Comments on “Schematic overview: authority”

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Been thinking about Authority

James's picture

I’ve been thinking about this axis of meaning. Freedom seems to keep the romance (in the sense of doing what you enjoy and pursuing your passions) while ditching the rebellion (since it will accomplish nothing), and to keep the reasonableness (in the sense of avoiding destructive or wasteful behaviors) while ditching an excessive concern for respectability (since that’s ultimately not in your control and quickly becomes a straitjacket).

The core mistake that reasonable respectability and romantic rebellion share is the assumption that self and society have to always be mutually coherent. Reasonable respectability thus insists you should conform to society, while romantic rebellion insists that society should conform to your vision. Drop that assumption - allow that you will never fully “fit in” in society and that this is not necessarily a problem with or for either you or society* - and the dichotomy vanishes.

  • Unless either you or society decides to make it a problem.

Maybe a better counterthought/antidote to rebellion...

Sahil's picture

…is “What does it mean for my rebellion to succeed? What would I want after? How will I hold things in place?”

Right now, most rebels will reject the antidote immediately. Saying “you’re just trying to look cool” is often overused and is barely informative.

Alternatively, I’m thinking you could just recommended Jo Freeman’s Tyranny Of Structurelessness.

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