• IvoryBlackBishop
    276
    "Power" is an interesting and ambigious subject; as far as discussion on it in modern discourse, these are my thoughts thus far:

    1. The "nihlistic" or radical "postmodern" view which views power or power relations as "arbitrary" and "bad" is flawed.

    While it's true that, in practice, people in postions of power and authority have abritary or delegation in how they use it (such as a Judge in a court of law, an elected offical, a company executive, etc), this view is essentially "anarchist", and doesn't bother to distinguish between different types of power, or different political, economic, or social systems.

    For example, I'd argue that it's self evident that tyrannical "power" in the sense of Hitler, the Nazis, or Stalin, is not the same as "power" in the sense of a democratic or republican form of government.

    Much as unrestricted or "tyrannical" power, is not "the same" as power within a system of checks and balances, such as the American or British forms of government.

    2. Mass media frequently portrays power as something "bad" or "corrupt", such as in nonsensical potrayals of power in Hollywood movies or TV shows (e.x; "Game of Thrones" being a popular examples), as well as most stereotypical portrayals of "corporations", "executives" (ironically produced by media corporations itself), or childish pop literature on the subject (e.x. Machiavelli, Saul Alinsky, Robert Greene, Ragnar Redbeard, Anton LeVey, Max Stirner, childish, pop "social Darwinist" nonsense, etc; trashy tabloid magazines like Cosmopolitcan, Men's Health, written and marketed to the HS reading level or less); said speculative and unsubstantiated literature is more popular than actual high-level books by actual corporate executives like Ray Dalio, or various treatise on business law, legal theory and philosophy, simply because it, like most nonsensical mass media sells and appeals to the ugly, visceral, ADHD mindset of the average consumer). The negativity bias has been scientifically documented, with over-exposure to negativity in mass media leading to naive, paranoid mindsets, which is why "negative" is falsely associated with "realistic" or "realism", even though in real life, it's as "realistic" as a low-budget horror film.

    This is simply because it sells, and appeals to the negativity bias (e.x. in practice, not all companies operate on the same business model, sets of values, forms of governances, etc).

    There is also some popular wisdom that power which is "inherited" or acquired without "earning" it tends to naturally become more corrupt than earned power; I think there may be a bit of truth to this.

    3. I'd also argue that it's self evident that, on some basic human level, every form of interaction with someone else is an attempt to "influence" them in some way, and that the difference between positive social influence, or "negative" or antisocial "manipulation", such as by use of anger, threats, fear, rather than positive and healthy discourse is also self-evident. (Even if a person is hocking a 'negative' view of power or influence, then in doing that, they are still attempting to 'influence' or use power to convience others that 'power' is bad, which is oxymoronic.

    By itself, I would argue power is a tool and is "neutral", whether or not it is "bad" or "good", "legitimate" or "illegitimte" depends on how it is used. (Unless one becomes a hermit or recluse, in is, on some level required to interact with others in some capacity simply to live, but one can self-evidently distinguish between positive discourse with other people and 'manipulation', such as threats, force, violence, intentional deception, and so on and so forth

    4. I'd argue that corrupt power is archaic and appeals primarily to impulses and degenerate or inferior antisocial aspects of human nature.

    5. Sometimes power is portrayed as a "game", however in reality, a corrupt view of power in which "might makes right", or the end justifies any means is not a "game", nor is there any way to "win" to begin with, since there are no "rules", whereas in a 'legitimate' power system, such as a Constitutional form of government with checks and balances, or in an organized sport or competition, there are objective, agreed upon rules or standards (as well as some degree of subjective judgment or delgation on behalf of the officials). (There is a book "Meditations on Violence" by Rory Miller which does a good job explaining the realities of this ugly type of power or setting).

    6. From a cultural perspective, as per the theory of Law by experts such as Oliver Wendall Holmes, negative or degenerate forms of power represent a cultural devolution, with formal law and legal systems having developed or evolved as an evolution above more "primitive" and barbaric modes of human behavior, such as blood feuds or mob rule.

    7. Some have said that 'power is fleeting'; I would assume this to be true, regardless of the power (whether one is talking sports, media, government), or anything else, regardless of what the ends and means of the power are, or whether it is positive/negative, or legitimate/illegitimate, one would have to keep doing, or being able to do consistently do the same "things" ad infinitum in order for it to be sustainable, with obvious factors such as social or life changes, aging, and so on and so forth factoring or playing in to it.

    8. Power is relative or not "inherant" as some people superstitiously imagine; there is no 'exact science' or mathematical to it; arguable there may be some inherant things which tend to naturally lend themselves to power in certain circumstances, however, in practice, power, such as in the case of "money", is based on faith, trust, or what people imagine it will actually be worth to them or others; by itself just being paper and metal, and having no "inherant" worth outside of whatever consentual social context of interaction the money is eschanged (e.x. one cannot 'force' another person or company legally to accept their money); the same could be said of other things, such as "credentials" (e.x. a degree from a college or school representing something that the employer has faith in the value of); a person, of course cannot legally "force" a company to accept their degree or other credentials, and by itself it is just a piece of paper, believed to represent something.

