Thoughts on Dominion and Authority

Animals organize themselves in various ways, which nearly always includes an aspect of relegated authority. In the mammalian world, this authority is usually based on gender and strength, although there are many variations on this. Humans have constructed amazingly complex systems of authority, though some pundits reduce all social authority to a base that they call "the organized forces of violence." Others also note that human systems of regulation and authority have roots in both mammalian and insectivore behavior.

Human law is so pervasive that nearly all of the greatest spiritual leaders in history have declined to offer any hope of changing this and point to that which is beyond human endeavor as the only path to happiness. Spiritual activists are often lauded as virtuous men, but enlightened as such individuals may have been, they were after all activists against authority using militant tactics to achieve what they hoped would result in a better world for all.

Organization requires authority. I could not be typing these words on this screen without a whole complex system of authority and organization to back up my endeavor. Even if I want to do something as simple as tie my shoes, at the very least I must exercise will, which is the very basis for organization. Authority however is rarely aggressive; it relies on acquiescence, because the outcome of recognized authority is cooperative action. When there is rebellion however, the result is inaction or uncooperativeness, and the result is usually sanction. It's usually only in this latter context that authority becomes aggressive.Individuals like to think that they want to be free and they do not want to be ruled over.

However, the truth is that one's individual freedom is disproportionate to the number of relationships he establishes with other humans. Since most of us are heavily involved in human relationships and organizations, we are bound to a far greater amount of authority than we would care to admit.


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