I was listening to an excerpt from Malcolm Gladwell he publicly released in light of the protests and thought the point was illuminating. You can catch the whole thing on his podcast Revisionist History.
“When people in authority want the rest of us to behave, it matters – first and foremost – how they behave.
This is called the “principle of legitimacy,” and legitimacy is based on three things.
First of all, the people who are asked to obey authority have to feel like they have a voice – that if they speak up, they will be heard.
Second, the law has to be predictable. There has to be a reasonable expectation that the rules tomorrow are going to be roughly the same as the rules today.
And third, the authority has to be fair. It can’t treat one group differently from another.”
The Buddhist in me also always wants to bring it down to the personal and understand how it impacts my own life and the ways that I may use whatever power I may find myself with. Do I listen, am I consistent and am I fair?