June 9, 2008

"Tyranny is the opposite of authority"

Tyranny is the opposite of authority. For authority simply means right; and nothing is authoritative except when somebody has a right to do, and there is right in doing. . . . Moreover, a man can only have authority by admitting something better than himself; and the bully does not get his claim from anybody but himself.

It is not a question, therefore, of there being authority, and then tyranny, which is too much authority; for tyranny is no authority. Tyranny means too little authority; for though, of course, an individual may use wrongly the power that may go with it, he is in that act disloyal to the law of right, which should be his own authority.
      --GK Chesterton
Posted by John Weidner at June 9, 2008 12:07 PM
Weblog by John Weidner