Thursday, September 4, 2008

authoritative comfort

A common theme of both the medieval and modern periods seemed to be that of comfort. Whether it is a hierarchy with God as the reigning factor for one’s actions or that of a sovereign mindset characterizing our daily lives in more aspects than one, many people flock to the idea that someone will dictate their decisions. Having an authoritative guide relieves the people of their own responsibilities, and they become subjects to the ways in which the society is being ruled. Jackson continues this thought as he states, " supremacy and independence cannot exist separately." (12) In both the medieval and modern periods, the people take to this idea in their governments and act as puppets to the guidelines being laid before them. One cannot escape sovereignty, as it is a natural tendency of society. You can only be ruled by something if it is sovereign, which is convenient since some people are looking to surrender their control.

Although there will be those people that do not catch on to the craze or popular cliché everyone is doing it, and they will rise to the top in an attempt to overcome what has been before them.
I recognize that there is a difference between authoritative comfort, and that extensive power. If you think about the Middle Eastern women and the trials that are faced before them, they probably are not searching this treatment out. Although this is true, sovereignty in the state still exist among the people and these women are to abide by the rules.

Although it is not true in all countries, this comfort will continue to exist, even if sovereignty doesn’t. Especially in the U.S., people rely on the concepts of their leaders as people to surrender their decisions, to blame when things don’t go smoothly, to curse when they don’t have the money, and the list continues.

1 comment:

DOCTOR J said...

I think you've struck on something quite intuitive to most of us in your post, Courtney... namely, that subjecting ourselves to an "authority" can be both stifling and comforting. it seems to me, though, that this is true of all forms of authority, of which "sovereignty" is only one.

My question for you, then, is this: why choose sovereignty? Why did the Western world move from structures of authority that centered on the power of kings and priests to structures of authority goverened by the concept of sovereignty? If we are all craving the "comfort" of authority, as your post suggests, it seems that we would prefer that authority to be as monolithic and powerful as possible... but what we have now is a world in which sovereign states compete for authority, conduct wars against each other for power, and organize (in things like the United Nations) to "check" each other's influence. Wouldn't a single, all-powerful "World-King" be more "comforting"?