Max Weber in “Domination and Legitimacy” develops the character of an charismatic authority figure. Weber introduces an authority figure which is bases their leadership on individual and collective principles, and who “preaches, creates, or demands new obligations – most typically, by virtue of revelation.” Weber’s depiction of a charismatic authority figure, can be compared with the characteristics and leadership of republican candidate for the 2012 election, Dr. Ron Paul. Although his views may seem radical to some, his interest and proposed initiative of reforming the United States can benefit the currently unstable American society. For example, Dr. Ron Paul proposes the idea of legalizing hemp. He views hemp as a “good product” and recognizes not only its medicinal benefits, but its economic and environmental value as well.
Although some people do not support the legalization of hemp because of the plants reputation of being a Schedule 1 Drug, many are beginning to recognize the misrepresentation of hemp in the American society. The criminalization of marijuana that sparked a false understanding of hemp, which is now, through the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana in some states allows people to evolve from their negative views. Like Durkheim proposes, “crime was useful as a prelude to reforms which daily become more necessary” and it is through the criminalization of marijuana that caused the revelation of the law, and is now attempting to promote the change of tradition in order to refine social facts. Ron Paul’s proposal can revolutionize the foundation of American society, however, “it is recognition on the part of those subject to authority which is decisive for the validity of charisma.”
We as a society must come to terms with reality and begin to support those in favor for our overall interest and well-being. It is only from the support of the individuals can the charismatic authority figure be able to apply their proposals through their leadership. We must have “absolute trust in the leader,” but must understand that if the leader “fails to benefit his followers, it is likely that his charismatic authority will disappear.” People must not forget that although it may seem that they do not have a voice in their society, that it is far from the case. An individual is powerful, and if one applies their energy and time to support a cause for change, a revolution will inevitably occur. “Charismatic authority repudiates the past, and is in this sense a specifically revolutionary force,” but it is only though the support of the individual can change come. Success in Ron Paul’s election will definitely bring about a needed change to the American society, it will “result in a radical alternation of the central attitudes and directions of action with a completely new orientation of all attitudes toward the different problems of the ‘world’.”