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The Triumph of Form Over Content When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

You Are Here: Home -> Glossary -> Authority

Authority

Authority is a funny business. In terms of efficiency, it often makes more sense to put one person in charge. With inspired leadership and proper obedience from subordinates, a person with authority can accomplish great things. There surely are justified uses of authority. At the same time, leaders without scruples can abuse their authority and cause great mischief.

Therefore, it should be up to the person exercising authority to defend that excercise of authority against reasonable challenges.

It's only fair.

In the real world, however, it is usually left to the subordinate to resist authority when it is being abused. When a few people are put in charge of many people, things inevitably tend to go much better for the few than for the many. That's why it's so important for the many to make a nuisance of themselves and challenge every unjustified act by the leaders. Otherwise, both rulers and ruled may come to feel that abuses are normal and justified in and of themselves.

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