Arquivo para November 10th, 2020

Power and gifts

10 Nov

It is possible that someone who has very special gifts also has power, but only as a service to a certain group and in a certain context, the two things are not very confused, and confusing them is almost always a demagogic trick.

Wise people will be given positions or be in power structures only on merit, or because there is a need for their gifts for that structure or center of power, but if they are people who desire power at all costs, they will rarely have the gifts necessary for that to which are designated.

Power has already been studied in philosophy in different ways, in the Greek polis it was an invitation to citizenship, but almost all philosophers (of course after Socrates and sophists) should be trained in values ​​and have virtues that would contribute to a position within of the Greek polis.

Among contemporary philosophers Max Weber defined power as the imposition of the will of a person or institution on individuals, while for Marx the power resides in the one who has the material means of capital production, which in his time was factories and land, but today they would be the big corporations, the owners of vertical media (TVs, Radios, etc.) whereas for Michel Foucault the power in contemporary times is not centralized, but dissolved in society, it also created the concept of biopower, while the practices by which modern states seek to regulate subjects and “obtain subjugation of bodies and control of populations”.

Peter Sloterdijk wrote about the “timotic” situation of our time, the term “thymós” is based on Plato’s theory to designate the “organs” from which the impulses, the excitations, the most inflamed affections are born, in fact seem something common in our times, we do not react with reflexion to situations of power and command, almost always emotionally, on impulse.

Byung Chul Han, who was influenced by Sloterdijk, wrote about psychopower, influenced by vertical media and of course also present in social media, where the state of high tymotic tension is established by the successive and repetitive news that guarantee this state.

The personal, collective or social gifts of each person are submerged by these structures of power and propaganda, similar to the fascination exercised by the speeches of dictators and populists during the war and afterwards, and we cannot imagine that this is far from the current reality.

What are the gifts of those who could serve the population if they are not subjugated to this or that pressure group, is less and less plausible, so the stage for demagogues and populists is open, and dictators are on the prowl.