Christian Relaunch


An Authoritarian believes in authority, which means that in certain cases:

M1 and M2 are men.

M1 has made no relevant promise and has no extrinsic reason to do as M2 says.

M1's duty is to do what M2 says.

A Statist is an Authoritarian who affirms an authority's right to enforce obedience.

This is often accompanied by the belief that a gang's ability to enforce obedience entitles them to do so, or at least is evidence that they have that right.

A Cultist is an Authoritarianism who affirms an authority with no right to enforce obedience.

The claim to Cultistic authority is also called priestcraft.

A Libertarian has no such belief.

M1 may have many good reasons to adopt M2's proposal, and some of these, such as expertise, are often also called "authority", and may be far-reaching. I mention extrinsic reasons to exclude such cases, leaving only cases where the authority is intrinsic; based, that is, roughly, on who he is rather than what he knows or does. M1's confidence in M2's judgment may lead him to follow M2's advice habitually, without Authoritarianism; the border is crossed where that confidence becomes a belief that obeying M2 is a duty in itself.

Totalitarianism is the maximal form of Authoritarianism, claiming authority over all activity.

Authoritarians vary from near-Libertarian (claiming only a little authority) to near-Totalitarian (claiming a great deal), and they themselves tend to call a view  "Authoritarian" only when they regard its claims as excessive. But my concern here is with the principle, not the degree.

Cults sometimes call themselves "churches".

It is logically posssible to affirm many authorities at the same time, of both kinds, each entitled to obedience in its own sphere.

"Libertarian" is often used merely to exclude Statism, allowing for Libertarian Cultism. I use it to exclude both kinds of Authoritarianism, for I see nothing liberating about submission to a pretender just because he foregoes enforcing his pretence.

The case against Statism also applies, with a few modifications, to Cultism.

Back to No man should encroach on another.