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Thread: Anti-Authoritarian Personality

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tetris Champion notdavidlynch's Avatar
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    Anti-Authoritarian Personality

    http://www.madinamerica.com/2012/02/...-mentally-ill/

    I recently discovered that 2+ year old article and it's already started to change how I think about myself. I've always known that I'm an anti-authoritarian, and to a certain extent I always knew that I had a lot of interconnected issues because of it (survival mode anxiety, the exact same thing that he mentions in the article, etc), but it was never as confidently expressed in my own mind as it is in the article above. Part of me always believed that, at root, there was something neurological at fault - a "chemical imbalance" as people like to say, leading to the feeling that I'm flawed or damaged or dysfunctional in a way. I remember a member here (Resonance?) even saying that it was preferable to be medicated in order to not become a victim of natural selection or something like that, since society demanded it.

    Fuck. This is absurd. Even writing and thinking about this right now has me feeling like my head is made of glass, like it could crack at any moment. It's empowering to frame things in a way that allows me to believe that nothing is wrong with me and that, in fact, there is something inherently necessary about me, not just in the sense of me being true to myself, but in my nature being a necessary component of a healthy community and society. I'd like to believe that a lot of societal ills are caused by people like me being oppressed and marginalized.

    Fuck you I'm a super hero.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tetris Champion notdavidlynch's Avatar
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    Many people with severe anxiety and/or depression are also anti-authoritarians. Often a major pain of their lives that fuels their anxiety and/or depression is fear that their contempt for illegitimate authorities will cause them to be financially and socially marginalized; but they fear that compliance with such illegitimate authorities will cause them existential death.
    Preach.

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    Senior Member skip's Avatar
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    Sounds like Dr. Levine has some issues with authority, himself.
    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that a problem.

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    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    How would one know whether there was something wrong with the person or with the authority/society?

    Or rather, at what point does resiting authority become a diagnosis, as opposed to complying with it, as opposed to instigating it in the first place or expecting others to follow it?

  5. #5
    Scala Mountains Resonance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notdavidlynch View Post
    I remember a member here (Resonance?) even saying that it was preferable to be medicated in order to not become a victim of natural selection or something like that, since society demanded it.
    It does sound like something I would say, though I don't remember saying exactly that. I don't think this article necessarily counters it, either. Even if it is an inherently necessary and healthy thing, even if these societal ills are due to people like you (and me?) being oppressed and marginalized - blaming isn't going to help us accomplish anything. There are a few options:
    - continue to resist and rebel, speak out, maybe cultivate some kind of fringe following that will support us and maybe bring about large-scale change. But probably not, because nobody important listens to those people.
    - integrate. medicate if necessary. Become someone important yourself, so that you can bring about what changes you can from that position.
    - crash and burn, over and over again...

    That's how I see it, anyway. If you've got another idea, I'd be thrilled to hear it.
    Last edited by Resonance; 04-12-2014 at 03:21 PM.
    Empty your mind. Be formless. Shapeless. Like water. Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

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    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
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    As far as I know, most people don't really want to be controlled or dominated. It's just a question of how much a person will tolerate - how much before you step away, challenge, fight, dissociate.
    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

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    Scala Mountains Resonance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polemarch View Post
    As far as I know, most people don't really want to be controlled or dominated. It's just a question of how much a person will tolerate - how much before you step away, challenge, fight, dissociate.
    err... I have a different experience >.>
    Empty your mind. Be formless. Shapeless. Like water. Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

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    A certain amount of anti-authoritarianism can be a good thing. Many people who start companies do so because they hate being told what to do all the time. Often this is manifested by risk-averse bosses and institutions that don't know a good idea when it's staring them in the face. Authoritarians say "no" much more than they say "yes." Too many rules ossify an organization.

  9. #9
    Tawaci ki a Gnaska ki Osito Polar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thevenin View Post
    A certain amount of anti-authoritarianism can be a good thing. Many people who start companies do so because they hate being told what to do all the time. Often this is manifested by risk-averse bosses and institutions that don't know a good idea when it's staring them in the face. Authoritarians say "no" much more than they say "yes." Too many rules ossify an organization.
    Yeah, this resonates with me. I think it's a spectrum of (anti)authoritarianism from unquestioning G.O.P. party drones on one end to bearded radicals living in a hole in the ground in Montana at the other end. Entrepreneurs are definitely in the middle somewhere.
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  10. #10
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    I can relate to this.
    I was, at 20 years old, almost forced to take medicine for my behaviour. My parents didn't like how independent I was becoming and thought they needed to intervene. So after trying to bribe me into being "normal" and seeing that was not working, my mother threatened to put me in a straight jacket (I had a psychiatrist scheduled for the next day). The whole situation was so crazy and I seemed like the only sane person in my family. I ran away from home so I could be somewhere safe.

    Fast forward a few years living by my own standards, I am happy. Never took any meds. Had I seen that psychiatrist, I'd probably be taking completely unnecessary medication right now.
    That's obviously not the case with everyone taking meds, what I want to say is that in many cases it may be, like it was with me.

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