Power and Authority - Contemporary World Issues

Topics: Feeling, Police, Africa Pages: 3 (845 words) Published: May 2, 2011
“People obey authority out of respect, while they obey power out of fear.”

Power and authority are interpreted in many different ways. Authority is respected and recognized, where as power is used to exploit and manipulate situations simply to gain control or sway judgments. In some scenarios, power and authority are essentially indistinguishable, in others; one is taken advantage of by the other to dominate. E.g. Power may use authority to gain control and respect.

I do not agree with this statement. While some obey authority out of respect, people often obey it out of fear as well. The repercussions of disobeying authority are certainly as harsh and strict as are those of disobeying power. For example, GreenDays song “Warning”. The verses “Caution: police line: you better not cross”, and “Shut up and be a victim of authority” are directly addressing the issues of what would happen if you disobeyed authority and more to the point, the position that a significant amount of people are in because of their compliance, the outcome of just obeying the law without question.

I’m sure, more accurately, I am positive that our brothers and sisters involved in the conflict “blood” diamond problem in Africa do not obey any figure of authority or power out of respect, but more so, out of pure fear. Fear that your hands will get severed off, or fear that your wife and sister will get raped by the R.U.F that occupy the uncontrolled lands. Australia, Canada, Namibia, South Africa, and Tanzania are the countries that have been able to invest the revenue from diamonds into the development of infrastructure, schools and hospitals for the good of the communities where diamonds are found. Diamond-rich Botswana has used its mines, which are partially owned by the state, to fund infrastructure, education and health care, as well as set aside a rainy-day fund of nearly $7 billion. But Botswana has something essential that other African countries do not: a government known...
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