authority

Parenting: Affection without sentiment, authority without cruelty, discipline without aggression, humor without ridicule, sacrifice without obligation, companionship without possessiveness.

Charisma is the ability to inspire followers with devotion and enthusiasm to a cause. It encourages disciples rather than independent persons. It is a way of investing oneself with authority over other rather than vesting others with authority over themselves.

A leader who ceases to take sides simply abdicates his role and hands authority to his strongest competitors.

A person who holds for the moral authority of conscience will also hold for the individual’s freedom to follow his conscience without interference from the State.

The great moral reformers have usually found the greatest opposition not in the “immoral” and impulsive individual, but in the regularly constituted organs of social authority and law.

One instance of the innate and ineradicable inequality of men is their tendency to fall into two classes of leaders and followers. The latter constitute the vast majority; they stand in need of an authority which will make decisions for them and to which they for the most part offer an unqualified submission. This suggests that more care should be taken than hitherto to educate an upper stratum of men with independent minds, not open to intimidation and eager in the pursuit of truth, whose business it would be to give direction to the dependent masses.

In our effort to escape from aloneness and powerlessness, we are ready to get rid of our individual self either by submission to new forms of authority or by a compulsive conforming to accepted patterns.

Power on the one side, fear on the other, are always the buttresses on which irrational authority is built.

The respect due the authority carries with it the taboo on questioning it.

There is no inherent authority of `truth’ to any concept except for the subjective value ascribed to it. Credibility is a subjective decision and purely experiential and indefinable. What is convincing to one person may be dismissed as nonsense by another. The realization and knowingness of God is radically and purely subjective. There is not even the hypothetical possibility that reason could arrive at Truth. Truth is knowable only by virtue of the identity of being it.

Religion declined not because it was refuted but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion – its message becomes meaningless.

Ever increase of state authority must involve an immediate diminution of the liberty of each citizen.

Supported by the authority of all institutions, parenthood has come to amount to little more than a campaign against individuality. Every father and every mother trembles lest an offspring, in act or thought, should be different from his fellows; and the smallest display of uniqueness in a child becomes the signal for the application of drastic measures aimed at stamping out that small fire of noncompliance by which personal distinctness is expressed. In an atmosphere of anxiety, in a climate of apprehension, the parental conspiracy against children is planned.

Most men, after a little freedom, have preferred authority with the consoling assurances and the economy of effort which it belongs.

He who is firmly seated in authority soon learns to think security, and not progress, the highest lesson of statecraft.

A prince… who wishes to guard against conspiracies should fear those on whom he has heaped benefits quite as much, and even more, than those whom he has wronged; for the latter lack the convenient opportunities which the former have in abundance. The intention of both is the same for the thirst of dominion is as great as that of revenge, and even greater. A prince, therefore, should never bestow so much authority upon his friends but that there should always be a certain distance between them and himself, and that there should always be something left for them to desire.

The belief in authority is the source of conscience; which is therefore not the voice of God in the heart of man, but the voice of some men in man.

It is not God that is worshipped but the group or the authority that claims to speak in His name. Sin becomes disobedience to authority and not violation of integrity.

It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion, its message becomes meaningless.

And what is the education of mankind if not the passage from faith in authority to personal conviction and to the sustained practice of the intellectual duty to consent to no idea except by virtue of its recognized truth, to accept no fact until its reality has been, in one way or another, established.