Jesus Denounced Hypocrisy
Authority and International Politicsicon

Jesus & Authority

Author James Hi. I am James. On this site I explore a few ideas about authoritarian group-think and the philosophy of Jesus the Nazarene.

Jesus and Socrates

There is some similarity between the opinions of Jesus who irritated some people in old Palestine and Greek philosopher Socrates who irritated people in Athens. Both men expressed opinions about developing inner purity and personal virtue as the purpose of this life rather than the accumulation of earthly wealth.

Socrates seems to have been considered an eccentric to some Athenians and Jesus the Nazarene made enemies in the Jewish ruling class by denouncing their hypocrisy. Their resentment led to his scourging and demise for supposedly breaking the Mosaic Law. Similar authoritarian group-think people silenced Socrates by hemlock poison and, at a later date, an authoritarian Church restricted Galileo.

Authoritarianism

Authoritarian group-think restricts the freedom of individuals by referring to a 'higher authority' of some sort such as a law, national security, or religious dogma, and then applying coercion in the form of threats, fines, imprisonment, or excommunication. The intention is to deter the individual from speaking his/her opinions and to impose a penalty for non-compliance with the authoritarian group requirements.

If targeted individuals ignore the coercion and continue to speak out it's probable that they will be stereotyped as a 'wrong thoughts' minority that needs to be silenced by imprisonment or by execution.

Intimidation

Examples of 'silenced' critics are easily found. Here's one related to freedom of speech in Malaysia, another is Anwar Ibrahim who's political career is 'silenced'. The murder of Nemtsov in Moscow appears to be a further case of authoritarianism in action. Nemtsov, a symbolic character, is now dead and his followers probably understand the message.

Two other recent examples are 'whistle-blower' Snowden, who resisted unbridled authoritarianism, broke out from a military group-think culture, and is now avoiding USA retribution. The second example is an interesting political development regarding the incarnation of the new Dalai Lama which according to a BBC report now requires the approval of the Chinese central government.

Higher Authority

The problem I see is that authoritarian group-think organisations work at a physical law enforcement level, or simply at brute force level, whereas people like Snowden at some point in time move their thinking to a higher philosophical level where they realize that some behavior that is protected by an umbrella of 'National interest' and secrecy agreements is actually unethical and possibly immoral.

In such cases the dilemma for the enlightened individual is whether to support the group-think organisation by remaining silent or to speak out and accept the consequences! Socrates, Jesus, and Galileo chose to resist authoritarianism and openly stated their opinions.

Further Reading

Authoritarianism

Authoritarianism in International Politicsicon

Jesus' Revolutionary Politicsicon

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