Arquivo para April 17th, 2024

Arbitrary power and socialization

17 Apr

In his book “In the swarm: a digital perspective” Byung Chul-Han clarifies that only a relationship is symmetrical (both sides have the same power or the same power) respect, if respect is lacking there is always an arbitrary exercise of power , but let’s look at other definitions.

A widely used one is that of Norberto Bobbio: “… every probability of imposing one’s will in a social relationship, even against resistance, whatever the basis of this probability (Weber, 1994, p.33), there is always the possibility of “manipulation”, use of reward, threat of punishment and other forms of asymmetry that favors force.

Generalizing the different forms of power, and contrary to Foucault (see the previous post), Lebrun says that power and domination go hand in hand, a person has power when the other is deprived of it, he puts them in the same boat: m Marx, Nietzsche, Weber , Raymond Aron, Wright Mills and others.

This conception comes from North American sociology known as “Zero Sum Theory”, a theory that dates back to Hobbes, which defined the power of the “sovereign” or the State, as being “one against all” and “in favor of all at the same time”. time”, but from top to bottom.

Thus, this power is simply applied as an obligation or prohibition to the dominated, passing through them and through them, in the same way, the dominated also use it and rely on it, but the dominated have subjectivity (in the ontological relationship it is dasein), and they produce new knowledge about power relations and also empower themselves. In this sense, it is important to relate power to potency, or capacity for action.

The concept of act and power in Thomas Aquinas is, however, more complete, because it is also related to truth, not temporal, but ontological, present in Being:

“[…]some things may be, although they are not, while others actually are. What can be (illud quod potest esse) is called potential being; what already is (illud quod iam est) is called being in act. However, being is double: the essential or substantial being of the thing, like being a man, is simply being; the other is being accidental, like the man being white; and that is being other.” (AQUINO, T, 1976, p. 39.)

Thus power is seen in another way, which is also matter and being complete, for Aquinas all are basic components of the substance, the notion of being complete is attributed both to the form that signifies the first act, the actuality, that the form possesses by itself and not by a mediator, when this first act is attributed to matter there will be an actuality, that which today is confused with virtuality (the potency or possibility of being), because in this way every being is in potency, in this way everyone can have power in order to realize its full potential.

This means that it is necessary to empower man, society and recover the disempowered, so re-education, resocialization and even those who are socialized are always possible.

Power, if exercised without arbitrariness and with the dimension of everyone, can and should serve the common good, justice and freedom.

AQUINO, T. (1976) De principiis naturae ad fratrem Sylvestrum, [ed. H.F. Dondaine]. Ed. Leon., t.XLIII, Opuscula, vol.IV. Roma [Santa Sabina]: Editori di san Tommaso.

LEBRUN, G.(1999)  O que é poder. Brazil, São Paulo: Brasiliense.

WEBER, M. (1994) Economia e Sociedade. Brazil, Brasília – DF: Editora da Universidade de Brasília, 1994.