Why There Are Times to "Defy Authority"

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Annie, May 26, 2005.

  1. Annie
    Offline

    Annie Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    50,847
    Thanks Received:
    4,644
    Trophy Points:
    1,790
    Ratings:
    +4,770
    I try to teach my students this type of thinking. There are times to critically question 'authority'; whether in a case like 9/11, a book you are reading for knowledge, or what someone 'in authority' is telling you:

    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.06/start.html?pg=3

     
  2. musicman
    Offline

    musicman Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Messages:
    5,171
    Thanks Received:
    533
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Ohio
    Ratings:
    +533
    This story addresses something unique in the American character. While we are a people who respect the law, we also possess a healthy lack of awe for authority.

    Certainly, the German soldier of WWII was one of the most fit and well-trained in the history of warfare. Yet, during the worst of the Battle of the Bulge - when German and American soldiers were cut off from their respective chains of command - it was, according to captured German soldiers, the Yank who fared better. The Germans were somewhat lost - awaiting orders. The Americans, on the other hand, figured they knew as well as any brass how to fight a war using the dictates of common sense, and did.

    Thirty years ago, the Canadian government ordered its citizens to convert to the metric system, so they converted to the metric system. Americans were given a similar command by our government. We ignored them.
     
  3. GotZoom
    Offline

    GotZoom Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Messages:
    5,719
    Thanks Received:
    366
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Cordova, TN
    Ratings:
    +366
    The sign of a good "authority" figure is to listen to those under him/her for their thoughts and ideas; and also at times to let them act upon them.

    If you treat people like robots, when it comes time for people to act on their own (Germans in Mm post), they will be lost.

    Where would we be today if Einstein, Bell, Gates, the list goes on and on, listened to authority figures who told them their ideas were ridiculous?
     
  4. Annie
    Offline

    Annie Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    50,847
    Thanks Received:
    4,644
    Trophy Points:
    1,790
    Ratings:
    +4,770
    Yep, there are a couple of 'American traits' that save us, in spite of test scores. One is our tendency to think FOR ourselves and of others. The other is our work ethic.
     
  5. musicman
    Offline

    musicman Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Messages:
    5,171
    Thanks Received:
    533
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Ohio
    Ratings:
    +533
    Great points, GZ and Kathianne. All the more reason to regard things like the creation of a recipient class and the propogation of the politics of envy as attacks on the American character itself.
     
  6. Mr. P
    Offline

    Mr. P Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Messages:
    11,329
    Thanks Received:
    618
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    South of the Mason Dixon
    Ratings:
    +620
    Ya know, I don't think this is so much "Defy Authority" as it is we don't YET always "Rely on Authority".
     
  7. Annie
    Offline

    Annie Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    50,847
    Thanks Received:
    4,644
    Trophy Points:
    1,790
    Ratings:
    +4,770
    Could go along with that. At the same time, the whole idea of 'no elevators' in a fire would normally be spot on. Seems in this case, not so. No panic, they just did what was needed, including helping others.

    Few just sat at their desks or stayed where they were, unless they were trying to clear subordinates out of harm's way.
     

Share This Page