This study reviews the concept of political authority popularized by Max Weber, an influential sociologist of the 20th century His ideals on political authority will be recalled in this essay thru the interpretations of various philosophers and authors. Purpose of the study is…
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Blau, P. (p.308) identifies the bases of authority of Weber. Blau said Weber believes that traditional authority is legitimized by the sanctity of religion. As such, it is viewed as something “sacred, eternal and inviolable”. The position of the leader is achieved through heredity and is believed to be designed to rule over the rest. By this, the people are bound to follow the leader by tradition of loyalty, personal dependence and sacred beliefs on the divine rights of the kings.
The work of Henry, K (n.d.) collaborates with Blau in that traditional authority is established as a rule and the right to statute does not change over time. It has been socially accepted and considered as a “status quo”. As such, change of political authority is impractical. Weber states “The creation of new law opposite traditional norms is deemed impossible in principle.” In this instance, Weber considers traditional authority as being based on patriotism and feudalism. Weber regards patriarchal structure as “the servants are completely and personally dependent upon the lord”, while in an estate system (i.e. feudalism), “the servants are not personal servants of the lord but independent men” (Weber 1958, 4 cited by Henry, K.). Political Dictionary defines a patriarchal structure as a society wherein “authority was divine, descended from Adam through the kings of Israel to modern kings”. The word is also associated by feminists who debate on the practice of giving priority to men over women. Henry, K. gathers from Weber, a description of legitimacy of authority in traditional way is based on custom handed down from the past to present, which often times is a dictatorial process. It is accepted by subordinates and is not challenged by the individuals. This type of authority is found in spiritual, sacred religious forms, a well established culture, and family, tribal or clan type structures. Weber
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