopher Syn
"Not in the flight of thought, but in the act alone is there freedom" - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire ... Must be a yearning deep in the human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws — always for the other fellow." -- Robert Heinlein