Blog Post #3
What is power and how do people that have it, maintain it? Power is the ability to facilitate or direct the course of human events. Power comes from a multitude of places, most often it comes from previously built hierarchies that exist to maintain order and governance. Examples of this are the religious institutions, governments, paramilitaries, and ideologically motivated groups. There are exceptions to this of course, sometimes anarchy or an absence of power structures create voids for radical movements, or foreign structures to fill the power vacuum. How does this relate to you? believe it or not you exist in varying levels of power sub-structures.
You have a manager, that manger has a boss who answers to another boss, and so, and so forth. You may be at the head of a family or the oldest child. Elementary I know, but we must start somewhere. Power structures start from interpersonal relationships and work themselves all the way up to the top, whether it be one person or a group of individuals sharing power at the head of this power structure. Think of it like one big social network.
There are a multitude of ways to gain power but only three ways to maintain it. Organizations are power structures, and in order to gain power sometimes you must be born into it like for instance, Monarchies. Other times it is taken by force, like rebellions. Due to the media we have today, many can easily see the other routes to take/get into positions of power. What is more interesting is how those who are now in power, maintain their positions. Now we are not going to talk about the motivations for getting or maintaining power what we are talking about is how those positions come with consequences and how people maintain power.
The three ways to maintain power is through Fear, Faith, or Fanaticism (of varying degrees). We don’t need to discuss fear. Every person reading this has experienced fear as a form of control whether it was a boss threatening a pink slip or a parent threatening to ground you. We are going to focus on faith, and fanaticism. Let me be clear there is nothing wrong with having faith or being religious. We are using the word faith and fanaticism in a nonreligious context. We are speaking of faith and fanaticism in the context of a person or political ideology which can be bad or good depending on your subjective perspective. Faith in a person is dangerous, sometimes people in power seem larger than life and with them we entrust our hopes, our faith. We can mention Hitler as an extreme case where this went very badly. Now as a stark contrast to that, we have the U.S Constitution. The constitution is an illustration of truths that we hold to be self-evident like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. People have faith in that idea. People in power on both ends of the spectrum manipulate that faith for good or evil depending case to case. Nonetheless the manipulation of faith is always there. Finally, fanaticism, it always starts as faith but is sometimes manufactured on accident or on purpose by the state or the individual in power for various reason.
Now finally we can get to the meat of this topic, how does this relate to you? Good question, you as a citizen need to look up and watch those figures others have put their faith in. You need to watch the people in power. Power naturally corrupts, because often you must do very bad things to maintain it, the cost is usually human life. If all citizens were warier of the officials they elect, politicians the world over would get away with less. We the people of the world give power to the select few but we can just as easily take it away. You must learn about these things so when you vote you can read between the lines of what each candidate is saying. For every action there is a consequence, the more globalized we become the more intricate the power structures do as well. Learn to watch these things, and remember, foreign peoples usually value the sovereignty of their country a lot more than Americans usually do.
What do you think? Do you disagree or agree? Am I wrong about anything? Please comment respectfully! Remember the objective of this blog is to relate seemingly uninteresting topics to today’s world problems and you the individual, this site supports respectful debates and promotes critical thinking. If you have any friends or family that may be interested in this content, please refer them to this site.