Power – In My View (Revised)

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My People Will Talk To Your People

Power. The Oxford Dictionary defines power as “the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others or the course of events”; and as “the ability to do something or act in a particular way”.

No matter how I look at it and think it through, when it comes to power, either influencing events or behaving in a particular way, it always comes back to being able to influence or move other people.

The more powerful you are, the more people you can control. Power equals people. Some people think being powerful means having lots of money. It does not, although generally to truly have power you usually also need the funds.

Why?

In an equitable, functional society, what could possibly be the purpose of power? What do you use it for? What does it get you that is not available within the normal parameters of human existence in a modern society?

I’m not talking about the perceived power of purchasing. Wealthy people always have “people” to do things for them to a greater or lesser extent. This is their purchasing power, and what that provides them is comfort, not additional power. They still have to go through the same processes as everyone else, it’s just that nine times out of ten they can afford to staff it out while they have a martini, or concentrate on something more important to them.

This is great. I love this. I’d like to have a bit of it myself. But understand this is not true power, the kind of power the criminal elite fight for, the kind of power nations go to war over. This is simply the power of money.

Outside The Box

If you really think about power, and the people who want it, and the people who have it, there is one common denominator: they want to be able to do things they would not be able to do if they did not have that power.

Power means someone wants conduits of access not available to the normal citizen. Someone who is really powerful can get things done that cannot be done under normal circumstances, and that’s the sticking point. Usually, if something cannot be done under normal circumstances it means either the item is in short supply and there is a waiting list, or it is illegal.

So the powerful person has acquired a good or a service not normally available. Why is that? Because they’ve convinced someone else, somewhere else, to bend, if not break, either the law, or the normal rules and processes which everyone else has to follow.

At best power brokers are queue jumpers, which makes life more difficult for everyone else. At worst they are law breakers while everyone else looks the other way. This person wants to be able to break the rules with impunity. He does not want to be told he cannot have something, it is not available or illegal.

Having this kind of power means rubbing shoulders with other powerful people, and all of a sudden influence comes in to play. Doors open that would otherwise remain shut. I’m referring here to ‘networks’ of some kind or another: elite clubs and associations, old boy networks, etc. The people who are in charge of things. Now we’re off to the races.

We all laugh and talk about it in a million ways throughout our lives when we hear these anecdotes at social events or work functions. Usually we’re a little envious that someone has the ability to push through barriers others cannot even approach. Our minds automatically suppress the consequent realisation, when we hear that some powerful person managed to do a certain thing, and that realisation which we all turn a blind eye to is the fact that in order to attain their goal that powerful person had to get someone, somewhere, to break the rules, perhaps even the law, to perform the required service or provide the required item.

Most of us at one time or another have benefited from favours and short circuited the system to one degree or another. (We have all struggled through an apparently horrendous process to try to get something done, so I should add that some processes could do with a bit of short circuiting; but I really don’t want to start getting into bureaucratic dysfunction. That is entirely a separate issue.) Anecdotal evidence suggests this is primarily due to interpersonal relationships, and falls into the category of “favours” (see below). Also, this kind of favour is often unsolicited: someone just does it for you because they know of your need.

It is true that this is symptomatic of the ability to corrupt or short-circuit the normal rules and procedures, and hence is a core issue, it is not the concept of power under discussion because by definition the kind of power under discussion is intentional and sustained; it is a way of doing business and flows into private life also. It is deliberate and it is systemic.

To many people this definition of power is understood and accepted, but many simply accept without ever openly or even consciously acknowledging what this kind of power means: that the power broker is often a thug skating just this side of the law as long as you don’t look too closely. Of course people look the other way. It is quite literally dangerous not to. That is what the mind shies away from. At a very deep level we know the pain the truly powerful person could bring into our lives and we do not want to attract their attention, especially by pointing fingers at blatantly immoral or illegal actions.

Nothing Teaches Like Personal Experience

In my own personal experience I have been exposed to a very powerful individual. Frighteningly powerful. Extremely wealthy, ruthless, and totally oblivious to any question of ethics or legality. The reason for his identification and targeting of me I will not discuss in this article as it is not relevant. The bottom line is that I was his target and he demanded – through, of course, deniable means – that I submit to his will, to effectively turn my life over into his hands. I would not.

Because of my own intuitive and clairvoyant abilities I was able to navigate through many of the dangers. But I did not have the ability to avoid the situation completely. His hand closed around my life and then the fingers started to squeeze shut.

He kept up the pressure, escalating his demands and the consequences he enacted on my life through what he calls “influence”. The result? I was subject to a ruthless campaign of terror and character assassination in, or so it appeared, all aspects of my life, and I lost everything, almost including my life.

This is not a series of events that I am available to discuss, so I would appreciate no questions on this matter at this time. Obviously, however, these events in my life, and the nature of this individual who so ruthlessly tore it apart, have inspired me to discuss the nature of power that we often admire, and to expose the ugly truth which is at the core of it, even when it is apparently innocuous and to try to emphasise the fact that we, individually, have a huge influence over the success or otherwise of people in their unethical wielding of power and influence. We can say no. I will return to this in a moment.

It’s Just A Matter Of Degree

Having and utilising power means breaking the rules, skirting the barriers, the road blocks. Whether you are a master criminal or a millionaire with shady ethics, a corrupt politician or public servant, it does not matter. The processes of corruption are the same, it is simply a matter of degree.

It Could Happen To You

The ugly truth is that people like my persecutor could not succeed if about a hundred other people refused to do as he demanded.

I’m talking about ordinary, “everyday” people, not “someone else”, but each one of us; you, me, the guy next door. People who do favours for others on the say-so of their boss or friend etc. If we, if everyone, refused to do as he and other powerbrokers like him demanded, I and others like me would still have our lives. If everyone just said no, or questioned his motives, or refused the kickback, he could not succeed. In that respect these people are no more powerful than we allow them to be.

There are only a few ways to exercise this kind of control. The first would be the path of least damage – in other words associations, friendships, networks, and we would call these “favours”. The second, obviously, would be bribery. The third, and logically the last as it is the most overt and dangerous, is force, and by this I mean intimidation, stand over tactics, and direct threats of physical violence.

Which of these my persecutor resorted to in order to influence and control the people he needed to move for his purpose in exerting control over all areas of my life I do not know; but if you read my article, titled “Greed”, on this site, you will see one possible opening for my persecutor into my workplace, based upon the vendetta launched against me by a colleague.

This power he exerts he calls “influence”. A very innocent sounding term for having the ability to crush someone’s life out of existence. Using his influence he can apparently reach individuals in every sphere of society, individuals who should be above and beyond the kind of whatever-it-is he requires of them.

Rules broken, doors closed, employers alienated, family distanced, and, perhaps most frighteningly of all, lawyers doors were closed to me. Why is this the most frightening aspect? Because it implies influence that stretches into law enforcement agencies. Like a cancer this man invaded every area of my life and silently destroyed it.

That’s power, and it is exactly the kind of power so many people lust after so ardently. Me? I would like sufficient power to be immune to such individuals.

Namaste _/\_ ✨

Copyright © Faith White 2015

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