Where authority is, freedom is; and where authority is lost, freedom is lost. This holds good for all kinds of authority. Without adults who demand mature behaviour, the child is not free to grow up; without teachers to set standards of excellence, the scholar is not free to excel; without prophets to uphold ideals of virtue, society is not free to realize its common good. To be under authority is to be freer than to be independent.
- Oliver O'Donovan, The Ways of Judgment, 132.I find this very experience in reading O'Donovan (most of the time). As I submit to his authority - which is not 'a reason for acting in the absence of reasons' but 'an authority is someone I depend upon to show me the reasons for acting' (131) - I find myself liberated from various confusions (and intiated into new ones!).
I do apologise for not writing more about O'Donovan as I earlier promised. I've been slowly working through this text with a small group at college and really enjoying it. I'll try to include more in future.
As usual, ten points for the location above. Another ten for identifying the statued figure.
UPDATE: Further important quote in comments. Also, thanks to jm for pointing out that today is the 2515th anniversary of the dedication of the temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill. Entirely a coincidence...