Articles

Schooling’s Assault on Young Anti-Authoritarians

Tipping Points November 30th, 2018

In this excerpt from Resisting Illegitimate Authority, Bruce E. Levine surveys the means by which conventional schooling punishes anti-authoritarian impulses and primes children for conformity.

Noam Chomsky Turns 90: How a U.S. Anarchist Has More Than Survived

CounterPunch November 23rd, 2018

“The person who claims the legitimacy of the authority always bears the burden of justifying it. And if they can’t justify it, it’s illegitimate and should be dismantled. To tell you the truth, I don’t really understand anarchism as being much more than that.”—Noam Chomsky. On December 7, 2018, Noam Chomsky turns 90 years old. […]

Psychiatric Marginalization of Anti-Authoritarians – Excerpt from New Book

Mad in America October 27th, 2018

For several years, I’ve been thinking about writing Resisting Illegitimate Authority: A Thinking Person’s Guide to Being an Anti-Authoritarian―Strategies, Tools, and Models, a book about anti-authoritarians and for them. Authoritarian is routinely defined as “favoring blind submission to authority.” In contrast, anti-authoritarians reject—for themselves and for others—an unquestioning obedience to authority, and they believe in challenging and resisting illegitimate authority. […]

Vital Ignored Truths in Milgram’s Obedience to Authority Studies

CounterPunch October 25th, 2018

Psychologist Stanley Milgram (1933–1984) was deeply affected by Nazi atrocities, so when his early 1960s research on Americans revealed an unexpectedly high rate of obedience to authority commanding subjects to commit cruel actions, this very much troubled him. Milgram’s studies revealed other truths—not as widely known—that are crucial to fighting authoritarianism. One ignored finding is […]

Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9” Shows Democrats’ Complicity in Electing Trump

Truthout October 13th, 2018

The substance of Fahrenheit 11/9 challenges his fans to go beyond their easy contempt for the obnoxious Trump. Moore pushes his audience to consider how the corporatist blue team — an authoritarian Democratic National Party, a clueless self-serving Hillary Clinton, a slickly betraying Barack Obama and an ultimately pathetic Bernie Sanders — helped elect Trump […]

Another Sad October for Reds Fans

Cincinnati Enquirer October 11th, 2018

I have long studied legitimate and illegitimate authorities, which exist in all walks of life. Illegitimate authorities include dishonest or exploitative ones but also include those which are incompetent. The fact that 1.6 million fans attended Reds games in 2018 compared to nearly 2.5 million in 2013 is not about Reds fans’ disloyalty, but about loyal […]

“Mutual Aid” Excerpt from Resisting Illegitimate Authority, Titled by Yes!: “Why Alcoholics Can’t Be Forced to Stop Drinking”

Yes! October 4th, 2018

The following excerpt is from the subchapter “Mutual Aid” and which Yes! has titled “Why Alcoholics Can’t Be Forced to Stop Drinking.”

When Bernie Sold Out His Hero, Anti-Authoritarians Paid

CounterPunch September 19th, 2018

  Bernie Sanders, in his thirties, wrote and directed the documentary Eugene V. Debs: Trade Unionist, Socialist, Revolutionary (1979), and a picture of Debs is on Sanders’s office wall. But the arc of Sanders’s polit­­ical career has moved in the opposite direction from the arc of his hero. Debs moved from polite dissent to courageously […]

“Don’t Be Stupid, Be a Smarty”: Why Anti-Authoritarian Doctors Are So Rare

CounterPunch August 16th, 2018

n the Journal of Medical Ethics in 2012, Alessandra Colaianni reports “More than 7% of all German physicians became members of the Nazi SS during World War II, compared with less than 1% of the general population. . . . By 1945, half of all German physicians had joined the Nazi party, 6% before Adolf Hitler gained power.” Colaianni points out, “Physicians joined the Nazi party and the killing operations not at gunpoint, not by force, but of their own volition.”

Psychiatric Retraumatization: A Conversation About Trauma and Madness in Mental Health Services

Mad in America July 26th, 2018

Political, cultural, and financial forces have made many mental health professionals so unaware about the reality of trauma and adversity that they often harm instead of help. In her recently published book Trauma and Madness in Mental Health Services (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), clinical psychologist Noël Hunter offers an insightful critique of mental health’s diagnostic and […]