scratch-mark

Presumptive Authority

I often get the impression that people don’t really get where I’m coming from when I rail against the State.

Here’s a clue: it turns on the distinction between de facto and de jure authority. What I object to, what I always object to, is a presumption of authority based on anything but the facts in their proper context. Another way of explaining this is that I don’t draw non-essential, arbitrary, or meaningless distinctions between individuals, groups of individuals, or institutions such as the State. All are and can only be comprised of individuals and nothing accrues to a group of them — an arbitrary distinction — that is not possessed by an individual according to fact and circumstance. This is the founding idea of America, long lost.

For instance, there are facts and circumstances that when in play, afford every individual the moral authority to kill someone else. No one ought to be able to circumvent such fact and circumstance, and forming a mob — regardless of what you call it — does nothing to change that.

But there are also two sides to the coin, and it’s for this reason
that I can often not only accept, but applaud actions by the State. I
may, from time-to-time, even resign myself to the means by
which something got going because I’m satisfied with the result. That stops short of justifying it, of course, because the moral authority was lacking from the beginning.

I don’t write about specifics with regard to the various dealings I
have with consumer regulators in connection with my company. It’s just not a good idea.
People who work for me have a reasonable expectation that they are
working for a company that plays by the rules, i.e., the authority de jure, which is certainly true. They also have a reasonable expectation that we preserve the good will value of the company for us shareholders (I’m not the only one), employees who’ve met their end of the bargain, and a couple of thousand customers who would be harmed if something bad happened to us.

And there’s another element as well. Even when it’s essentially none of someone’s business because I’m not hurting them, or going to hurt them, I nonetheless cannot ignore plain facts. So, in the course of dealing with consumer regulators I certainly hold that our business is between us and our customers and none of theirs. Nonetheless, they will from time-to-time highlight real problems, and in such case it’s more important that real problems be fixed and that measures be put in place to prevent them in the future.

Someone — but certainly not me of course — could make the analogy that it’s rather like a robber who breaks into your business to rob you at gunpoint, but before he has his chance discovers a fire and goes about alerting everyone to it. You hate his purpose and his action, but you can hardly dismiss the news he brings.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

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