[color=green]How is that internal authority? It is only authoritarian when the fundamentalist tries to impose his will on another.</font color=green>
<br>It is easy for us to recognize authority if and when a police officer in full uniform were to approach us and explicitly forbid us from engaging in something. Yet, unless we recognize the presence of an internal authority
, we are forced to admit that the police officer him or herself is under the authority of another person higher in the hierarchy - for why else would this police officer forbids us from engaging in some activity? So from the police officer, we go further above in the hierarchy, perhaps to the politician who also explicitly forbids us from engaging in something. And up and up the hierarchy we go - but where does it all end? In a mythical, abstract entity known as the "State"?
<br>Yes, clearly there does not exist any form of internal authority whatsoever if
it is only authoritarian when someone tries to impose his (or her) will on another. But then one has to admit that every authoritarian figure is him or herself under some sort of external authority. And who started off this entire cycle of imposing one will on another? We would have to presuppose that there exist some sort of ultimate, higher entity - the State, the God, the (capitalist) Market - that validates or "kick off" all the authority from above.
<br>But now, let us remember that the historical anarchists have generally agreed that reason is
a form of authority. It would be more accurate then to suggest that it is authoritarian if and when something is imposed - period.
<br>I am not saying that the mind of a fundamentalist - or even a police officer - is (necessarily) authoritarian. What I say is that in
the mind of a fundamentalist is a submission to authority. If this fundamentalist is all alone, without any other human being to guide him or her, and this fundamentalist reads the bible - assuming we are talking of a Christian - and reads the bible literally to the point of dogma, believing for instance that the entire world was created in mere days. Nobody else is compelling this fundamentalist to believe in such an idea - in such a dogma.
<br>Even the most externally authoritarian of characters, whether Adolf Hitler or Josef Stalin, is internally a submissive creature that bows dow like a rabid dog to some authority. Perhaps some written work is held up as an authoritative scripture. Perhaps some abstract idea of racial superiority is held up as authoritative. In other words, it is not only other human beings who can be authoritarian. It is not only other human beings who can imposed something on another. People cling onto abstract notions, whether religious, philosophical, science or something else - and metaphorically speaking, they give these abstract notions "life".
<br>This concept has perhaps been most thoroughly explored in the field of law - an obvious example of an abstract entity being given life by those who submit to it. If you have not already, I would recommend reading Franz Kafka's short parable Before the Law
<br>If thoughts are free, I am their slave. I have no power over them, and am dominated by them. I want to have the thought, want to be full of thoughts, but at the same time I want to be thoughtless, and, instead of freedom of thought, I preserve for myself thoughtlessness.
<br>- Max Stirner