PAGE IN PROGRESS What you see here is a page of my hypertext book POWER of meanings // MEANINGS of power. Initially empty, this page will slowly be filled with thoughts, notes, and quotes. One day, I will use them to write a coherent entry, similar to these completed pages. Thank you for your interest and patience!
Society needs order. But order is not natural. The social order in one place and time is just one of many possible orders. Order does not exist just through violence, although it is always partially supported by it. Order has to be also supported (and it is usually largely supported) by people’s acceptance, consent - hegemony. System justification. Changing the order is difficult not because of the violence but because peoples beliefs
When I say that everybody is powerless, I am not talking about some kind of absolute powerlessness. Same way like when I talking about how everybody is powerful, I am not talking about some absolute power.
Everybody is powerless in a sense that everybody is inevitably is experiencing some amount of powerlessness, but it is always in a combination with some amount of power. Power and powerlessness are not absolute, because they are mixed in every situation, in our every action.
Fighting with entropy: we all the time have to put things in order because the universe is naturally inclined to go from less entropy to more entropy we spend a substantial amount of time to maintain a certain physical order (starting from our own house or apartment). law of entropy: entropy will always increase over time [see We Have No Idea for a discussion]
Nature has power over us (but it's not the social power, it's about limitations of social power)
to clarify: I am not talking about absolute lack of power; absolute power, same as absolute lack of it, does not exist
since there are different kids of power, we are powerful in relationship to some of them but powerless in relationship to others
individual power: we have some of it while lacking other it’s not having or lacking one whole category (ability vs influence vs may); witching each of these forms, there are many possible instances of power or powerlessness; we have some abilities but not others, we influence some people, but not everyone, we are allowed to do some things but not everything macropower is how other people influence us
emotions: like waves in the ocean, always rolling
Limits of self-awareness A person can theoretically agree with a principle (it's important to act a certain way) but not notice when they themselves do not follow it emotions prevent from noticing? we are all emotional rather than rational beings (elephant and rider) cultural narratives are filled with examples of these principles, and ideas are becomming more sophisticated (now more narratives about empathy)
Terrible twos - reaction to the first realization of powerlessness
nobody has absolute power [add link]
so when people do get to have some power, they try to keep it for as much as they can this takes many forms and can happen to any individual or group of people
although we can see some groups of people historically trying to keep their power, it can happen to any group of people, so it’s important not to essentialism (e.g. « only this group of people can have people and try to maintain their power)
when people get to use more power, they can get clingy. They are clinging to this power exactly because they feel (often subconsciously) that having more power is temporary.
Is there absolute power? I don’t think so. how about unchecked power? This is different. Unchecked power is means actions that are not controlled or restrained. It is not the same as absolute. Unchecked power is not absolute.
if you want to know how powerless you are, try to make a real big change abother option: experience bureaucracy psge about bureaucracy: Brazil by terry guillism, my experience with British visa
cupture requires constant maintenance (at least the most technologiezed cuoture) Dr binocs - what if all humans disappeared spaces where we lead our lives need constant maintenance our bodies need maintenance we need to repeat many everyday routines in order to live our lifes
Amy Winehouse "Back to Black": "life is like a pipe//And I'm a tiny penny//Rolling up the walls inside"
My power starts where the other person's power ends
enthropy us always increasing: from We Have No Idea: ” Whenever you create any sort of localized order—stacking books, making marks on a sheet of paper, or running your air-conditioning, you are simultaneously creating disorder as a by-product, usually as heat... Until [“the heat death of the universe], creating local pockets of order by making compensating pockets of disorder is only possible because the universe has not yet reached maximum disorder, so there is still wiggle room.”
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