Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A problem with authority

A problem with authority

'Authority' has had its meaning perverted. I have had people tell me that I have "a problem with authority". Nothing could be farther from the truth. I only have a problem with, a disgust for, counterfeit "authority". An empty "authority" that must rely on coercion to be maintained. When I run into real authority I defer to it. When I encounter false authority, I may not be spitting on the outside, but inside... I am spitting in its face.

True authority is the same as expertise. For years I tried to make fire with the bow drill. I followed directions in books. I spent hours, weeks, and months practicing. I made a lot of smoke and dust and blisters and bruises, but never one single fire. I could start fire easily with flint and steel, so it wasn't that I was helpless without matches and gasoline (like my dad is).

Then one day at a mountainman rendezvous, I heard that a man was giving a demonstration of starting a fire with the bow drill. I went and watched and listened as this man, this authority, started a couple of fires and helped a couple volunteers with their technique as well. When I left his presence I knew how it was done and I knew I could do it. I didn't even have to make the attempt to know. But, I soon did attempt the task anyway. I had a fire going in just a few minutes- from scratch to finish; sticks and cord to crackling flames. I was satisfied at my success, but not surprised.

This man was an authority and he had authority. He didn't need to force anyone to behave as though he were an authority. There was no coercion and no implied threat. You knew he had authority by his actions and his expertise and his results. If he told you that you were doing it wrong, you would be wise to listen, yet he would have let you try your own way if you refused to follow his suggestions. Your success or failure was no threat to his authority. I have now started hundreds (or thousands) of fires in this way, and taught the skill to others, all thanks to one true authority.

Cops, politicians, bureaucrats, and other so-called "authorities" can't compete in the real world, without the governments they cultivate and inhabit in Albuquerque and beyond, so they use threats and aggression to enforce their false "authority" on their victims. It shows them to be pathetic losers who try to claim that which is not theirs to claim.

Read more about Maturity and Authority.