When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong.
-Eugene V. Debs
Lord Galen
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Questioning Authority
February 28, 2006

One of the biggest bullshit lines that I hear from people all the time is that you shouldn't question authority, not even when authority is obviously wrong. Now, sure, this could turn into another Youth Rights rant, but it doesn't even have to be one. Youth certainly get this crap dumped on them by the wheelbarrow load, but they aren't the only ones. Really, the whole point of heaping this shit on the young seems to be so that they won't bother questioning shit when they become adults. So, this isn't just a Youth problem, it's a problem for everyone.

Let me be perfectly clear right from the start. This site has a motto now. It didn't for a long time because mottos are gay until one hits you that's perfect. The motto for this site is a quote by the late great Thomas Jefferson: "Dissent is the purest form of patriotism." And Mr. Jefferson was right. It does no good to follow leaders and authority figures blindly! What the fuck kind of loyalty are you showing to your country then? Patriotism isn't about following leaders, it's about following the principals and spirit of your nation.

But, before I get off on a tangent, let's get back to the central issue. From the very young to the very old, we are all told in one way or another that questioning authority is wrong. Not only wrong, but futile ("You can't fight city hall"). Bullshit, I can burn city hall to the fucking ground if they piss me off! Don't tell me I can't fight, mother fuckers! No, that wasn't an arson threat, that was hyperbole... will the secret service kindly jump off my nuts. Thank you.

Questioning authority is NOT a fucking waste of a time and it IS NOT WRONG! Nearly all of the greatest accomplishments in the history of the world have been wrought by those who refused to blindly follow the reasoning and whims of those in power. Where the fuck would we be if Coretta had just turned to Martin one day and say "Martin Luther King Jr.! Don't you dare question authority! The Man says we's just niggers and that must be right cuz the man says it!" Or, where in the fucking hell would we be if George Washington, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, etc. had just said "Well fuck it... Britain's in charge so I guess we just have to sit here and take it up the shit shoot." Fuck the Boston Tea Party, bitches! That was one big act of defiance against authority! Nevermind that whole fucking "declaration of independance" thing! That was just one big piece of dissentious propaganda!

Now for the fun part. I collected a nice list of names (thanks to all those from this site's forum and NYRA who've contributed to this list) of great people throughout history who questioned authority. The next time a teacher, parent, co-working, etc. tells you to "know your place" or "respect your elders" or "shut the fuck up man, you can't just challenge the boss like that!" you print out this fucking list and tell them to go roll a gerbil in it and stick up their moldy ass!


Jesus Christ
Christopher Columbus
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rosa Parks
Malcolm X
William Wallace
Mahatma Gandhi
Henry David Thoreau
George Orwell
Oliver Cromwell
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Anne Frank
Ayn Rand
Patrick Henry
Thomas Paine
Nicolaus Copernicus
Martin Luther
John Adams *
Benjamin Franklin
Samuel Adams *
John Hancock *
Robert Treat Paine *
Elbridge Gerry *
Josiah Bartlett *
William Whipple *
Matthew Thornton *
Stephen Hopkins *
William Ellery *
Lewis Morris *
Philip Livingston *
Francis Lewis *
William Floyd *
Button Gwinnett *
Lyman Hall
George Walton *
Richard Henry Lee *
Francis Lightfoot Lee *
Carter Braxton
Benjamin Harrison *
Thomas Jefferson *
George Wythe *
Thomas Nelson, Jr. *
William Hooper *
John Penn *
Joseph Hewes *
Edward Rutledge *
Arthur Middleton *
Thomas Lynch, Jr. *
Thomas Heyward, Jr. *
Abraham Clark *
John Hart *
Francis Hopkinson *
Richard Stockton *
John Witherspoon *
Samuel Huntington *
Roger Sherman *
William Williams *
Oliver Wolcott *
Charles Carroll *
Samuel Chase *
Thomas Stone *
William Paca *
Isaac Newton
Jan Amos Komenský (Comenius)
Galileo Galilei
Charles DeGaulle
Boris Pasternak
Walt Whitman
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Aung San Suu Kyi
Elie Wiesel
Albert Einstein
Mother Teresa
Princess Diana
Johannes Kepler
Siddhartha Gautama (Gautama Buddha)
Abraham Lincoln
The Wright brothers
Harriet Tubman
Susan B. Anthony
Alice Paul
Lucretia Mott
Joan of Arc
Emma Goldman
Dorothy Day
Emmeline Pankhurst
Sylvia Pankhurst
Sun Yat-sen
George Washington
George Washington Carver
Madame Roland
Jean Marie Roland
Matilda Joslyn Gage
Frederick Douglass
Margaret Sanger
Coretta Scott King
Eleanor Roosevelt
Leonardo da Vinci
Oscar Wilde
Sarah Grimke
Angelina Grimké
Tenzin Gyatso (14th Dalai Lama)
Olaudah Equiano
Catherine of Aragon
Victoria Woodhull
Zhao Ziyang
Deng Yingchao

[ * indicates someone who signed the Declaration of Independance, which earns them a place on this list by sheer virtue of the fact that signing the Declaration was like giving King George III the finger, spitting in his face, and kicking him in the balls all at once. ]

Now bitches, SHUT THE FUCK UP about "authority" being so great! Authority can sometimes be great, but just *being* authority doesn't mean shit and DOESN'T entitle authority figures to be above question.

If you'd like to add a name to this list, use the Contact page and send me the name and a link to their entry on Wikipedia.

That's all now. Stop telling people it's bad to challenge "The Man." Fuck "The Man." The man can eat me.

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