From the beginning; it was about power. The first battle for power took place in the heavens:Lucifer, the highest of the Archangels, became incensed when God called upon all of the angelic forces to bow before his creation–man. Lucifer found this despicable and and refused to debase himself and asked: “a son of fire should be forced to bow before a son of clay?” And thus, the war began. He convinced a third of the angels to join him to overthrow God–all life and heaven’s Creator. This was insurrection and as any earthly king would do; God banished Lucifer and kicked him and all of the angels from their heavenly dwelling forever. From the beginning, Christ made it perfectly clear that Satan/Lucifer was the enemy.
This battle is still waging. The great Apostle Paul wrote: That we battle not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities of powers.” Ephesians 6:12
As relates to us humans, our battle also is related to power. But many human beings don’t even understand that they have any power. They wonder why criminals, politicians and the wealthy rule over them? Why? Because the one thing all in those categories realize–it’s all about power.
What is power? Wikipedia explains power as a philosophy: Power is a measure of an entity’s ability to control its environment, including the behavior of other entities. Power is also defined as “the capacity to bring about change.” It takes many forms, comes from many places, and is measured in many ways. Understanding all the varieties of power is essential if one is to understand who has it, who doesn’t, and how those who don’t have it can get it.
Essays that are useful to read to better understand this complex concept include:
- Understanding Power – If power were one-dimensional, we could easily agree on who has more and who has less. However, we are often surprised when a seemingly less powerful party holds a more powerful party at bay. This introductory essay discusses both potential and actual power, and the sources and forms of each.
- Coercive Power – Huey Newton wrote, “Politics is war without bloodshed. War is politics with bloodshed.” Though not all politics is coercive, it is certainly one way among others to force people to do what you want them to do, against their will. Though coercive power is sometimes powerful, it usually has a lot of destructive effects, which are explained in this essay, along with the benefits of coercion.
- Aggression – This essay explores the debate over aggression, and whether it is an instinct, a reaction, or a learned response.
- Revenge and the Backlash Effect – Most people hate to be forced to do things against their will. Using threats often produces such a large backlash, that more problems are created than are solved.
- Sanctions – Sanctions are punishments that are used to try to influence other nation-states’ behavior. Examples are embargoes and prohibitions from attending international events. The benefits and problems with sanctions are described in this essay.
- Exchange Power – In simple terms, exchange power means that, “I do something for you, in order to get you to do something for me.” However, this simple concept has formed the basis for very complex human interactions, including, for example, our economic system.
- Incentives – Incentives involve rewarding another party for changing their behavior. Although incentives have been frequently associated with weakness or indecisiveness, they can be an effective approach for changing behavior and resolving conflicts.
- Integrative Power – Integrative power is the power that binds humans together. Kenneth Boulding calls it “love” or, “if that is too strong,” he says, “call it respect.” Though seldom studied or discussed, Boulding argues that it is the strongest form of power, especially because the other two forms (exchange and coercive power) cannot operate without the presence of integrative power.
- Persuasion – Persuasion is the ability to change people’s attitudes, largely through the skillful use of language. Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is a classic example of persuasion.
However, I’ll assert this more practical understanding of power: when I was in tenth grade, there was a girl in my class named Jennifer. Jennifer seemed to be much older than most of the class–not in years, but the way she talked, indicated that she had a better understanding of what life was all about. That intrigued me. One day, during a break, I overheard Jennifer state to a classmate, “you don’t get what you put into life, you get what you take.” A light within me went on. I knew she was right about that. Although I never said a word to Jennifer, that girl opened up some serious insight that has lasted in me till this day.
Basically, I have always known one thing about myself: My main objective in all I do is TO GET WHAT I WANT!
And that is the truth ladies and gentleman. This is the nature of ALL POWER. And I highly suggest that if you want to keep what you have–understand that the reason why credit card companies, banks, government, celebrities, politicians, rich people and most certainly ALL criminal entities rule; it’s because they understand the Game of Power.
Learn it. And you’ll never be a victim a day in your life.