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True power is not control over others, but the degree to which you control the course of your own life.

Ik like that definition a lot. Its much better than the generally accepted definition of control over others.

It is a little known secret that power always balances. If somebody exerts control over others, he will lock himself in a certain behaviour that is more or less fixed. Deviating from that behaviour will loosen the control. And while it may be replaced by something else, fact is that the person exerting the power must remain aware of that fact. Thus the power that is exerted over others backfires and takes away the freedom to choose any desired behaviour for himself.

True enough, on a small scale this may not really inconvenience the power wielder. But the larger the number of people involved, the more difficult this becomes. This is imo one of the reasons why so many dictators often meet a violent end. The power structures they set up are too inflexible to adjust to new situations. Eventually the power structure breaks down, and the dictator is killed. A steep price indeed.


Originally posted at: 2016-12-14
Last modified on: 2016-12-14