Rebellion – a fundamental part of any decent society. Although connotations of it may evoke images of punk rockers or people with bandannas and Molotov cocktails, it can actually be seen quite simply as an act or process of breaking free from the social and cultural norms and ideals created by a state/society/civilisation. Such ideals and norms may be integrated and imposed upon citizens of a society at a young age through institutions such as schools, universities, media, churches, companies and general government, as well as circulated on the secondary level of friends, parents, work colleagues etc. Through the development of mainstream rhetoric and values regarding how we all, as individuals, live our lives, there will always be those reject such values and rhetoric handed down to them by their cultural and social engineers.
These people may come in the form of counter-cultural hippies, travellers, artists, mavericks, ‘free spirits’, ‘wolves’ or just generally any person who actively seeks to exist and live on the fringes of society. To those in the mainstream centre of society, such individuals may be viewed as ‘outcasts’ and ‘not doing their part’, but their very existence is something that is integral and essential to a democratic state. Because without the individuals who interrogate, dissect and question the mainstream values and social norms handed down to them by others since the day they were born, then a society lacks diversity and becomes incredibly vulnerable to mass cultural and social trickery by those in power. If everybody conformed without any questioning as to what it was they were conforming to, then – like sheep being herded towards the edge of a cliff – the masses are forever in danger of abuse by the elites and governing members of mainstream social and cultural values.
This is why the role of the rebel in society is something of integral and intrinsic importance towards opening up the minds of the sleeping masses to create a better society for all. This can be seen in the past; in the days when people thought the earth was flat, the ‘rebels’ and ‘outsiders’ were the scientists who claimed it to be round like a sphere; in the time when Hitler and Stalin manipulated the masses of Germany and Russia to elect psychopathic, evil lunatics, ‘the rebels’ were the ones who realised the dangers of these individuals and denounced them or fled their states. This is why rebellion is something essential to democracy. Because as soon as we conform to values and norms created by others, our independent ability to sceptically interrogate the morality of a government and society become blurred with bias. As minds become comfy within a social and cultural operating system, they lose their ability to awaken through any illusion and manipulation of an unjust society. With this perspective, it is therefore necessary for the rebels on the outside of society to peer back in and say what it is they see, or what it that they reject about the mainstream to give a fresh take on the lifestyle and culture created by those in power.
These offerings and viewpoints may be rejected by mainstream society or they may just find their way to disseminate into the minds of the masses, creating important social and cultural change for all.