Has been haunting Western intellectuals for some time:
"What was - and not what is- authority? For it is my contention that we are tempted and entitled to raise this question because authority has vanished from the modern world. Since we can no longer fall back upon authentic and indisputable experiences common to all, the very term has become clouded by controversy and confusion. ... most will agree that a constant, ever-widening and deepening crisis of authority has accompanied the modern world in our century."
Hanna Arendt, "What is Authority", 1963.