    So, even though, in a "realistic" sense, a loaded gun or a knife might have more "real", physical power in a violent altercation than paper and metal, most 'power' in civilzied, 1st world countries is not believed to come via physical violence or force, but rather economic or social exchanges or transations, such as exchanges of money, negotations, contracts, deals, and so on and so forth.
  • Xtrix
    512
    While it's true that, in practice, people in postions of power and authority have abritary or delegation in how they use it (such as a Judge in a court of law, an elected offical, a company executive, etc), this view is essentially "anarchist", and doesn't bother to distinguish between different types of power, or different political, economic, or social systems.IvoryBlackBishop

    This depends on what you mean by "anarchism," but I share the view with Chomsky that a common thread running through the anarchist tradition is that power should be justified -- whether in social or political systems. I also happen to think that's a very good way to think about power. It doesn't say that the use of power in the sense even of violence is always wrong, for example, but simply that the burden of proof is on the use of power. If the power systems can't meet this burden of proof, they should be dismantled.

    I also like Nietzsche's assessment of power, which you don't mention. I recommend doing so if you're interested in the subject.
  • IvoryBlackBishop
    276
    [/quote]
    By "anarchist, "i'm thinking primarily of a nonsensical "anti-government" stance.

    I don't see how the idea that power has to be justified is "anarchist" to begin with, since the basis of every legal system in civilized, 1st world countries as predicated or based on checks and balances.

    The "anarchist" stance is generally just a pretentious, antisocial attitude toward government as a "whole' (often ignoring that even in 'pre-literate' hunter gatherer societies with presumably no "formal" law or government, there still would have been some type of informal government or hierarchy, just as there is or would be within families or any other social institution, whether or whether not it is officially or legally recognized as a "state" to begin with). Often predicated on an "end justifies the means" or "might makes right" view towards promoting anarchy, whether through violence, force, or aggression, or via intentional lies, deception, dishonesty, and so on and so forth.


    I also like Nietzsche's assessment of power, which you don't mention. I recommend doing so if you're interested in the subject.
    [/quote]
    Can you summarize it for me?
  • Xtrix
    512
    The "anarchist" stance is generally just a pretentious, antisocial attitude toward government as a "whole'IvoryBlackBishop

    Says who? What is this based on? What evidence?

    It's far more like what I describe.

    Can you summarize it for me?IvoryBlackBishop

    I could, but it would take me a long time indeed.
  • fdrake
    3.3k
    The "anarchist" stance is generally just a pretentious, antisocial attitude toward government as a "whole' (often ignoring that even in 'pre-literate' hunter gatherer societies with presumably no "formal" law or government, there still would have been some type of informal government or hierarchy, just as there is or would be within families or any other social institution, whether or whether not it is officially or legally recognized as a "state" to begin with).IvoryBlackBishop

    Well, this is sort of off topic, but anarchists generally restrict themselves to disliking unjust hierarchies, rather than hierarchy in general. In some sense, it "just so happens" that anarchists dislike governments most of the time, because they're typically unjust by anarchist standards. One popular way of being unjust as a government is failing to live up to what are allegedly their democratic ideals.
  • IvoryBlackBishop
    276

    But "government" of some type has been in existence for all of human history, and even in modern hunter-gatherer societies, where presumably no "formal" government or law exists in writing, there is still informal "governance", "hierarchy", and whatnot.

    Much as in the context of a family, and whatever formal or informal 'rules' the family follows or sets for themselves, their children, and so on; the anarchist view would eventually simply degenerate into nihilism (e.x. a parent parenting or disciplining their child is a form of "aggression" or "force" imposed on another without their "consent"), with the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement being the only viable and consistent option, were they not foolish, liars, or hypocritical.
  • Xtrix
    512
    Much as in the context of a family, and whatever formal or informal 'rules' the family follows or sets for themselves, their children, and so on; the anarchist view would eventually simply degenerate into nihilism (e.x. a parent parenting or disciplining their child is a form of "aggression" or "force" imposed on another without their "consent"),IvoryBlackBishop

    You don't know what you're talking about. Stop saying "the anarchist view" as if you have the slightest clue as to what you're discussing. You're so off base it's embarrassing.

    First, "anarchism" has to be defined. To define it in such a way as to reduce it to the level of a cartoon isn't serious scholarship, even for a public forum.
    Second, to say it degenerates into "nihilism" is likewise ridiculous, even in the example you give.

