The Crime of Obedience

Obedience \O*be”di*ence\, n.
The act of obeying, or the state of being obedient;  submission to authority; dutifulness.

Autumn – the leaves are changing color and falling, the fruits are ripening, the kids are back in school, learning the lessons necessary to become happy productive members of this society. Wars are raging on many fronts, with yet another looming on the horizon. It is the season of attack ads and vague threats of terror, signaling that elections are imminent.

The people will once again demand change, perhaps more ‘movements’ will arise, more rallies, more protests.

What will it take to turn things around? Demonstrations? Assassinations? It’s all been done before, the results are the same. So what haven’t we tried?

What about disobedience? What about total and utter rejection of authority, rulers and officials? Sure, throughout history there have been advocates of civil disobedience – Percy Bysshe Shelley, Henry David Thoreau, Gandhi. These people accomplished great things, but how many of us grew up listening to the words of John Lennon? And how many of us have held on to his philosophies and internalized those beliefs? In contemporary times, how many citizens have stood in the face of government and said, “No, I will not pay your taxes and tolls.” How many soldiers have said, “No! I will not kill for you!” How many cops have said, “No! I will not enforce your laws!”

It happens, but never on a large scale.

Maybe its time to seriously reevaluate the value of government, weigh the benefits against the detriments. What is it that we receive in exchange for allowing ourselves to be deceived, oppressed and exploited? Safety? Security? Public order?

How secure are you feeling lately?

Do you REALLY need to be led?
Like a dog?

Trust me, roads would get built, our children would get educated, and we just might experience true freedom.

I have nothing new to say, people have been deliberating these issues since the beginning of civilization. All I ask, if you’ve read this far, is to consider what would happen if we all put our pet causes, objectives and ambitions aside, and simply disobeyed.

In the words of Percy Bysshe Shelley:

“Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war.
And if then the tyrants dare,
Let them ride among you there,
Slash, and stab, and maim and hew,
What they like, that let them do.
With folded arms and steady eyes,
And little fear, and less surprise
Look upon them as they slay
Till their rage has died away
Then they will return with shame
To the place from which they came,
And the blood thus shed will speak
In hot blushes on their cheek.
Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you-
Ye are many — they are few”

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