Freedom and authority are ideals, and they serve us well when we're having a certain kind of discussion. That said, we don't live in a world of ideals; we live in a world of practice, material, policy, and routine. So what do freedom and authority look like in this world?
One of the most pleasing analogies for the defender of authority is that of the orchestra. Of course, like all apparent hierarchy, this authority is often misunderstood by the layperson. The performers in the orchestra are each well-trained and well-versed in the material, and their abilities are greater than an unknowing observer might guess. That said, the orchestra conductor does play a vital role.
Does this defend authority, direction, and hierarchy?
If it does, then what are we consider when we see a group of musicians with no apparent leader? What when we perceive a different tradition of musical performance, one in which there is no program--this is thoroughgoing anarchism, not just absent a personal authority but a textual authority, as well! Improvisation in groups is a remarkable example of freedom, order in chaos, the kind of anarchism we might hope to achieve elsewhere.
You can see this heavily throughout the arts. Consider improvised theater, sometimes clumsy but often improved with practice, consider both the authorities of the director and of the text. When can these be checked by the talents of those who do the work, of those who build the set, design new blocking, those who perform, those who assert new interpretations. Consider those who develop new lines on stage, consider their multiple motivations--to ease another's lapse of memory, to play up material that works for the crowd. This is distribution of power! This is real politics, and you can learn from watching it and learn from taking part in it. What if an audience put on a show of its own?
And what if mental health patients, or those who have experienced trauma, or those who are sick from addiction or terminal disease--what if these people conducted their own therapy? This happens all the time. It should probably happen more often, but when you find it you realize that freedom doesn't have to wait until we topple all the top-down psychologizing, the asinine positing of meaning for and about others, or the imperial science of dictation and predetermination. With each display of improvisation, devolution of power, and individual ownership, there is a meaningful example of what I or you or we want to create.
If I talk about freedom, I believe I have a duty to find tangible examples of liberation, increased freedom, and seizure of power and generalize these examples.