The psychology of the rebel

It’s typical to see teenagers manifest behaviors where they seek to assert their independence from their parents or any authority figure. And the easiest way of doing so is always through rebellion. In other words, to stand counter to the wishes or expectations of one’s superior.

In a somewhat related tangent: have you noticed that people whom complain about others judging them seem to love engaging in behavior that brings about people’s judgement? So much so that if people didn’t judge them for those behaviors they probably wouldn’t engage in those behaviors to begin with!!

All of these individuals have been classically referred to as rebels and i’d include even naysayers in there as well. This human condition probably dates back millennia, perhaps even back to tribal times.

What’s so predictable of all this behavior is that ultimately it doesn’t matter what the parent (or authority figure) prescribes for the child. If the father was Satan then the youth would want to join a conquest of angels. If the father was Jesus, the youth would want to join Satan’s gang of thugs. It’s more often than not a contrarian’s game, as far as i can tell.

If you’re one such contrarian and wondering which side you’re on and need help identifying between good and evil i would use the following formula: Good wants to increase and better the conditions for human life (and especially for those wishing to do the same) while the other promotes death, human extinction and disease (except for those wishing to do the same). Build and increase vs destroy and reduce. For more on this read my post titled The Final Codification of Good and Evil.

But despite this moral tendency (of good prevailing), it seems that the vehicle of human progress has this slow but constant leak of naysayers and rebels in its engine creating puddles of grimy substances that build up on the ground and get left behind in the dust heap of history – yet humanity carries forward. I don’t think this defect is actually necessary or even consequential and humanity would make far more progress if it weren’t for the engine breaking down every so often due to this stupid leak. Heck, i would wager, that had it not been for these idiots, we’d be terraforming and populating four planets in our solar system by now with a fleet of space miners coming to and from Saturn’s rings and our asteroid belt with ships being deployed weekly. Rather than being stuck on debating whether or not we should go to mars, we could be debating the pros and cons of wormholes to journey into alternate universes. Instead, we’re stuck here as a type zero civilization and potentially only waiting for an exterminating event like a tiny little space pebble hitting our crust.

So why is it? Why does asserting one’s independence have to come coupled with disrupting one’s environment? I think the behavior might date even further back. Perhaps back to when we were protozoa. Like an infant microorganism reaching adolescence and releasing a chemical reaction designed to shake up and stir its environment. A sort of biological clock rigged to vibrate and stir its surroundings. Skip ahead a couple billion years and you’re left with teenage angst as the mammalian evolutionary remnant.

To quote the acclaimed writer Taylor Swift

Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

So there you have it. Shake it off you ass holes and get over your hang ups. Humanity needs to get shit done and if you want to make the world a better place, add something to it. Stop focusing on tearing things down. Destruction never built anything. Add your two cents and stop trying to take away someone else’s.


Written by © 2017


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