"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Apr 25, 2010

A Few Words, A Tremendous Capture of Meaning

A bit back, I wrote,

"To take power, a person has to preserve it, hold on to it. Holding power does not follow from mere intent, from the desire. A man with power enforces it. He employs others as instruments, shaping their loyalties to his ends. Whether deft or clumsy, he uses their willingness to obey as an extension of his person. To the extent that some one or many obey him, his personhood increases. He inhabits their obedience, expanding the scope of his efficacy. They become extensions of his desire.

Perhaps, in the service of his ends, they fulfill some of their desires. Or come to identify with his as if their own. But they must yield some portion of themselves, and their labor, in order to increase his.

For one to rule, others must submit.

To wit: to preserve power, the holder of it must prevent the liberation of others. This specific relation of one to another obligates those who obey to defer the fullness of their desires, that those they serve may attempt a greater portion of living."

I struggled some, in finding the way in which I could best convey both ends of the obedience-enforcement spectrum.

Rob Payne, in the latest Dead Horse essay, has found a formula which hits the mark better than I:

"...Western Culture is a recipe culture. When we learn how to do something we don’t have to understand what we are doing or why we just know that if we follow the steps in the recipe we will get the desired results."

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