Why Anti-Authoritarians, Free-Thinkers and Outlaws are Dangerous to the Status Quo

Reading the enlightening article by PhD. Psychologist Bruce Levine titled 'Why Anti-Authoritarians are Diagnosed as Mentally Ill' was like looking in a mirror. There's no doubt in my mind that having always been an anti-authoritarian malcontent it was only by being born in '48 that was it possible to have avoided being diagnosed by the 'professionals' with oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, anxiety disorder or some other psychiatric illness. In today's world they have my kind drugged into compliance early in life.

As Levine says, "In every generation there will be authoritarians and anti-authoritarians. While it is unusual in American history for anti-authoritarians to take the kind of effective action that inspires others to successfully revolt, every once in a while a Tom Paine, Crazy Horse or Malcolm X come along. So authoritarians financially marginalize those who buck the system, they criminalize anti-authoritarianism, they psychopathologize anti-authoritarians, and they market drugs for their “cure.”

Doctor Levine goes on to point out that, "...anti-authoritarians labeled with psychiatric diagnoses usually don’t reject all authorities, simply those they’ve assessed to be illegitimate ones, which just happens to be a great deal of society’s authorities." That they first use reason to evaluate the validity of the an authoritarian's agenda and argument is why anti-authoritarians, free-thinkers and outlaws are so dangerous to the institutions of the status quo that the authoritarians are blindly in service to.

Defiance is a verb, defiance evolves, defiance is active not passive. It sprouts from a glimmer of insight into the true nature of the crap one is being forced to swallow then branches out to more broadly evaluate the logic and morality underlying the authoritarian's demand for unquestioning compliance to their edict, finally - if the free thinker's crap-o-meter goes over the line - flowering into active defiance of and non-compliance with the institution who the authority figure is serving.

Getting into graduate school or medical school and achieving a PhD or MD requires compliance with authorities. Degrees and credentials are badges of compliance. Thus for most all MDs and PhDs, people different from them who reject this attentional and behavioral compliance appear to be from another world - a diagnosable one. In an earlier dark age, authoritarian monarchies partnered with authoritarian religious institutions to control the dangers to their status inherent in freedom of thought. Now we are in another dark age, the institutions have changed but the ability of individuals to see, evaluate and defy illegitimate authority is still dangerous to them. As Walt Whitman said, "Resist much, obey little."