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-1 Authority and Authoritarianism

A Tract Book Essay


Anthony J. Fejfar, J.D., Esq., Coif

© Copyright 2006 by Anthony J. Fejfar

Some people think authority is good, some people think that

authority is bad or evil. I argue that good authority is Good, and evil

authority is Evil. The trick is trying to figure what distinguishes a good

authority from an evil authority. I have some guidelines.

First, evil authority is always based upon something. Evil authority,

or authoritarianism seems to be based simply upon itself, that is, authority

based upon authority. I argue that evil authority is based upon the authority

having his or her authority based in some vice or deficient aspect of

character or consciousness. For example, I argue that authority which is

just based upon power is evil and authoritarian. If all an authority can do is

to assert some competence as an authority based upon power, then this

simply is authority based upon a vice. As was taught to me in my junior

high public school education, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts

absolutely. While power is often attributed to God as an attribute, one

notices that God also is described as having divine knowledge or Reason,

Love, Creativity, and other attributes. If God were simply a God of power,

God would not be God, God would be Satan.

Good authority on the other hand is Good. It intends Good, it intends

Being. Good authority intends an “unrestricted act of understanding.”

Good authority intends Love. Good authority intends relative truth. Good

authority is based upon competence. To be an authority I must be good at

something which is a good, or a virtue, not evil or a vice. The only

exception to this is Wisdom. A Wise authority knows how to use evil to

combat evil and knows how to use evil to achieve good. The paradox is that

Wisdom intends the Good, while it uses evil. The Wise authority is good,

although he must be sure that he intends the Good, as an end, otherwise

Wisdom can degrade into evil.