3 Reasons Why People Obey Authority


“The following of authority is the denial of intelligence. It may help us temporarily to cover up our difficulties and problems; but to avoid a problem is only to intensify it, and in the process, self-knowledge and freedom are abandoned.” ― Jiddu Krishnamurti, Education and The Significance Of Life


We end up under authoritarian rule because there is a demand for it – people beg for authority figures to influence their lives. Society doesn’t assist in the process of human development; it seems to hinder it.

So with poorly developed and traumatised human beings, there is no sense of autonomy and individual Selfhood.

How does this happen?


How We End Up Craving Authority

1) Poor Parents

As harsh as it may sound to some people, this is just the reality – most parents are rubbish. This doesn’t mean they are bad people; it just means they didn’t do a good job at nurturing and developing a human.

Parenting is incredibly complex. It’s probably the most crucial position a human being can undertake. Unfortunately, particularly in the western world, parenting has become the blind leading the blind. Poor parents are having children, who become poor parents, who become poor parents etc. It takes a renegade to stop the rot.

In relation to seeking authority figures, if our parents did not provide the platform for us to build a healthy psyche, we look for external authority figures to satisfy our basic needs. According to Maslow Hierarchy, after physiological needs (air, water, food etc) we need safety and security – if your parents do not provide this, then authority figures can fill that void. (Remember ‘The Greater Good’?)

One of the books I have been recommended (although not read yet) is – The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Proven Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind’


2) Fear Of Other Peoples Opinions

It is natural to have a healthy level of fear and respect for people’s views. If you didn’t have a concern for the well-being of others, you’d probably be a psychopath. 

However, having a significant fear of other people’s opinions is through conditioning and our evolution. We can now break that cycle. When we were not as developed as we are today, we lived in tribes and much smaller communities – it is this fear of being banished from the community still resides within us. But now you are aware of it and see it for what it is.

When we fear others’ opinions, we tend to follow the herd so we don’t stand out – because standing out might mean banishment. If an external authority figure (science for example), becomes ‘mainstream’, then speaking out against this authority will lead to the fear of being booted out the tribe. You’re want to fit in allows authoritarianism to happen. 

If the fear of others’ views arises, just let it be there and continue anyway—nobody who created anything magical fits into the crowd. 

Check out my article on how to rise above the crowd for a more in-depth look at this. 


3) Non-Discernment Between Truth and Falsehood

The biggest flaw of humanity is its incapability of discerning between truth and falsehood. 

Those who want power over others are low in consciousness. But the world operates at a relatively low level, and so very often these people end up towards the top of the power pyramid – this is how we end up with psychopaths in government. 

Suppose we cannot discern between truth and falsehood (higher levels and lower levels of consciousness respectively) – in that case, we can be manipulated to ‘fall’ into the trap set by nefarious types. 

Those craving authority and power pray on low consciousness types whose ‘bullshit detector’ is down. The higher your consciousness, the less you can be deceived – and there are many deceivers. 

Check out my article on how to use kinesiology to discern between truth and falsehood.