Quotation by Richard Sennett

Often the words "authority" and "power" are used interchangeably. We do so when we call government officials "the authorities." But often again, authority and power are distinguished, as when we say that a government official lacked the authority to engage in some venture. In English the root of authority is "author"; the connotation is that authority involves something productive. Yet the word "authoritarian" is used to describe a person or system which is repressive.... Of authority it may be said in the most general way that it is an attempt to interpret the conditions of power, to give the conditions of control and influence a meaning by defining an image of strength. The quest is for a strength that is solid, guaranteed, stable.
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