Autorité – the acceptance of hierarchy and the idea of leadership and follower-ship – was understandably absent for the French Revolution. It was all about overthrowing the despotic authority of the monarchy, aristocracy and the Catholic Church.

But in reality it soon replaced one “autorité” with another – and one that itself became increasingly despotic. Understanding both the need for authority in human societies, governments and organisations and how to limit such authority has become increasingly obvious (again) in the early 21st century.