What is authority? How is it constituted? How ought one understand the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) relations between authority and coercion? Between authorized and subversive speech? In this fascinating and intricate analysis, Bruce Lincoln argues that authority is not an entity but an effect. More precisely, it is an effect that depends for it power on the combination of the right speaker, the right speech, the right staging an props, the right time and place, and an audience historically and culturally conditioned to judge what is right in all these instances and to respond with trust, respect, and even reverence.
Employing a vast array of examples drawn from classical antiquity, Scandinavian law, Cold War scholarship, and American presidential politics, Lincoln offers a telling analysis of the performance of authority, and subversions of it, from ancient times to the present. Using a small set of case studies that highlight critical moments in the construction of authority, he goes on to offer a general examination of “corrosive” discourses such as gossip, rumor, and curses; the problematic situation of women, who often are barred from the authorizing sphere; the role so of religion in the construction of authority; the question of whether authority in the modern and postmodern world differs from its premodern counterpart; and a critique of Hannah Arendt’s claims that authority has disappeared from political life in the modern world. He does not find a diminution of authority or a fundamental change in the conditions that produce it. Rather, Lincoln finds modern authority splintered, expanded, and, in fact multiplied as the mechanisms for its construction become more complex–and more expensive.
Shakur’s music and philosophy is rooted in many American, African-American, and world entitles, including the Black Panther Party, Black nationalism, Egalitarianism, and liberty.
Shakur’s love of theater and Shakespeare also influenced his work. A student of the Baltimore School for the Arts where he studied theater, Shakur understood the Shakespearian psychology of inter-gang wars and inter-cultural conflict…
In a European interview music journalist Chuck Philips said that what impressed him the most about Shakur was that he was a poet. Philips said “I like sacred tests, myths, proverbs and scriptures… When Tupac came along, I thought he was quite the poet… It wasn’t just how cleverly they rhymed. It wasn’t just the rhythm or the cadence. I liked their attitude. It was protest music in a way nobody had ever thought about before… These artists were brave, wise and smart–wickedly smart. The thing about Tupac was he had so many sides. He was unafraid to write about his vulnerabilities.”
The contradictory themes of social inequality and injustice, unbridled aggression, compassion, playfulness, and hope all shaped Shakur’s work…