29 March 2011

When authority degrades

When authority degrades it does so by the culture's losing the connection between people's rights and duties, on the one hand, and the citizen's exercise of their autonomy, i.e., their creativity and authority, on the other. 
In a society that has lost the genius for autonomy a culture of repudiation emerges where rights become privileges, and duties become unpleasant chores. This, in contra-distinction to the conventional definition of rights and duties, which has them as chits to claims on the collective output, and restraints on the indiscriminate exercise of those claims – "my right is your duty" or "your freedom to swing your arm ends at my nose" etc. 

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