No matter the bark, a dog will always heel at the yell of his master if said yell is loud enough. This is as it is supposed to be, after all. Authority speaks and subjects answer. Society is a perpetual cycle of orders and subservience. This is what we have today, and what we have always had. This cycle of oppression has existed since the dawn of society itself, but must we really have this for our future?

It may not be a pleasant thing to hear; hell, many people downright refuse to believe in the concept that all of us are subject to this law – we will always be fated to have a mentality regarding this so, no matter how tough, how rebellious or how powerful we are, we will always lose our spine and bend to authority.

How can we really expect to get over it? It is hammered into us from a young age. In school and at home, we are taught that the most important thing to accept in life is discipline and that those that society has deemed to be in charge is always right. If parent, teacher, policeman, professional or politician, we are programmed to listen to every word they speak.

When a law is made, we follow it, no matter how much we disagree. We have seen the results of this in history, and what atrocities have been enacted under the rule of law, but we still feel that all our trust must be vested in an authority, instead of our own sovereignty. We may not agree with a law, but we still follow it. No matter how evil it is, we become spineless and unable to oppose it.

For thousands of years, murders, oppression and atrocities have been committed with the consent and order of authority by others. Millions marched, millions died, and still we work under this system as if an alternative didn’t exist. I say: Enough is Enough!

History has shown us many things, and above all of them, that change is possible. We sweated under the boot of the monarch and noble, we cowered from the fist of the dictator, now we are pawns to the honeyed words of Prime Ministers and Presidents. Monarchies fell to change and revolution and gave birth to new ideals; dictators almost always end up being killed by the people they oppressed and all we need now is to realize that, with this power we have in our hands, we could very well change the world for the better by realizing that authority from any source is bad.

“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” – this is one of the most famous quotes in history which discusses how authority is inherently evil, how power in the hands of any one man, woman or group will always lead to tears. Practical observation of history can prove this.

Of all the sins of all beliefs, power and the insatiable urge to control should be the top among them, for there is no greater evil than the invasion of another individual’s choice and freedom and no excuse for doing so. In a perfect world, authority, power and control are almost unimaginable concepts. Sadly, we are not living in a perfect world, but that still doesn’t mean we can’t work towards this.

Sovereignty of the individual is a simple concept, a basic principal that all people have the right to lead their own lives as long as they do not harm others in the process. Most of our ideals are based around this simple premise, so why is it apparently so unreachable?

A world where the individual can truly govern him/herself is the ultimate end, a utopia if you will. The ability and right to choose your own way in life should be the ultimate goal. This may or may not be unreachable, but that doesn’t mean we must give up now. Change doesn’t come by itself, and it is the duty of all that desire it to push liberty as an ideal forward. Only through this may we reach utopia.

 

Nicholas Woode-Smith is co-founder of the Rational Standard and its Technical and Marketing Director. He is a student at the University of Cape Town, with majors in Politics, Philosophy and Economic History. He is the youngest council member of the Institute of Race Relations in history and the Regional Director of Southern Africa for African Students For Liberty. He also writes science fiction – prominently, the Warpmancer and Cape Zero series.