A Personal Issue
It is said that certain people have an issue with authority. I didn’t – until I understood what authority in the modern sense of domination means. Luckily, I was raised to be fairly self-responsible. While my school was quite liberal, I still went through the standard Western European education system, where reward and punishment are given according to one’s willingness to align with authority – the teacher, taught knowledge and accepted ways of knowing. The promise of finishing school was to study at a university and ultimately become well-integrated within society through a respectable job. As it happened, the university I studied with never required me to have a high-school diploma – and I certainly wouldn’t want to find myself among the commonly respected professions of allopathic doctors, lawyers or apologetic professors defending an obsolete world-view. [ 1] Afterwards, I enrolled in the Austrian military as a conscript. Neither training nor duty were particularly harsh, but this is certainly not the place to second-guess your superiors. Also, it gave me first-hand experience of a tightly-knit system, where everything is either in or an order. However, since no national defence requirement can reasonably be established with neither the population nor the army itself, such orders’ purpose is clearly missing. It is perfect example of a structure which might serve the interests of a few generals and politicians through foreign deployments but provides no practical benefit for society at large. [ 2] The promise of completing my service was that I wouldn’t be prosecuted for evading it and would be recognised as a contributing adult – at least the former could be kept. Thereafter, I worked with different people and had various tasks. When working towards something I believed in, the promise of success had been that I could realise visions through the application of worldly power. The projects didn’t come to fruition because my superiors ultimately lacked competence – and I meanwhile discovered that all substantial progress is only to be made within. When working for money, the promise of being a loyal company employee is to have so-called financial stability in order to live in relative material wealth, maybe even surviving long enough to experience retirement. However, I couldn’t feign interest in the overall purpose longer than a few months nor properly apply my abilities. A company usually requires individuals who function and obey rather than question the underlying assumptions it is built on. So as it turns out, all the implicit promises ever made by a hierarchical structure were either fraudulent or simply represent something I am not interested in any longer. For those who hope to take relief from self-responsibility through the adoption of external order, these structures might well serve their purpose of control. Whether educational system, army or company: Submission – whether to accepted knowledge, orders, money or ideology – is always required. Now, I do have an issue with those who seek authority over others – and I also understand the simple method to individual empowerment so domination may become a distant notion of the past.