    An act of aggression on a child is indeed an act of power, and one that should be justified. If you slap a child's hand as their reaching for a hot stove, or yank them away from the street when traffic is coming, then both examples of use of force and power, and both can be justified. You don't simply assault children for no reason -- we'd rightfully call that senseless abuse. Same with the police, same with he army, etc.

    Same with teachers giving you an "F." There should be a reason, a justification, for this action. That's anarchism's central belief, but it's a tradition that varies widely in the application of that belief -- some apply it to economics, some to capitalism specifically, some to social structures, some to government, etc.

    You're simply wasting everyone's time if you can't get these concepts straight.

    At least start here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism
  • TheMadFool
    5.2k
    I maybe totally off the mark here but, to me, power, in keeping with the spirit of your post, is basically the ability to initiate a causal chain and since effects can have a moral dimension (good and bad consequences are possible), it implies then that power simpliciter has to be neutral, morally speaking. Think of it; god, supposedly the ultimate good, is also thought of as omnipotent. Without power, goodness is pointless for it's simply impossible for any moral project to get off the ground.

    That said, within the framework of one particular religion, Buddhism, the goal is, contrary to the notion of divine omnipotence in Abrahamic religions, to exit the causal chain by reducing your causal power or Karma to zero. As per Buddhism, when that happens you achieve nirvana and you're liberated from the endless Karma/cause-driven cycle of rebirth and death. Thus, Buddhism is unique in that the highest state of being attainable in it is, in effect, a state of nonbeing, of utter powerlessness.
  • Frank Apisa
    1.4k
    Best explanation of power ever given:


  • IvoryBlackBishop
    276

    Game of Thrones is as reliable and realistic source on the subject as a Jason Voorhes film. Didn't even bother to watch. (The same with uglier and less realistic rip-offs like "Billions").

    Go watch "Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday" on repeat for 500 hours straight (or the Jerry Springer Show, for that matter) if you want a slightly more realistic and intellectually stimulating version of the entire GoT series.
  • Frank Apisa
    1.4k
    IvoryBlackBishop
    267
    ↪Frank Apisa
    Game of Thrones is as reliable and realistic source on the subject as a Jason Voorhes film. Didn't even bother to watch.

    Having a reading level about the 6th grade, and an IQ above 95, or a society in which ugly people don't exist, would render the show unmarketable except as something to make fun of in "Mystery Science Theater". (Or as a source for even uglier and less realistic rip-offs like "Billions").

    Go watch "Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday" on repeat for 500 hours straight (or the Jerry Springer Show, for that matter) if you want a slightly more realistic and intellectually stimulating version of the entire GoT series.
    IvoryBlackBishop

    In his excellent book, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, Richard Bach suggested that (paraphrase) if one opens any book to any page, one can find advice that will be of use.

    So too with movies, plays, musicals, essays, and the like.

    If you found Game of Thrones to be of so little value...why did you watch it so assiduously?
  • IvoryBlackBishop
    276

    Why do people watch Mystery Science Theater 3000?

    Me, I found it a good example of the "mass psychology" which trash like Game of Thrones is marketed to, such as how the "negativity bias" which is hardwired into us causes us to disproportionately associate "negativity" with "realism", even when it's as "realistic" as a Jason, Saw or Freddy Krueger Move.
  • Frank Apisa
    1.4k
    IvoryBlackBishop
    269
    ↪Frank Apisa
    Why do people watch Mystery Science Theater 3000?

    Me, I found it a good example of the "mass psychology" which trash like Game of Thrones is marketed to, such as how the "negativity bias" which is hardwired into us causes us to disproportionately associate "negativity" with "realism", even when it's as "realistic" as a Jason, Saw or Freddy Krueger Move.

    It's a show by ugly people, for ugly people, nothing more, perhaps even less.
    IvoryBlackBishop

    Okay.

    I just hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

    I thought it was very well done...above average production. And it told an absorbing story with allegory to events I've witnessed or read about in the real world.

    I don't consider myself especially ugly. I hope that doesn't disqualify me from expressing an opinion to you on the series.
  • Frank Apisa
    1.4k
    IvoryBlackBishop
    270
    ↪Frank Apisa
    It does.
    IvoryBlackBishop

    Jesus H. Christ...you are one weird dude.

    If my not being ugly does disqualify me from expressing an opinion...why in hell are you continuing to discuss it with me?

    It's a trash show which isn't worth a serious discussion on the subject of power (except maybe to the underclass which I'm sure is and was it's target demographic, kind of like the journalist Robert Greene's silly books, which are allegedly more popular with convicted felons than with anyone actually in serious positions of power anyway, — Bishop

    Actually, the discussion of power in Game of Thrones is a LOT more instructive than anything you have offered in your inappropriately ego-driven drivel, Excellency.

    Really.

    In fact, the statement about power delivered by Cersei to Baelish...had more "reality" to it than the gibberish you are trying to pawn off as intelligent-speak in your OP.



