For the sake of clarity all words used utilize common definitions. As an example, government is commonly defined as, “The governing body of a nation, state, or community/ A government is the system by which a state or community is controlled.”
“The extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study and the fact most urgently demanding explanation.” Stanley Milgram
It is the rare individual who is capable of resisting authority to the point of death if necessary when faced with the choice of obedience or punishment. This fact is the very bedrock of all government with the exception of tribes and tribal approaches being different. It is the use of the very human need to satisfy those seen as authorities regardless moral right or wrong as being right. In addition the average individual is much more likely too obey for one of two main reasons. First they obey because they have always been taught to obey authority, through the use of religious or state education they are taught not to question but to accept and act on whatever is told them by those deemed to be in charge. Second they obey because they are simply not willing to accept the enormously difficult task of personal responsibility for their actions.
Before we get to far into this let us quickly ensure a basic understanding of what government as modern man knows it is and where it came from. As far back as approximately 4000 BCE the Sumerians had their cities of Uruk and Ur. Additional representations of city states from antiquity can be found in Mayan, Aztec, Asian and other similar areas had city states. All other people were tribal in nature. The difference was simple, a city-state was a unmoving location generally protected by walls or militarily guarded boundaries. Within the city-state there has always been a caste system and though the use of this word has fallen out of style, the existence of this system is still in effect regardless location on the globe today.
Tribal societies moved with the weather, game and as needed to continue to work with the land they lived on. Whereas city-states have always and continue too disrupt the land they claim and force its acquiescence too human will, often resulting in catastrophes of a quite serious nature. Early examples of this can be seen in the loss of many cities due to their proximity to volcanoes, oceans and more. More recently we see the devastation wrought upon New Orleans (numerous times in its life time) and many other places around the world. Tribal societies avoided much of these issues by simply moving when the warning signs approached. Or by being flexible enough to simply rebuild in another location when necessary. I will not say that there are not benefits seen with this approach, however, I fully believe the negatives have begun too and in fact have now for some time outweighed those same benefits.
Initially the reasoning for city-state’s was to provide greater protection, however, it soon became apparent to those in charge that this approach offered an even greater reward. Control, wealth and the ability to field larger armies to take other tribal lands. This began with Sumeria and has continued through today with the United States being the most recent of the great world powers to utilize imperialistic approaches in its “foreign policy”. With over 400 permanent military bases projecting its power, for all intents and purposes, the United States is the largest current world empire.
So now we can address why individual humans are so easily led too commit mass or individual acts of terror and mayhem against others and why the refusal to engage in these acts is seen as a crime by the very government that often prosecutes others for the same crimes, just because they were not ordered by government. A simple example is the atrocities committed by Hitler against Jews, Hungarians, Polish and Romany. Other examples can be seen in the United States treatment of the indigenous natives that still live in this country, but in their forced prisons known as reservations.
First they obey because they have always been taught to obey authority, through the use of religious or state education they are taught not to question but to accept and act on whatever is told them by those deemed to be in charge. Second they obey because they are simply not willing to accept the enormously difficult task of personal responsibility for their actions. This we established above, a simple review of several serious and well thought out experiments show us that humans indeed do follow these two traits in obedience.
One of the more well known or at least more widely reviled for the truth it showed in people was the Milgram Obedience Experiment. I would suggest too you that you continue research in this area and look for yourself. Modern industrialized cultures, especially those who firmly believe the conditioning they are taught and do not question why they continue to support governments that murder millions of people every year, these cultures are most susceptible to this simple yet devastatingly terrible flaw. In fact if you the reader stop for a second and question why you last obeyed a police officer or government official or even voted the answer will likely surprise you. For the answer without deviation will always be some form of the following. “Because I must.”
This alone is reason enough for truly enlightened individuals to disobey all types of authority. I can only think of one reason to “obey” “authority”, and that is when that same “authority” is a threat to oneself or family, in this case subjective obedience is based on self preservation alone. As an individual ones principles alone are reason enough to maintain the refusal of others arbitrary authority over you; this is essential to the very idea of freedom. As it is defined, “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” Freedom, does not and indeed cannot exist where government also does. For if freedom truly existed, then government by default would have no power or authority and would become invalid.
So to answer the question posed within the title, “Why I choose to disobey.” I say quite simply, because, I must. If I may say one last thing before you decide to never read my admittedly seditious writing again, question what you are told and why. For if you do this, you will soon be caught in an internal struggle to rectify the many wrongs you commit in the name of the government or religion (no difference between the two in many cases) you follow. Embrace your faith, but question everything!
Free the mind and the body will follow