Almost all people, myself included, are weak, fallible, deeply flawed cocktails of good and bad.
The percentage of the population that could be considered either saintly or pure evil is miniscule. I suppose a world full of utterly well-intentioned, totally selfless souls incapable of harm would become an immensely dull place to inhabit after about fifteen minutes, whereas we can be grateful that the likes of Shipman, Fritzel et al are so rare that they’re deemed worthy of books and documentaries galore.
However, a reality of our lives is that some deeply flawed people are given or find themselves in positions of authority over others. This creates legitmate outlets for the dark side of our personalities, be it the permission given by society for parents to beat their kids, management taking free rein to exercise their unique brand of petulance, therefore preventing anything useful from being done, or that bureaucratic megolamaniac, the state, allowing itself to tax, regulate, moralise and ban anything you might enjoy doing – all for your own good of course…
Authority is an irritant to most of us at some point in our lives, but it is probably the case that a degree of it is necessary to prevent society from descending into a violent and lawless nightmare. We should remember, however, that tyranny is built on the misconception that those in positions of power do not just know better, but are better than you and I. Once we switch on our rational minds, it’s quite easy to see this for the complete bullshit it of course is.
The logical conclusion of course, is that whatever rules govern the behaviour of you and I, the scope and nature of the authority that enforces them must be clearly defined and met with checks, balances and limitations. The excesses and abuses of power in all walks of life are the single greatest threat to personal and constitutional freedom, subjects I care deeply about and will no doubt return to on many occasions in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, that’s me off for some shuteye – thanks for reading and take care.