POWER, AUTHORITY and LEGITIMACY
The difference between power, authority, and legitimacy, and how Americans think of legitimacy.
All three of these following terms have a relationship which is more than just loosely related, Power “the ability to do something or act in a particular way, especially as a faculty or quality.” In simple terms, power is the fundamental capability of being able to do the specific thing.
Authority is simply having the “the power of the right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.” Simply meaning that if you have authority, it means that you have the ability, to be able to command and enforce. Legitimacy means “popular acceptance of a government, political regime, or system of governance.” Simply meaning that the majority is accepting of this specific leadership. All of these terms work off of each other and bring something unique to the table.
Power relates to the ability to complete attempting a task, and this task in the case of government is to be able to govern and protect the people. At which point the task of authority, is given to the government, also meaning that the Government has the ability to order and command the people based off of its own will. In the case of Power in terms of government, it means the ability to get a task done by someone solely off of a wish, and authority would simply be the usage or day to day application of that power.
Authority is based on the power which is given to the state, government. This authority is all based on the power that the government is given, the authority is simply the execution of that power. Likewise, the Legitimacy is also based off of the power Max Weber proclaimed that “societies behave cyclically in governing themselves with different types of governmental legitimacy. That democracy was unnecessary for establishing legitimacy, a condition that can be established with codified laws, customs, and cultural principles, not by means of popular suffrage.” Legitimacy is simply the acceptance of something in political science. Legitimacy is the root of all Communist, Democracy’s, and Monarchy’s which are all forms of government.
Americans have been in the blink of many highs and lows, the Legitimacy of the United States has been scattered and many reasons the nations have seen so many issues in this realm or approval of the internally and from alien nations, we have seen at times of war, after the Iraqi war according to Robert W. Tucker a Professor American Foreign Policy at Johns Hopkins University and David C. Hendrickson Professor at Colorado College. The United States has seen the mass drop in the country’s approval rating in the eyes of European nations because of the war. Along with that David Brooks from the New York Times has mentioned “It’s pretty clear that the implementation of Obamacare will set the tone for how Americans think about government for years to come. There are two large questions to be settled, which you might call the questions of competence and coercion.” Mentioning the issues that Obamacare caused in partisanship through the government. He goes on to mention how the “Government now lacks the legitimacy to impose costs on losers, so politicians face unprecedented pressure to create situations in which everybody looks like winners. Government lacks the legitimacy to coerce.” This legislation is what the government was missing, but it was still the reason that the legitimacy of American political systems was tested.