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utopia-dystopiaTo beg for the blessing of “authority” is to accept that the choice is the master’s alone to make, which means that the person is already, by definition, a slave. But some people still keep on trying—as we are seeing now, and many people keep letting it happen.

By Nazarul Islam

Because I’m your mother (or father)! – All of us have heard that exclamation at some point in our childhood, and more likely more than once.

Or

“Do as I say, not as I do”— that one is a bit more toxic and typically should be avoided by enlightened parents.

We should all learn by example, not necessarily by firm, rigid, and seemingly irrational demands. We all were children at one time after all—in many ways truly incapable of knowing what is best for us and not fully aware of the “why” our behavior could be dangerous or not beneficial. But that was then, this is now, we are not a child anymore, so why are we treated like one by societal authority?—politicians, police, world leaders, etc.? Perhaps, a Good question…

One answer could be because often we do, as a whole, and as adults act as if we cannot think for ourselves. We’ve heard this recently when we are admonished for not “thinking critically” or only listening to the mainstream media or narrative without investigating deeper into a situation. We behave like sheep, just following the furry backside in front of us. Right off the cliff!

Why is that? And perhaps…the answer to that question is beyond the scope of this article, yet it is relevant. I would say it is partially due to deficiencies in education, parenting, and also through the conscious, and unconscious, agenda of the culture. If we are treated like children, typically, from a psychological perspective, we will tend to act like children.

Children are lower in the power spectrum, and in a class of their own, and the parents are higher, in a class of their own.

This has reflected the infantilization of society. In the context of this write up, the parents are represented by government authority and the children are the rest of us. We wait for the word from the parent before we make decisions, we wait for the reassurance from the parent before we take action, and anything that opposes the parent is interpreted as the enemy, the danger, and we lash out against it. Not all of us are like this, of course—and you know who I am talking about.

But just like real children, we do not expect our parents to do themselves the very thing that we are told not to do (there are exceptions with real children, but remember, we aren’t supposed to be like children anymore).

The people in our communities that seem to be acting more like children and idolizing their parents (the government) will have a difficult time at first realizing that their parents are not doing as they tell us to do, but once they do realize it, things won’t go well.

To many, who understand human behavior…this is all a power play — absolute power, corrupts absolutely.

It is human nature to exploit power, that is why in recent years (the past 200 or so?) people have made an effort to declare a “no – no” to establishing totalitarian regimes. The world has sort of learned (the hard way) that authoritarian regimes, is a bad thing.

When we give government the power to make medical decisions for us, we in essence accept that the state owns our bodies. The truth is, one who seeks to achieve freedom by petitioning those in power to give it to him has already failed, regardless of the response.

To beg for the blessing of “authority” is to accept that the choice is the master’s alone to make, which means that the person is already, by definition, a slave.

But some people still keep on trying—as we are seeing now, and many people keep letting it happen.

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About the Author

Nazarul IslamThe Bengal-born writer is a senior educationist based in USA. He writes for Sindh Courier and the newspapers of Bangladesh, India and America.
Also read:
Utopia & Dystopia: Definition, Characteristics & Examples