Authority & Responsibility

If you have no authority, you are not responsible.If you are not responsible, you have no authority.

Authority flows from responsibility. Legitimate authority can not be imposed.

We are responsible for how we live. We have the authority to delegate some of that responsibility to others along with the attendant authority.

Case in point:  Traffic Laws

We delegate some of our responsibility to an outside agency (i.e., the government) to determine traffic laws that will allow the most people to use public roads with as much safety and as little impediment as possible.

In return for the government enforcing the traffic laws that make us safe, we agree to abide by those laws for the safety of others, and give the government the authority to enforce them.

We may not refuse to heed to those laws and expect to escape the consequences.

If we are on a private race track, we may speed around as much as we like; the government has no authority to enforce speed laws there.

But when we are on public roads, we are obliged to behave in a way that best serves the common good.


Defending The Realm

Elisabetta Di Somma Dixon (1925 - 2013)