Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org &
Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / Social Order / Authority /
Mission: to characterize kleptocratic authority as getting the last word
Who Gets the Last Word?
Authorities are typically retrograde.
Those who would command rather than be commanded by language must know that natural languages are like magician’s props: the magician can show you, let you examine, an unrigged box, then substitute the rigged box and perform the trick. We hear “authority,” examine it, believe it to mean: right, smart, in the know … populated by experts, people with the best access to the best information, the best theories … If only. Wouldn’t that be nice?
There’s another side, a rigged side, to authority that I shall characterize simply with the question: who gets the last word?
Who has the advantage if the Darwinian gets to speak first, but the Creationist delivers the verdict?
In the story of the Passion of Jesus, there was a hearing. Jesus was supposedly given a chance to speak. But it was stentorianly apparent in the set up that Pilate would get to speak last. The secular authority had the final word.
Christians believe that Jesus, as Christ, will have the final final word. Then it will be Pilate who’s in the dock. With the rest of us. The version where Jesus went to the cross is supposed to be history. It’s supposed to have actually happened. Regardless of the accuracy of the story, there’s no doubt that many people did get crucified. Can we doubt that not all of them were justly judged? Whether or not Jesus was Christ (whether or not there’s such a being as Christ), a lot of railroading went on. And goes on.
Imagine Newton trying to tell a tribe of headhunters about gravity: that all matter is attracted to all matter. Would Newton speak and then all the headhunters be converted to science? Or would the shaman act as judge, the tribe as executioner?
In theory authority can be identified with truth and the right; in practice, authority is indistinguishable from power.
Notice that in kleptocracies, the current last word in having the last word, the authority is always established off stage, never tested on stage. The examiner does the examining; he isn’t examined by the examinee. Or, if he is, the examinee’s examination is private: no one cares what his finding is, he’s given no chance to announce it during the exam. (How did Bishop Wilberforce establish his competence to debate Huxley on Darwinism? It’s easily establishable how Huxley qualified to defend and promote it.) The examiner’s finding is the one published, attended to.
We can hope that our authorities happen to coincide theory with fact, that those with the power also have truth and right. Rots of ruck.
A fool placed in authority is a hazard to us all.
Owen Parry’s Abel Jones novels
2002 07 15 Einstein said that life played him a trick, making that champion opponent of Authority into an Authority!
I oppose authority
(like Einstein, like any good scientist.)
I do not want to be an authority.
I do not want You to be an authority!
I do not want God to be an authority.
(Knowing what you are talking about is an issue entirely distinct.)
(If God can back what he says with evidence, with reason, then he shouldn’t need “authority.”)
|Art made tongue-tied by Authority||Shakespeare, Sonnet 66|
Just look at Shakespeare’s context!
... Behold desert a beggar born, And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity, And purest faith unhappily forsworn, And gilded honour shamefully misplac'd, And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted, And right perfection wrongfully disgrac'd, And strength by limping sway disabled And art made tongue-tied by authority, And folly, doctor-like, controlling skill, And simple truth miscall'd simplicity, And captive good attending captain ill ...
One more word on authority in terms of conflicting authorities. Pilate judges Jesus in “history”; Jesus judges Pilate in “eternity.” Compared to history, eternity is the last word, the final word. There’s one problem: history has happened; where’s the eternity? So far there’s no evidence for it. We wait and wait. A lot of Pilats can judge a lot of things while we’re waiting.
But a parallel point is that more than one universe is represented by the idea: Pilate had power in this universe; Jesus has all the power in some other. Maybe it’s true. Maybe Pilate has already been judged by Jesus in that other universe. But we have no contact with that universe: can’t say yea or nay with any meaning.
In my story Judgment Day a reckoning foisted by a false god (Lucifer) is interrupted by the “real” “God.” In a still unwritten part of my novel Dark Beacon, “God’s” Judgment Day is interrupted by His god! (Funny thing was, God didn’t know He had a god: He was an atheist: or at least a solipsist.) (Which reminds me of the point that #1s, heavyweight champions and so forth, are necessarily insane: because there’s nothing bigger than them to test them.) All such relates to the wonderful mathematical concept of context. $1,000,000 can always be put in parentheses: -($1,000,000). Or -(-($1,000,000))2. Hofstadter’s Godel, Escher, Bach goes into that nicely. (Please note that it did so years after my story was written.)
It sure would be helpful if existence came with all its contextual parentheses visible. Jesus (really Christ) is judged (misjudged) by Roman authority (false authority) in the person of Pilate (Roman lifer). The entire preceding sentence is true only if there are no hidden parenthesis around it: it is false that (Jesus (really Christ) is judged (misjudged) by Roman authority (false authority) in the person of Pilate (Roman lifer).)
Naturally kleptocratic authorities always say that they, finally, are the true authorities, have the mandate of the real authority, the people, and God loves them too … But where are the parentheses? And what a coincidence: the magician always says that his rigged property isn’t rigged.
It’s difficult, for me to cede authority to those who don’t understand a word I say:
For more on authority, see:
Experience versus Authority
Origins of Authority
@ K. 2001 01 24