The Soft Power of Deference: Analysis of a Key Pillar of Moral Authority
When faced with the issue of leadership, we are tasked with finding when it is appropriate to follow. In following, we are deferring our own authority in favor of another’s. The sliding scale of authority teeters between complacency and anarchy, providing a challenge as to where we can find the effective middle ground for a functioning society. This paper breaks down the key facets of authority and discusses the necessity of community deference, namely with respect to the rise of a counter-cultural moral authority that seeks to better humanity. Moral authorities rely on a loyal following, from Nelson Mandela’s fight against apartheid or MLK Jr.’s battle for civil rights, and while we pride ourselves in critiquing authority I argue that there is a time and place to order one’s beliefs behind those of a moral authority in order to further the movement.