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  • Writer's picturescottforbes

Far Too Many Rule Followers

We have in society today far too many rule followers. That’s my opinion. You are free to disagree. So, let me explain.

The rule followers follow all the rules, regardless. They will even follow rules made by people not authorized to make rules and by rule makers who break the rules to create new rules. The rule followers follow the rules, whether the rules make sense, are legal, or are good or bad for society. None of that matters, because they are the rule followers, through thick and thin. They’ll also serve as surrogates for the rule makers in enforcing the rules, whether justified or not. That’s a lot to take in, so let me unpack it.

We have all been conditioned from childhood to trust authority and to follow their rules. Authority includes our parents, teachers, the President, politicians, health officials, doctors, and priests. We’ve also been conditioned to not question authority. No one really wanted to be sent to the principal's office, or whacked by the Nun’s stick, or separated from their tribe for not following the rules. So, we follow the rules, or else. The rule makers are good at telling us what to do, and they, and the rule followers, are good at judging us and even trying to punish us if we don’t follow the rules. You getting my drift? You know some of them. Maybe you are even a rule follower.

So, what if the rules don’t benefit the people? What if they harm? What if the rules are designed to benefit the rule makers and other powerful individuals and organizations at the expense of the people? What if the rules make certain people a ton of money or power gained or fame? What if the rules are not even legal laws—just something mandated by authority? What if the rules are designed to control the people more and more, for whatever reason? What if the rule followers themselves, by virtue of their following said rules, are contributing to conditions not good for society? This is all certainly not zero probability, because no one said the rule makers could not be power hungry, corrupt, immoral, or pathologically not care what the rules do to peoples' lives.

Then, if enough don’t realize this and we don’t collectively decide to reject the rules and the rule makers, then what have we but a state in which the rule makers can make rules unencumbered by the facts, laws, or public welfare, all because we have too many rule followers and not enough people to say no to the rules. In such a case, we can’t expect a healthy society, because not enough are questioning the authority and intentions of the rule makers and questioning the rules they are making. It’s as simple as this—our present reality.

All one must do to be less and less of a rule follower is to look at the rules, the inconsistencies and carve outs for special groups, the supposed rationale, the flip flopping, and see that the rules are designed for some and not for others. That’s when the red flag should be raised, and the rules questioned and not accepted by all the people, in unison, including the rule followers. Less rule followers are always the antidote to rule makers who are out of control with rule making.

We can debate a lot, but we can’t debate that a lot of people follow rules because they are rule followers conditioned from a young age to trust what authority tells them to do. They don’t have to question the rules or critically think about them, because they are told the rules are the rules, and they follow them. Judging by recent polls and elections, that trust in authority and the rule makers may be approaching an all-time low, and that may be a good sign for all of us, even the rule followers, whether they understand this or not.


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