@SteamLouis: My son is similar. He generally opposes any and all rules and authority, to his own detriment. We are surrounded by rules (don't speak out loud in class when the teacher is talking, don't interrupt people, get yourself out of bed in the morning, don't drive on the wrong side of the road, etc.). There is nothing inherently wrong with this; it makes life among other people pleasant and respectful. But some kids -- my son included -- simply oppose any and all rules; they get value out of the opposition itself. The goal isn't to win, it is simply to exert some control or demonstrate power over the person they are opposing.
It's basically a maladaptive way of solving problems -- often problems with emotions, feelings, etc. -- problems that others have solved in better ways, like realizing that some rules are best for all involved including our own good, and simply conforming. Or, realizing that sometimes, they have to do things that they don't like, and it's best to simply take a few deep breaths and do the work, etc. There are many things that may cause these patterns to adapt -- see “The Defiant Child,” or “10 Days to a Less Defiant Child” books. The child's neurology may be part of it, as is the parents' parenting styles and discipline approaches (or lack thereof). Solving it, I'm learning, requires the parent to change before the child can change.
One of the frustrating things for a parent is that this oppositional stance is not only extremely draining for the parent, but is so extremely harmful to the child himself. The child, not the adult, is the one who ultimately pays the price if this is left untreated.
I wish I had caught signs of this much earlier in his life, as it can be extremely difficult to change these behavior patterns once they have set in. I'm in the middle of that process right now and it is the most difficult thing I've ever attempted.