Resisting Illegitimate Authority
A Thinking Person’s Guide to Being an Anti- Authoritarian—Strategies, Tools, and Models
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“A startlingly original book, one that prompts you to think anew about important aspects of the American character, past and present.” —Robert Whitaker, author of Anatomy of an Epidemic
“Levine’s writing simmers with a kind of optimistic rage meant to prod and provoke us out of our paralytic compliance with faceless authority.” —Jeffrey St. Clair, editor of CounterPunch
The capacity to comply with abusive authority is humanity’s “fatal flaw.” Fortunately, there are anti-authoritarians—people comfortable questioning the legitimacy of authority and resisting its illegitimate forms. However, as Resisting Illegitimate Authority reveals, these rebels are regularly scorned, shunned, financially punished, psychopathologized, criminalized, and even assassinated.
Profiling a diverse group of US anti-authoritarians—from Thomas Paine to Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X, Lenny Bruce, and Noam Chomsky—in order to glean useful lessons from their lives, Resisting Illegitimate Authority provides political, spiritual, philosophical, and psychological tools to help those suffering violence and vilification in a society whose most ardent cheerleaders for “freedom” are often its most obedient and docile citizens. Discussing anti-authoritarian approaches to depression, relationships, and parenting, Levine makes it clear that far from being a disease, disobedience may be our last hope.
Bruce E. Levine is a practicing clinical psychologist. He is the author of Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy, and several other books. According to the late Howard Zinn, “Bruce Levine condemns the cold, technological approach to mental health and, to our benefit, looks for deeper solutions.”