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Dysfunctional Authority

mthomas

American society is currently in a dysfunctional state, and like all things dysfunctional, it will implode if not addressed very soon. We live in a world that contains a vast amount of knowledge, but little understanding. The United States has not experienced extreme tyranny, but it is headed in that direction. The shift of authority from private sector to public sector has created a serious imbalance. As a country, there is great arrogance. We take for granted that we will always be the land of the free. Like all civilizations prior, we’re moving from liberty to totalitarianism and it’s happening in plain sight.

The transformation is not covert, as it does not have to be. We’re unable to recognize the change because we are no longer taught the fundamental principles of liberty and freedom. Unlike prior generations, we no longer understand nor respect the power of authority and its influence on liberty and tyranny. America is dysfunctional and therefore broken because its overall authority is out of order.

The word functional, contrary to dysfunctional, means that all of the underlying components of something work or operate in a proper or particular way. The various components of an analog clock must all work together in the proper way in order to produce the correct time. When one of those parts fails, slightly or completely, the clock no longer functions as intended. It either stops or drifts. American government is no different from that analog clock. It’s made up of various levels of government, constitutions, declarations, taxes, political processes, representation and authority. In order to create the best conditions that could produce the most liberty, freedom, peace, prosperity and overall abundance throughout society, its various components must also function as intended. The Founders of America pieced together a well-oiled system of governance—the best the world had ever seen. The whole system of governance was rooted in the concept of authority.

Authority is often mentioned, but rarely understood. Authority is basically the power to determine. The one with the authority, whether it’s a person, organization or government institution, is the one who gets to determine. Those without authority live their lives by happenstance, always at the whims of another. America’s system of government is founded upon authority—specifically, the authoritative relationship between God, government and We the People.

God, government and We the People (i.e. the governed) share a unique relationship. We are all forms of authority, albeit very different forms. God’s authority is one of free will, government’s authority operates out of force and each individual falls somewhere in-between the two. Since the one with authority has the power to determine, there must be an established hierarchy. The Founders understood this concept and established a hierarchy via the Declaration of Independence that would provide the most amount of liberty.

Prior to the Declaration, it was generally believed that the hierarchy was based on a belief called the “Divine Right of Kings.” It stated that Kings derived their right to rule directly from God. The king got his authority from God and the people, in turn, got their authority from the king. The Divine Right of Kings essentially placed centralized authority within the king. This authority then flowed from the King downward to his subjects. Little to nothing was done without the king’s knowledge and/or consent.King George III abused his authority and ruled with tyranny.

Wanting their independence, the Founders formally declared independence from Britain and the crown by adopting the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration listed the several abuses of King George III as justification for the concept of self-government. They rearranged the order of authority, abandoning the notion of the Divine Right of Kings, so that government authority would no longer sit between the people’s authority and God, the source of all authority.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these Rights are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Simply put, the creation gets its authority from that which created it, and it uses that authority, in turn, to serve its creator in some sort of capacity. God created mankind and endowed us with authority and unalienable rights. Thus, we (the creation), serve God. This fundamental principle transcends all things. Children (i.e. the creation), receive authority from their parents and serve both their parents (the creators) and God (the Creator). An employee receives authority from and serves the needs of the person(s) who created the company (i.e. the employer). Government (the creation) receives its authority from those in which it serves (We the People) via our consent. In all of these cases, the creator transfers authority top-down to those people and/or things that will be in a position of servitude for some length of duration. Proper authority is always transferred top-down.

In regards to authority, when the creator is served by its creation there is function. The various parts of authority are in a particular and natural order. Conversely, when the creator ends up serving its creation, there is dysfunction.

Example–one of the tell-tale signs of a dysfunctional home is one where we find the parent(s) serving the child. Another example is a dysfunctional workplace where the employer serves the employee(s). Thus, a dysfunctional society is one where the people serve their government. In the examples of a dysfunctional home or workplace, we would easily identify authority being out of order. These examples represent an “improper” order of authority. Yet, we rarely seem to recognize and apply the same litmus test to government. This is why society is dysfunctional.

We tend to believe that dysfunction can be addressed with money and increased government spending. However, nature doesn’t understand nor value money. It operates on fundamental principles of order. Basic principles would dictate that we, the People, cannot both transfer authority and retain the same authority.

The Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) is a prime example of Americans, in general, transferring authority of our collective healthcare over to the government. Those who continue to debate its cost and implementation failures are attacking Obamacare at the surface-level. However, the long-term damage with Obamacare is that it allows the inferior creation (i.e. the government) to force its superior creators (We the People) to purchase something against our will. It perverts natural law.

When we understand the relationship between creator and creation and how authority is transferred from the former to the latter, political debates, such as Obamacare, would likely be less contentious and seen for what it really is—the loss of personal authority and liberty masquerading as security in the form of healthcare.

As Christians, we must be careful not to transfer too much of our God-given authority to government (our creation). Government was established to protect our God-given rights and punish those who infringe upon them. We should neither look to nor depend on government to be our provider or surrogate savior.When we transfer responsibility, we must also transfer the authority required to execute that responsibility. This is the importance of exercising self-responsibility.

We all have an obligation, especially people of faith, to reestablish the natural and proper order of God over man and man over government. Current-day apathy, ignorance and fear of the populace have allowed government to absorb too much authority, lodging itself back in between us and God. History has proven repeatedly that those in government will not stop lusting for power until they have absorbed all of the authority God has endowed us with. Government’s authority must always be scrutinized and questioned with jealousy. So, the way to create a dysfunctional society is by convincing the creators (the people) that they should serve the creation (government). And if they refuse to freely adopt this idea, force them.

 

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  • Great job, very informative.

  • “Simply put, the creation gets its authority from that which created it, and it uses that authority, in turn, to serve its creator in some sort of capacity.” Very well stated!