What is Political Power?Posted: August 5, 2012
What is Political Power? The discussions of unity and disunity and of equality and inequality put us in as advantageous position from which to begin exploring the main subject of political science – power. Because people are disunited, power seems necessary for ensuring order, because they somehow feel unequal. In other words, power seems justified as a way of placing everything and everyone under the rule of the best human qualities.
Many of the controversies of politics, moreover, have to do with the impact of power on unity and disunity and on equality and inequality. It is interesting to make mention of the fact that power may be used to separate human beings and/or to bring them together as evidenced by the policies of racial segregation and integration in America; perhaps using power is impossible to either uniting or disuniting people, or neither discriminate nor equalize.
Therefore some of the most basic and difficult questions about power arise from its moral dubiousness. Perhaps power is evil in essence; certainly the use of power normally involves much evil: listen up here, perhaps power tends to make those who possess it arrogant and it presupposes evil, such as in evident in the conflicts that render order dependent on power. Let’s look around: Syria, several establishments in Africa, however to us, we see the unabraided arrogant abuse of power in the United States.
Interestingly human relations are pervaded by power is an unmistakable sign of the radical imperfection of humankind. If one decides to use power in relationships – in whatever fashion – I think we all know what does invariably happen to those relationships. Even clearer regarding the unmistakable sign of radical imperfections of humankind please read the article below concerning ICE; one could continue down the front page of this blog and each article makes mention of wrongful use – or abuse of power.
Now to be fair and balanced there have been and are many idealists, philosophers, even lawyers who are of the school of abolishing or curtailment of all power? Therefore, in the assumption that politics is the use of power, one of our first questions of political thought is clearly whether power is really necessary.
Indeed one needs to ask, “Is power the source of order?” Considering a multitude of thinkers – moreover, politicians – rather than to even consider all of their individual arguments we’ve decided to narrow the scope of our answer to three.
One, is that people are good and that consequently order is spontaneous. John Locke, for example in framing his philosophy of government, assumed that human beings are fundamentally reasonable. For Locke, most people have the sense to see that others have certain rights, such as the right to life, simply because they are human beings; furthermore, according to Locke, other people are disposed to respecting these rights.
Locke maintained that people do not depend on power for creating order. For Locke, one source of order, other than power was the reasonableness and the decency of humankind.
Two, as set forth by economists a principle to show that order is not wholly dependent on power in the idea of natural harmony. According to the classical economists – who flourished in the nineteenth century – who provided what is still the basic rationale for free enterprise. The big difference between this lot and Locke was in the notion that not all human beings were good.
The classical economists of this epoch assumed that humankind were materialistic and self-seeking. Oh really! But they did not conclude from this that order must be created and sustained with power. The believed that if government would merely ensure the main conditions of individual economic activity, such as security of property and the stability of currency, and would otherwise not curb the freedom of the people to seek profits in accordance with their own selfish promptings, good order would come into being naturally.
And finally three, many thinkers have seen order as depending primarily on habit, custom, and tradition. Many have advocated this idea insofar as the principle of human goodness is radical, because it leads naturally to a willingness to abandon established arrangements and restraints; the principle order arises from habit and from loyalty to tradition because tradition is conservative.
According to Edmund Burke, the major source of order is the habit-forming nature of humankind. Then again anarchism is the idea that one of the forces – human goodness, natural harmony, or custom and tradition – or a combination of them is sufficient to ensure order and that government therefore could be abolished.
The trend toward the total monopoly of power by one institution, the government, still dominated the first half of the twentieth century. The totalitarian regimes, whether Nazism in Germany or Stalinism in the Soviet Union, can be seen as the last, extreme attempts to maintain the unity of power in one central institution and to integrate all institutions — down to the local chess club — into the centrally controlled power structure. Mao Zedong in China tried to do exactly the same with a major effort to destroy the prime autonomous power in Chinese society, the extended family.
Sure…power in its basic definition is the ability to influence the behavior, lives, decision-making abilities, of others. Consequently political politics is precisely the same however, it is by its very nature crude, untruthful, and prides itself on lies — outright fabrications! Because of the laizze-faire attitude Americans have had with the “go along and get along” mantra now with corrupt politicians in government trying to influence everything that we do, say, break the laws, hinder other organizations of the various branches, and bypassing the American people their right to voice the USA is in a horrific place.
We believe that President Barack Obama is doing the same thing, however, in various and sundry different ways.