My view is that authority natural, rational, logical and necessary. Life without authority is impossible, undesirable, nasty, brutish and short.My view: This is against what evidence we have. Life in hunter-gatherer tribes is profoundly anti-authoritarian, and violently so. The closest picture we have to our Evolutionarily Stable Environment (modern hunter-gatherers) is one in which a tribesman attempting to take authority is a worse evil than patricide.
By observation, if you have a 3 state system (I'm the authority, I'm independent, I'm subservient), the direct value from each are:
Boss: 8 hedons
Independent: 6 hedons
Subservient: negative 15 hedons.
Robin Hansons' ethical divide lines up rather well with Jane Jacobs: There are 2 core ethical positions in the world.
Robin Hanson calls them Farmer and Forager.
Jane Jacobs calls them Protector and Trader.
Aretae calls them Rich and Poor.
Those things that work as a Forager don't lead to success in a Farming world. Protector ethics don't work in a Trading world. Rich world success doesn't follow from Poor world ethics.
What is the monster difference? Authority.
Foragers are massively anti-authority...and will either kill the authority or leave the tribe if one appears. Traders are massively anti-authority, and practice exit when faced with anyone who attempts to exercise too much authority. And rich folks act like traders...Authority results in overthrow, co-option, or emigration.
The economists perspective: If rich people act in way X, but poor people don't, it's because folks prefer to act this way if they can, but some folks can't afford to. It's not very far from there to: Autonomy and objection to being ordered about is the natural state for humans, and only conditions in which survival is questionable allow the evils of authority.
Authority is a lot like eating mud. If you're poor enough, it helps with the hunger, but overall it's a really shitty situation. If you can afford anything else, though, it's right out. Once survival is assured, authority is simply an unacceptable cost, unless there's someone training you to be obedient for the first 18 years of your life.
2 large problems facing the pro-authority side:
- Advocating more independence for group (a) that I belong to, and less independence for group (b) that I don't belong to is properly seen as self-delusion 99% of the time, such that a rational person may well stop listening once he hears the conclusion...because the time to figure out how someone is convincing himself of why he should get preferential rules is just not worth it.
- It's worth noting that in the near future (10 years?), it is likely that automation will catch the middle of the bell curve, just as it's caught the left. Once that happens, all the arguments currently made for lack of authority for the lower IQ types also apply to the vast majority of the population. (Quick calc...Middle 2/3 + left 1/6 of the curve...about 83%). Arguing to free men that folks should be obedient only works when you're talking about other people.