Saturday, August 23, 2014
Obstacles in communicating
One of the obstacles in communicating is authoritarianism. A professor of philosophy and ethics treats the subject in our diocesan bulletin. He admits that we have come a long way in our struggle to rid ourselves of the problem; however, we have the remnant still in politics, economics, family, education, in the workplace, and in religion.
He begins with the difference between authority and authoritarianism. An example is the relationship of a father to son. The role of the father and the role of a son are both understood. When the father is most father-like, he is fulfilling the role of a father. When the son says the father is the best, he acknowledges the authority of the father. Acting like a father the authority of the father will be recognized by the son. When the father is not acting like a father and makes the son recognize his authority, we are dealing with authoritarianism.
A teacher who uses his authority well does not necessarily mean he would also be a good father. The authority of each roll and capacity in society has to be seen separately. A good teacher does not necessarily mean a good father.
In our traditional society, the relationship, we have with others is vertical: superior and inferior, subordination easily gives birth to authoritarianism. There is little concern for quality of behavior and roll, but rather with power and position and almost unknowingly, force. Consequently, strength is exhibited, demand for respect, saving face, ostentation, ceremonies, bluff, embellishment and hypocrisy. Content is less important than to please the superior. The vertical structure of our society, the professor maintains, is the reason for many of our problems. Briefly, authoritarianism is when a person is naturally expected to do one thing and doesn't, still wanting to have his position respected.
The stronger the authoritarianism shown by the superior the more those who are subordinates will be watching how the wind is blowing, be passive and negative. They try to curry favor with their actions. In the family when the father is authoritarian the children find it difficult be independent; a teacher with this attitude will have students without creativity, initiative and spontaneity. Authoritarianism not only stop with the objects of the authority, but extends to others. We have a lack of face to face and the absence of communication.
When authority is horizontal, we have communication. Being accepted, is less important than to accept others, instead of reigning, concern for others, instead of arbitrary decisions, cooperation, instead of soliloquies, dialogue, more than external concerns internal matters become important we become more mature. When we have authority and not authoritarianism, we have in the family, society and the church people communicating with each other.