The Power of Groups (part II)

The Part I attempt at generating exhaustive categories for the “trappings of power” is a difficult task, and probably too hard to corral. While not exhaustive, there is certainly a decent framework to describe what power affords.

The next, more subtle question has to do with how power is exerted. Part III will begin to address how it is attained in the first place.

Let me start by taking issue with such sayings as “money is power” or “knowledge is power”. These examples are now power, they are resources through which power can be exerted.

I will use  the lever analogy to say that power is the work you can do. The lever arm itself is the instrument, and the fulcrum is the foundational advantage that empowers the actor. To follow this, knowledge would be the fulcrum, a news outlet could be the lever, and the power exerted could be that of convincing a group to react to the news in a certain way.

In a simpler example, money is the fulcrum, employment is the lever, and the resulting power exerted is directing the action of the employee. This simplified model of power should help identify necessary resources, and channels through which power is applied.


About livingthememe

engineer and armchair philosopher
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