... a suspicion of the corruptive effect of power is healthy; but that when that suspicion reaches a point, as it has in the modern day, when the very concept of “legitimate authority” no longer exists in a man or in a culture, that suspicion has passed the point of being paranoid. Anyone who expects all fathers to be bullies and tyrants, or all heterosexual copulation to be tantamount to rape, or all religious instruction to be tantamount to child abuse, is in tune with the modern age, and also is paranoid about authority.
My question to [a previous commenter] is — what made you bring it up? What was there in the post (which was basically a complaint about how the concept of fatherly or masculine authority is treated with suspicion) which impelled you to mention that the concept is suspicious?
If each and every time you mentioned Jews, I mentioned skin-flinted money-changers and loan sharks, and every time you mentioned Blacks, I mentioned their find athletic prowess and their thieving, lazy ways, so that any conversation about them with me turned into a conversation on those topics, would you not conclude that I am obsessed, perhaps bigoted, on that topic?
What then am I to make of the fact that in any discussion about masculinity, fatherhood, authority, or rightful uses of power, some helpful voice is ready and eager to turn the conversation to the fact that all power corrupts and no authority is legitimate?
The mere fact that this is the number one priority, the very first thing discussed, the loudest discussion, the most discussion, shows that we are living in the modern age. The modern age, since Marx’s day, has been obsessed, perhaps bigoted, on the topic.Indeed, it often seems that the defining characteristic of modernity is its utter lack of humility. If it had a heraldric crest, the motto on its scroll would surely be "Non serviam".
(Translated to the vernacular, I suppose that would be "You're not the boss of me.")
Yet modernity also seems to be plagued by a guilty conscience, and this perhaps is why it always leaps to the idea that every proposed authority is corrupt. Rebellion is justified, you see, when the ruler is a tyrant. So in order to maintain his proud individuality, the modernist must condemn any authority or institution which presumes to rein him in and set boundaries on his behavior.