5 minutes ago
In the summer of 2014, I was astounded by the sheer amount of power my staff had over us at cadet camp. The frustrating part however was the astonishing flexibility they gave themselves while imposing ridiculous standards upon their subjects. They never seemed to have to clean anything, often refused to turn the barracks lights off at night (or on in the morning), and could always have an abundance of food in the barracks. That summer, I vowed that I will never become someone who abuses my power; to me, fairness was more important than performance, and the ability to practice justice was what determined the quality of an organization.
However as I moved up in the program, I found myself creating these exceptions for my personal benefits in numerous occasions. They were always carefully masked with righteousness and self-sacrifice, yet at its core was the simple reality of “because I can” and “because I want/don’t want to”. The more power I had, the further I was willing to look away from my impartial judge of morality.
Carl Schmitt stated, “the exception is more interesting than the rule”. He believed that the “sovereign is he who decides on the exception”, and that the exceptions one make proves everything about their power. In a sense, in the exception the power of one’s real life overrules the existing standards that has become “torpid by repetition”. --
I think as citizens of the 21st century we live in a world of many exceptions. There are undoubtably those who live above the rule of law through their immense power over the economic market: This very morning President Donald Trump declared a “state of emergency” to overrule the congress and secure funding for the Mexico-US barrier. Despite living in the “free world” of democracy, common citizens of the state are not permitted such freedoms.
If I were once again the course cadet from 2014, I would still want my staff to walk the path in which they lead. Even if it isn’t the most effective or efficient, we must understand that life cannot simply be quantified through results. The process is always part of the goal.
-- Works cited
C. Schmitt, Political Theology