Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trust of Authority Corrupts Authority

I figured out why I don't like authority, and for once it's rational instead of psychological.

I should make a distinction between authority as coordinator of obedience and moral authority.

Those who trust and value authority per se fight against the questioning of the authority. Their authorities have no incentive to remain authoritative, and sooner or later will lose whatever virtue they first used to claim authority. In particular, trusting moral authority destroys the moral part, leaving only the shell of obedience.

Valuing authority inherently destroys authority.

Whenever someone says authority has moral value, I only hear the distant stomping of jackboots. The truth is the opposite - moral value has authority. The speaker of truth borrows the authority of truth, the words do not gain authority from their speaker.

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