Essay on Classification of Authority

544 Words 3 Pages
A French philosopher by the name of Bertrand de Jouvenel once said “The phenomenon called authority is at once more ancient and more fundamental than the phenomenon called state; the natural ascendancy of some men over others is the principle of all human organizations and all human advances”. Authority is and always has been present in human civilization in all aspects of life and in different forms. Authority can be classified into three categories: family or parental authority, organizational and bureaucratic authorities, and political authority.
Parental and family authority is the most basic of the three categories. The parents give life therefore should have at least some authority over it. In most cultures this is true and usually
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Organizations including schools, religious institutions, the military, industries and bureaucracies dictate the behavior of the people belonging to them. Behavior that is not approved of can have several consequences depending on the severity of the act but can include termination from the organization. This kind of authority is important because it keeps people disciplined in the work place and school. People will refrain from breaking the rules set by the organization because they do not want to lose there jobs or position within the organization. The higher the position within the organization the more authority the individual possess. The desire of the members to remain in good standing with the organization is what gives the organization its power.
The third categories and perhaps the most powerful of the trio is political authority. Political authority includes the governmental laws and the law enforcement associated with them and is present in modern nations to even the most primitive tribal civilizations. The person or group in power delegates the rules and the individuals lower in the chain of command enforce them. Many modern nations do this by employing a police force, an often armed and intimidating group designed to enforce rules by force if necessary. This type of law enforcement is quite effective because it enforces the…