On contrarianism and psychological independence

“If there’s pressure to do it, I’m going to resist.”

Children often go through a period of rebelling against the directives of their parents, whatever those directives happen to be. It can be part of the process of establishing psychological independence.

Beyond adolescence, that pattern can be evident throughout life. We want to feel some degree of autonomy, whether it’s in relation to our parents or teachers or employers or spouses . . . or governmental authorities. So we should not have been surprised to see resistance to getting vaccinated.

Most people have not had someone significant in their lives die of Covid. The death rate is something like one in a thousand. It’s not enough to be frightening enough to change behavior enough.

So some percentage of people were bound to relate to this “issue” in a psychological way. They felt inclined to express their autonomy via vaccination resistance.

Authoritarian societies might force compliance, but ours is not such, and some extent of non-compliance should have been anticipated.

A co-editor of Green Horizon Magazine, Steve has been a Green movement activist for almost thirty years.