…well of course you are. So am I, and this is not a statement aiming to weaken your defense. I don’t expect to convince you about your weakness. If only i could. In order to examine our level of weakness we need to look up the terms “power” or “powerful”. The term “power” can be found useful in social sciences, physics, mathematics, computer science, the film and music industry, even as a surname. Or else, how low can you go ? So your name is Jon Power ?
In social sciences, power is the ability to control people and / or events. How much of that power do you own ? How much of that power is forced upon you and finally how much of that power do you portray as within your grasp.
The most significant source of power in social sciences is accepted to be the delegated authority which is handed over to a person or a group of people through the means of a democratic process. If that is indeed the most significant source of power, then you, should you be a citizen of our allegedly democratic western civilization, have a firm grasp on a certain amount of power given to you by the legislators, who drew the power in order to distribute it, acting as a delegated authority. Taking into account that our civilization is supposed to have been working this way for the last 100 years or so, we the people, me and you, should own a significant amount of power. Instead each and every one of us, no matter the nationality age or gender, actually owes a significant amount of money to people that never in the first place were members of a delegated authority. From time to time over the ages people demanded equal distribution of power. Such fools we have always been. Think about it for a while. What is the use of power if all of us own an equal amount ? Now go back to the UK democratic reform and the first parliament of the world. Copy paste from wikipedia “The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Treaty of Union both by the Parliament of England and by the Parliament of Scotland passing Acts of Union. However, in practice the parliament was a continuation of the English parliament with the addition of Scottish MPs and peers. Parliament was further enlarged by the ratification by the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of Ireland of the Act of Union (1800), which abolished the Irish Parliament; this added 100 Irish members to the Commons and 32 to the Lords to create the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.” This British parliament is thought to have been the model for most modern “democratic” political systems and though it seems to represent a step forward for civilization some things just don’t add up. What we are being asked to believe is that in the process of somewhat less than 100 years the British ruling elite gave up on their privileges and accumulated power in order for a more just system to be established. No press manipulation ever took place during the process, no fiscal or religious or any other kind of socially induced pressure was put upon the people of England. Everyone had a fair chance to speak out their mind and thus this model of power distribution was fairly chosen. Imagine the odds of that happening before web 2.0.
Another source of power is the social class. Back to wikipedia “Social class (or simply “class”), as in a class society, is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theorycentered on models of social stratification in which people are grouped into a set of hierarchicalsocial categories, the most common being the upper, middle, and lower classes.” Key word is “Hierarchical”. This term insinuates the terms “above” and “below”. If you are wondering what the criteria are for being above or below, please move from the top of the mountain you inhabited for the last 20 centuries and join us on today. Or maybe you are better off up there. The word is “Money”. Social classes have been around since the first days of agriculture and though money was not around at the time, at least not in the shape or form we know it today, accumulated wealth produced the first ruling elites way before ancient Egypt. Through the ages, classes were acceptable and much more firmly restricted. Traversing through the classes was in many cases prohibited by law. In our time the word class itself is almost prohibited when it comes to politics, since classes are supposed to have some inherited characteristics that remind us of the inequality of the past. Who needs to remember that. Yet sociologists who are not always controlled by politicians accept the existence of classes in every contemporary culture, including ours. Which class are you on then and how powerful is your class and finally how powerful are you within your class.
Knowledge. It is one of the most controversial terms to define and apparently a very important source of power. What do we know and how certain can we be about our knowledge’s credibility. What do we know of science or history or even more substantially what do we know of the history of science. He who knows more, does he benefit from all this knowledge ? How can I benefit from the knowledge i have acquired over the years ? Is knowledge a “justified true belief”, or should i abolish the term “belief”. Know that the definition “justified true belief” was supposedly introduced by Plato. Based on what knowledge did he attempt the definition. Do i know more than he did ? Who taught me what i know ? Is he trustworthy ? Is knowledge my purpose when attending a school ? Is it only about obtaining skills and knowing facts ? Is knowledge the basic distinction between me and the ruling elite ? Are there any ruling elites or is it all just a conspiracy theory ? Is the world coming to an end or not so much ? Can our planet feed all of us ? Is wikipedia a credible place to acquire knowledge ? So many question marks over one meaning. One thing is for sure and it has been so since forever. Knowledge equals power.
So, are you weak or are you powerful ? This knowledge is of the utmost importance. In order to survive in the human society, maintaining a certain amount of dignity, you need power. This is a justified true belief. But is it accurate knowledge ? Is there another way ? Why was the eternal hunt for power so important for our evolution. Is it not power that gave us every tool we needed to become the one sovereign species on the planet ? Why did we need all that power. I suppose basically because we lacked basic knowledge. See when people started roaming the earth, there were no teachers around to show us the way. We had to endure everything nature threw our way in order to become the undisputed masters of the rock we have been standing on. And that “everything” included other people with territorial, cultural, financial, religious etc, claims on our territory, finance systems, religious beliefs etc. But now we know better. We know that the rock we are standing on does not represent but a mere 0,000000….00000001 % of the universe surrounding us. We know that brutal enforcement of power among each other is not the way to go. We did our best to prove that power is not the vehicle to launch us in the 21st century, as it cannot be controlled by any human being. Sooner or later we will be called to adapt or die. We will not be the first or the last species to encounter such fate and success is not guaranteed.
So it don’t really matter wether you are among the powerful or the weak. What matters is understanding our common problems and collaborate instead of antagonizing.