They defend their errors as if they were defending their inheritance.
— Edmund Burke
[Hat Tip to Charles at Little Green Footballs]
My theory is that many self styled authorities defend their doctrines, often more deliberate than erroneous, as if they were defending their lives because they are defending their lives.
The false authority is dependent on the work of other people for their survival and well being. Without the blind obedience of productive people the false authority would wither away and die. To the parasite power over the productive is life.
These self appointed intellectuals, whom Ayn Rand had labeled as Witch Doctors, claim the position of authority in a division of labor economy through the claim of being in possession of superior knowledge. Such so called superior knowledge must by necessity contradict the knowledge gained by direct perception of objective (commonly perceived) reality.
Against the entirely valid charge of fraud the intellectual con artist will claim that his perception of reality differs from that of the common man.
One practice, which began with the original aboriginal witch doctors, is to claim that self appointed authority is perceiving or is otherwise in contact with a higher or spiritual level of reality. This practice continues to this day in the scam religions of Islam and Scientology.
The materialist version of the false authority con operates on the practice of polylogism, the claim that members of different groups perceive differently. What is true for one group is false for another group. Thus what is true for Jews is claimed to be false for Aryans. The practice of polylogism is not confined to issues of race (such as Africans versus "Crackers"), it can be applied to conflicts of class (Proletarians versus the Bourgeoisie), gender ("Womyn" versus "Sperm Donors"), and national culture (The French versus everyone else*).
But since Man is an entity of both spirit and body the most effective, and thus destructive, version of the different knowledge con will combine both the claim of spiritual wisdom and material polylogism. This occurs in the notion that a group has a distinct consciousness whose will is embodied in a leader. Thus the claim that Adolf Hitler embodied the will of the Volk, Josef Stalin embodied the will of the Proletariat, Hillary Clinton embodied the will of all Womyn, and that Barack Obama embodies the will of the functionally dumb.**
And if this wasn't bad enough there are now false authorities who claim to represent something other than a human population, such as the Gaianist witch doctor Al Gore.
It is essential for the survival of human society that false authorities be identified and rendered unable to cause further harm to us.
Of course if they are also buried that would be fine with me.
* I'm really serious here. The French as a nation have a long history of insisting on being different and claiming it's a superior practice. A case in point is that at the beginning of the First World War is that while all other nations had adopted earth toned uniforms for their soldiers the French politicians INSISTED that their soldiers go into combat with the traditional dark blue coats and bright red trousers. As you can imagine this didn't work out well for the French Army. The French also had the best bayonets mounted on the worst rifle, but that's another story.
** There is simply no other way that anyone could support a Harvard indoctrinated Marxist empty suit from the Chicago Democratic Machine.