Nature and Functions of Authority (Aquinas Lecture 4) by Yves Rene Marie Simon
By Yves Rene Marie Simon
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Extra resources for Nature and Functions of Authority (Aquinas Lecture 4)
De l'automatisme à la foi, Paris, Téqui, 1935). Thus, there is a transition from coercion to persuasion and coercion can be used as a means for persuasion. Conversely, there is a transition from persuasion to coercion, and persuasion, as soon as it takes hold of masses, gives birth to coercion. ). In a like manner, the ecclesiastical practice of the Interdict, such as it was used in the Middle Ages to curb Page 53 temporal powers, was a measure of persuasion turning to coercion. Liberals fail constantly to recognize the pedagogical function of coercion, and accordingly limit the role of coercion to the protection of others against misdemeanors.
Let him not know what obedience is when he acts, nor what dominion is when somebody acts for him . . " 2. In order to understand exactly the relationship between the notion of law and that of a governing person, it might be helpful to inquire into the genesis of our conceptions concerning the various kinds of laws. Significantly enough, the definition that St. Thomas gives of the law (Summa theologica I-II, 90) refers properly to the law issued by the state society: this is, indeed, the kind of law which is prior in our cognition.
Materializing a dream of Rousseau, the totalitarian state indefatigably pursues the destruction of every social group within the state, so as to establish an absolute domination over a crowd of individuals that no autonomic organization is able to protect. In contrast with that abomination, I should like to end with Page 46 the image of social happiness, made up of authority, autonomy and hierarchy, that is found in the following page of Thomas Jefferson: ''. . it is not by the consolidation, or concentration of powers, but by their distribution, that good government is effected.