“Obedience cannot be expected of like minds, only compliance”.
And it requires servility, either in a subtle or pronounced form to budge down to bureaucracy, is a claim that I make. It seems to hold true with all the experiences I have had in understanding the paradigm of ‘obedience’.
Sometimes,we hear people taking shelter under the unreasonable umbrella of people above us in the hierarchy, either in families or at work –
“The boss is always right”,”I don’t want to do this, but I do it because my elders ask me to”, “I do it because that rule dictates so” etc are few observations one could make on a daily basis. Another form of obedience also a manifestation of fanaticism, where people become slaves to certain ideas without contesting them – all fanatics from extreme right to extreme left are examples.
Questioning authority is, if not the highest form of manifestation of rational thought in beings, is at least, one of the important basic principles. People who readily, and without questioning bureaucracy accept the views imposed on them, either because of the power vested in the bureaucracy or the weakness inside the individuals is an unfortunate state of affairs. The cause of this submission to authorities can be traced back to two factors – lack of sincere rational thought, and lack of courage.
We profess and preach rationalism in many flavors and hues, as if it were a commodity available in the supermarket. In reality, rational thinking is, nothing but a simple way of life, with a single demanding trait associated with it – consistency. To be able to apply consistent rational thought at all instances, without contradicting one’s own principles.
And this consistency requires courage. I might advice somebody to think rationally, manifest it even in my technical pursuits, but when there is a situation in my life demanding action, if I let go this rational thought and endorse a convenient path contradicting all that I have wanted to pursue, I have again budged down to an invisible authority, directly or indirectly.
Courage and scientific thought, courage to bring life to scientific thought is what is the necessity of the hour amongst many of us.