    Which is what I was hoping for in this thread, a serious discussion, not having my eyes tainted with the ugliness in question. (I've got to meditate now to wash it out of mind, sigh). — Bishop

    No problem. Go meditate. And maybe take a nap. Come back when you are able to play well with others.
  • IvoryBlackBishop
    276

    Read Ray Dalio, Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek, or Meditations on Violence by Sgt. Rory Miller for a discussion of "power" that renders this dreck obsolete, just to name one serious author on the subject for people above a 6th grade reading level.

    If the show was an actual discussion of power it wouldn't sell, nor would anyone seeking to understand the power in a more serious way be naive and childish enough to think that a trash TV show would just 'give it way for free, because they're nice guys and gals", without any "catch" or something... like Mephisto to Faust...

    But hey, some people believe spam emails sent to them by "Nigerian princes" as a well, so I suppose there really are people dumb, ugly, and naive enough to believe a trash TV show is actually a "how-to" guide, lmao
  • IvoryBlackBishop
    276
    This is also why Machiavelli, Alinsky, Greene, RedBeard, Stirner, and similar nihilist morons are useless and unworthy of serious discussion, and the only reason they're more popular to discuss than Rory Miller or other serious authors is because they 'sell' to a dumbed-down mindset (some of them basically even admitted their crap wouldn't even 'work' except on a very stupid person, or that in many cases their "fans" are just mentally disturbed individuals who conflate 'pathology' with ideology')..

    If anything they had to say wasn't worthless, there's no way anyone who isn't incredibly naive would believe they would just "give their trade secrets" out for free, without some kind of "catch" to it, such as wording just enough to sound credible, while that the same time adding or omitting things subtly in order to "trip up" their opponents and make it backfire; meaning more potential "competitors or rivals" out of the race, it's not like they're particularly known for being "altruistic" individuals.
  • Frank Apisa
    1.4k
    IvoryBlackBishop
    274
    ↪Frank Apisa
    Read Ray Dalio, Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek, or Meditations on Violence by Sgt. Rory Miller for a discussion of "power" that renders this dreck obsolete, just to name one serious author on the subject for people above a 6th grade reading level.

    If the show was an actual discussion of power it wouldn't sell, nor would anyone seeking to understand the power in a more serious way be naive and childish enough to think that a trash TV show would just 'give it way for free, because they're nice guys and gals", without any "catch" or something... like Mephisto to Faust...

    But hey, some people believe spam emails sent to them by "Nigerian princes" as a well, so I suppose there really are people dumb, ugly, and naive enough to believe a trash TV show is actually a "how-to" guide, lmao
    IvoryBlackBishop

    I'm giving you a lesson in power, Excellency. I'm not trolling here...I am contributing more to the discussion than you are able to see...apparently.

    You are attempting to exert power, but you are not especially good at it. You are ham-fisted...and my guess is you get bludgeoned in most power plays. (I also guess you do not even realize you are getting punked...and if it even occurs to you, you refuse to acknowledge it.)

    I am merely counter punching (almost always the better alternative)...and succeeding.

    They say "revenge" is a dish best served cold. Well...the exertion of power is best done smoothly and subtly. It's sorta like a golf swing. You do not get distance or direction from a powerhouse swing. The most frequent piece of advice a golf instructor gives, in fact, is: Slow it down. Don't swing so hard. The ball will go further...and straighter.

    We'll talk some more. I enjoy your rants about your opinion that the highest rated show ever was such a loser...interesting only to other losers. Must make you feel good to suppose your taste is so superior to the taste of the masses.
  • IvoryBlackBishop
    276

    What methodology of rating is being used?

    More people watch reality TV shows than reading philosophy books, and most media, including or maybe even especially TV and radio is marketed to the 6th grade reading level, so if anything "highest rated" is a red flag.

    Regardless, "rating" has nothing to do with it as a serious discussion of power; Meditations on Violence basically renders these stupid discussions obsolete; shows like GoT are a fantasy on the same level as a Mickey Mouse cartoon, people just naively assume "negative" is realistic because of the negativity bias hardwired into us for survival reasons; this is why "bad news" sells and dumb people catastrophically fear deaths from unlikely 'negative' events like terrorism, global warming alarmism, and so on, when dying in the bathtub or in a car accident is statistically more likely.
  • IvoryBlackBishop
    276
    For what it's worth, I was trying to be a little sardonic to prove a point, maybe I overdid and got too personal, I apologise.
  • Frank Apisa
    1.4k
    IvoryBlackBishop
    276
    For what it's worth, I was trying to be a little sardonic to prove a point, maybe I overdid and got too personal, I apologise.
    IvoryBlackBishop

    No problem.

    I was being more than just a bit satirical in posting that clip...which I have posted three or four times in other forums where the content had some application.

    I didn't mean to be disruptive...and I apologize in return.
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