As I best understand it, authority just means excellence in a certain matter that gives special privileges allowing others to trust them. Like if someone needed advice in computers, they would do themselves more of a service to ask someone who is experienced and knows a lot about computers rather than to try fixing the problem themselves or learning everything about computers. But what it comes down to how we excel at anything, no one just excels on their own with no influence from others before them. Like I always thought about art, and how none is truly original, no matter how unique it is. And we would not be where we are with the sciences if it were not for the primitive scientists.
Yet authority is a dirty word for postmodern ears. This includes myself, who came to age in the Millennium. But I know the exposure we have to authority is often are A) a bunch of dour kurmugeons always ruining everyones fun B) Self righteous snobs who can only excel if others fail, and need to see everyone else as stupid, or C) Authority backed up through brute force and power. Yet I have been wondering how authority became like this.