I think it’s really unfortunate, and confusing, when one word is used to speak of two concepts which are totally unrelated– or even at odds with each other.

Sometimes, such as with the word “ring”, no one confuses one definition for the other, and even if they did, probably no harm would come of it. But sometimes the completely unrelated meanings are extremely dangerous to confuse.

Such as with the word “authority”.

The word can mean “expert” or “competence”. This is a positive concept; the good kind of authority. This is the kind of authority which deserves respect.

But, when used in the political sense it refers to a bully or an act of bullying. There is nothing positive about political “authority“. This kind of “authority” deserves nothing but contempt. Being competent at bullying isn’t a good thing at all.

With the same word being used for both, and the confusion being encouraged, most people get very mixed up and wind up believing political “authority” means the same as the other meaning of “authority”, or that they at least overlap. It doesn’t, and they don’t. Not even close. But political “authorities” would love for you to fall for the deception– it’s a very useful lie. Useful to them; devastatingly harmful to you.


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