Worth dying for

Authorities choose self over the well-being of others. Even when enhancing the lives of others, they bolster their own situation. No term limit or seeming eternal rule seems to change this dynamic. If I’m going to do good for you, I need to be in charge of you.

I am intrigued by models of consensus-building that attempt to the power-of-one out of the equation. Even so, peers (like children of all ages) do have rankings as individuals press the limits of group dynamics to favor them. Such rankings need to be defended from those below and tested regarding those yet above. Consensus is not exempt from manipulation. Even here, conspiracy stories arise to justify what currently is and to filter progress for the advantage of those presently enjoying whatever size perquisite they might have.

Whether the working paradigm is a divine-right, majority-rules, or some form of consensus, authority, like gravity, always needs to be a part of the equation.

A choice between harder and softer authorities is constantly being voted on by actual votes or the economic/intellectual system currently in vogue. It doesn’t matter if we are facing an autocrat of one persuasion of another, dictator of government, religion, or home. School and work bring their own rankings, as do any peer group (intra- or inter-group).

To work outside of a recognized authority is dangerous, as well as oddly satisfying. A question in this is—Is mutual care is worth dying for? Particularly when the evidence is overwhelming that, in short-run games, cheaters are the team to bet on.