User:Bradaphraser/Authority

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Many people take a "resist authority" stance, especially online. This is all well and good if there are particular authoritative abuses in a particular area, or if there is an aristocratic society where it is viewed that the ones with authority should have it, should keep it, and should pass it on to their children (who's claim to fame is being born to the right family), or other similar problems. The origins of "resisting authority" comes from the idea of "questioning authority," which I believe is absolutely right and should be done at any opportunity. I reject the idea of "resist authority" in its most general form for several reasons, however.

For one thing, authority is necessary to resolve disputes. Now, understand that I am not speaking of a particular person or specific set of people even, necessarily, but of some way to resolve a dispute between two parties of equal honor and eloquence that all parties recognize AS authority. This is necessary, in the real world, because sometimes people just refuse to let "them" win (them being the other side). This is why judges (and juries) preside over courts. SOMEONE has to be able to say, "Ok, stop fighting, this is the resolution..."

Now, in the history of warfare, power has been the ultimate authority. "If I can defeat you in battle, then I win," "Might makes right," and all that jazz. This is the crudest form of authority, as in theory anyone can wield it, the weak are miserable and oppressed, and then of course there are power struggles, and the like.

The biggest problem with power, however, is the basic truth that "power corrupts." Thus, the more power is wielded, the worse judgment the wielder exercises in its use. This is unfortunately an unchangeable fact; power will inevitably taint the wisest ruler. This becomes a problem, because the experience gained from mistakes while exercising power is also real, and thus a paradox emerges where the most qualified person to wield power is also the person who makes the worst judgments in its use. Thus, ideally, power should be given to those who hate to use it.

How does this apply to our wiki? Our wisest users are entrusted with the power to maintain the site, and protect it from trolls and vandals who would ruin it at every opportunity. There are many of these, but there are also those who merely disagree with the leadership on many points. I honestly believe that banning these people is a disservice to the site, as frank, honest discussion on controversial topics will lead us, ultimately, to a site that is better for EVERY user.

That being said, however:

  • Resisting authority simply for the sake of resisting authority is irresponsible, particularly in matters of importance. Sometimes a bad ban can be good, as if gives you a chance to step away and calm down.
  • While I believe a rotating admin pool would be ideal, it isn't the case now. If one were to be put in place, it would require some sort of way to ensure that those in power use it to the best of their ability, and don't use it specifically to keep from losing it. Often, all with power fear losing it to the point of abusing it to keep it.
  • A user making demands of an admin from position of weakness is foolishness. You are doomed to failure. Remember that Gandhi is the only warrior we remember from India's war with Britain.
  • Discussions about changing the power structure of Uncyclopedia would best be held between periods of drama, not during or immediately after (when everyone is still angry and irrational).

I will write more as I think of it, but this I think is a good start on my philosophy of authority as it applies to Uncyclopedia. --<<Bradmonogram.png>> 22:00, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

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