Power and domination, two words that I have always had a fascination for. The problem with that fascination is that, I wanted to have both but I never knew how to get it. I carefully look at the leaders of my era or any era and I started to notice that people had power and domination over people but the level of power is slightly different. I noticed with weber’s theory of three different types of authority that I was ruled by all of them. Weber is a sociologists who was also interested in power and society and he said that there was a difference between the two words. Discipline and domination is hard to define because they are both similar and slightly different. Discipline is a form of action given to make a certain person or group to act however a discipliner wants them to behave, so it can became a habit for the person or group. Discipline is also seen as a person who makes a command and that command is likely to be obeyed by a group or person without resisting. It does not matter who or what gives the command, if it is quickly obeyed and without questioned, then that group is disciplined which means they are being dominated.
Power, on the other hand, is the possibility to enforce a person’s own will, even if they want or try to resist, they can’t due to that power over them. Yet, even if people want power or be the dominator, there is one key element that is needed in order to have that control. I believe that in order to have domination, you also need power and legitimacy. The reason for this is because, those who try to have power try to validate what they do. Also, in order for a person to validate what they do, they need to be heard by someone or people. What I mean is, there has to be people to be interested in obedience. The person who try to dominate and have power, have to try to persuade people by justifying their power and lead them to believe that they have “superiority.” With all of that happening, the person hearing and seeing all of this will submit to their authority and here, the person has now gained control, dominance and power.
There are three different types of domination and authority, and they are; legal-rational authority or “liberal authority”, traditional authority and charismatic authority. Legal-rational authority is an interesting authority because it is a system in which people are forced to believe in rightfulness of the rules and those who are enforcing those rules also follow them. This could be seen as the rule of law or the rules of the game. It is set rules that everyone knows or will know and must be followed because it was administered in a governmental manner. This authority isn’t seen as slave and master, where you obey a person but rather you obey the law and its rules. You obey on an idea, an idea that is law which has power. One example that I can think of is a cop because cops enforce rules to others, and they themselves have to follow those rules. No matter who any one is, everyone if ruled by cops. They have the authority to do what they want if they find it to be necessary for the safety of others because law as given them that power and can be taken away. I am ruled by cops.
The second type of domination is traditional authority, which is seen as an established belief in the idea of long-established tradition and the legitimacy of those exercising authority under them. This idea wasn’t hard to give examples of who is dominating me under this authority. Teachers, and parents are two examples of individuals who have the right to give me commands and to be followed due to old tradition. Everyone knows that it is wrong to disrespect a teacher and parents, and it is an authority and tradition that will never change. Even in my own home, I am ruled by someone. I am ruled by parents and teachers.
Finally, the last authority of weber’s theory is charismatic authority. A leader who tries to have charismatic authority means that they try to legitimate their rights to issue commands because people see him or her with some type of special gift. People think that this person has exceptional qualities that is seen as extraordinary or an unusual person. There is one person who came to mind with this type of authority and that is our president. The reason is because, when Obama first came to the public, the media emphasized his charm, vocabulary, voice, speech and finally hope. Obama acted like he wasn’t trying to control anyone but help us. As we were being sucked in with this speech and phrase, “Yes, we can” we, the country, gave him a charismatic authority. I am ruled by a president. So, as I think of all the people who I am ruled by, I know I am ruled by others who I know and don’t know. One day, I will have my chance to gain authority. My question I have for you is, who is ruling you?