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. See this post to better understand my creative process. Thank you for your interest and patience! :)
Seeing somebody as simply powerful or powerless in general, regardless of circumstances, would be a mistake. It it an oversimplification that can happen when we do not see the complexity of what is commonly called "power."
Powerful and powerless is seen as descriptions of different group of people. But words powerful and powerless can be used to describe the same individual. Because what we call "power" is actually a constantly changing combination of abilities (what we can and cannot do) and influences (influencing others and being influenced), one person can be described as having and lacking different kinds of power simultaneously.
power is always mixed with powerlessness. Nobody even has complete power, which would mean having all abilities and no disabilities, having all the influence and not being influenced
Our influence (power) always coexists with inability (powerlessness) to predict all the ramifications and scope of our actions, and also the inability to understand cause of our actions (it’s not just our choice; e.g. language speaks through us; tradition speaks through us; we reproduce cultural norms, etc.)
Power abuses stem from the combination of powerfulness and powerlessness of the person who abuses power. Abusing power is an attempt to regain control, so it starts with the lack of control/power
Photo by Luis Quintero: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-pink-and-blue-abstract-painting-2471235/