Many believe that history is cyclical, which involves similarities between generations in terms of psychological types and recurring ideas. The extreme unwillingness to obey the authorities is one characteristic that is manifested in every new generation but not in every representative. Not all people are obsessed with their ideas to the extent that taking their lives seems a more attractive option compared to obeying those in authority. In Antigone, a famous tragedy by Sophocles (406 B.C./2011), Antigone, the protagonist, commits suicide after being incarcerated. She does that to avoid bending to the will of Creon, the ruler, and enabling him to decide on her fate.
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Today, society in the U.S. and other countries still has some people, whether well-intentioned or not, who are motivated to resist the officials even alone. One instance of a single person’s rebellion that demonstrates this unwillingness to bend is the case of Marvin Heemeyer from Colorado. In 2004, he armored a bulldozer and destroyed a few houses in Granby to take vengeance on the town’s officials after a long-term conflict over the building he used for business purposes (Torres, 2017). Not wanting to surrender to the police, Heemeyer shot himself dead after causing enormous financial damage to the officials (Torres, 2017). Notably, the man did not kill or physically harm any person despite damaging more than ten buildings, including the mayor’s house (Torres, 2017). After due preparation, the person in question caused trouble for the city, which made him a hero for some anti-government activists.
Although the mentioned man’s and Antigone’s life situations and relationships with those in the position of authority differ significantly, bravery and desperateness in terms of resisting the government unite the two. Unlike Antigone’s case, Heemeyer’s actions could have harmed other people directly and actually caused financial damages affecting other individuals apart from his initial victims. However, both characters’ civil disobedience reveals certain fearlessness and the prevalence of one’s subjective sense of uprightness over the instinct of self-preservation.
Sophocles. (2011). Antigone. (D. Fitts & R. Fitzgerald, Trans.). (Original work published 406 B.C.). Web.
Torres, P. (2017). Moral bioenhancement and agential risks: Good and bad outcomes. Bioethics, 31(9), 691-696. Web.