The Public Interest

The twilight of authority

Robert Nisbet

Spring 1969

THE most striking fact in the present period of revolutionary change is the quickened erosion of the traditional institutional authorities that for nearly a millennium have been Western man’s principal sources of order and liberty. I am referring to the manifest decline of influence of the legal system, the church, family, local community, and, most recently and perhaps most ominously, of school and the university.



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