Social Reality: Violence, Power, and Change
What is Power? - Introduction
1 - An Introduction to Power
In the last series of posts, we have been immersed in the world of Violence in individual and social life.
Now we will talk about Power a different crucial player on Social Reality Dynamics.
In this introducing chapter, we will be more focused in philosophical and unstructured perspective, as a pre-reflection for the next posts, that is more oriented to the field of social psychology studies about power.
Power, from the Latin potere, which means "to be able to" a verb with the conjugation in the present: possum, pots, potest, possumus, potestis, possunt; and in the infinitive "posse" that curiously in the Portuguese language means property or possession.
In sociology, Power is the ability to impose the will of one or more individuals on others, and there are several types: social power, economic power, military power, political power, among others.
Here is a quote from a known fascist war monk, genocider and gun dealer about his view of the Power.
"Power is an aphrodisiac" - KissingerPower is the interface of social control as the coercion of the dominant structure.
Rational Power is social agreement legitimated by coercion, norms of reference, rewards and sanctions or information and knowledge to achieve compliance.
The greater the dependence of one person on another, the greater will be hisPower over the other.
Power is the possibility of imposing a will on a social relationship, even if there is resistance or no consent.
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace". - Jimi HendrixSome sources of power are, for example, violence, aggression or aggression, propaganda, money, influence, social or political status, information, and knowledge, etc.
Despotic central authority and governments have an oligarchy of coercive and violent power, but they can keep the illusion that people are free to choose their destiny, confusing "social order" with security to justify aggression and surveillance control.
"Power never takes a back step only in the face of more power". - Malcolm XThe shaping of Power with its rules defines our rights and it exists only because people do not assume their autonomy.
Society and Power will always try to the pursuit and crash of people that dare to dream.
The modern state is reacting to the inequality tensions he generates, with an increasing compulsion to control, by surveillance, media propaganda and creating armies of militarized police to face peaceful citizens as contenders in a war zone.
" In politics, the central and fundamental problem is the problem of power.Power always uses its Justice and Violence to steal Truth, Equality, and Liberty.
Who is to exercise power? And by what means, by what authority, with what purpose in view, and under what controls? Yes, under what controls?
For, as history has made it abundantly clear, to possess power is ipso facto to be tempted to abuse it. In mere self-preservation we must create and maintain institutions that make it difficult for the powerful to be led into those temptations which, succumbed to, transform them into tyrants at home and imperialists abroad." - The Politics of Ecology - Aldous Huxley (1894 - 1963)
There are three pure types of legitimate Power domination, the legal, the traditional, and the charismatic.
Some reasons for submission to legitimate domination( transformed into conformism) that may be voluntary and rational (needs and personal and analysis of pros and cons by those who have to obey) traditional (by habit or blind habit) or affective (related to the personal identification of a submitted to the dominator).
"All power is theft" - Herman Hesse
2- Power and its manifestations
Power is always a concept embedded in the dynamics and functioning of social life.
Social Power manifests itself in people's conduct shaping and in the surrounding social context, and with leadership and authority, it influences the compliance of behaviors with coercion or rewards.
Power is impregnated in every social phenomenon, and it's difficult to be conceptualized in social psychology is regarded more as a philosophical notion that seems to influence the studies and experiments in this area.
Power shape acts upon and drives social life interactions.
You abdicate of your personal power when you waive, annul, or transfer it to another person.
"Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other" - Carl JungMax Weber in 1965 said that "power signifies all the possibility of imposing one's authority, even if it finds an opposition inside the social relationship". So, Power is not a key concept in social psychology is just a variable in studies about influence and group social dynamics. Gustav Fisher cites Bulgakov from his book "La Maitre et Marguerite" "All power is a violence exercised over others".
Power is the genesis and main feed of the conflictual relationship in the social tissue of Reality and uses violence to attain conformism and submission.
World Information Intelligence Services and the Power of Money increasingly have more awareness about the manipulation of cultures and masses.
"Where the masses can exercise no control over their rulers, these powers are used without compunction to enforce ideological orthodoxy and to strengthen the dictatorial state." - The Politics of Ecology - Aldous Huxley (1894 - 1963)There will always exist autonomous beings inside a culture that will revolutionize, will be self empowered and will be rebelling against Power.
Arts and Music can change the cultural structure of the grids of power and sustain non-conformism
"I wanted to prove the sustaining power of music". - David BowieThe next three posts are about the notions, dimensions, and foundations of Power in Social reality.
Last posts in this serie on Social Reality, Violence, Power and ChangeSocial Reality: Violence, Power and Change
Violence:An Introduction to Violence
The Concepts of Violence, Aggression, and Aggressiveness
The Theories on Violence
The influencers of Violence -Part One - Culture and Social Context
The influencers of Violence -Part Two - Social , Cognitive and Environmental Factors
The rise of Today's Violence
What is Power? - Introduction- this post
Articles from the next series of posts about Social Reality, Violence, Power and Change:The Nature of Power
- Part I - The Notions of power
- Part II -The Dimensions of Power
- Part III -The foundations of Power
The Dynamics of Power
The Effects and Consequences of Power
Change:Change and Culture
The Theories and conceptualization of Change
Factors determining Change
The ways of Change
References consulted:Les concepts fondamentaux de la psychologie sociale - Gustave-Nicolas Fischer
La psychologie sociale - Gustave-Nicolas Fischer
The social-violence dynamics, power, change - Gustave-Nicolas Fischer Planeta / ISPA, 1980
Gustave-Nicolas Fischer is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Psychology Laboratory at the University of Metz.
French, J. R. P., & Raven, B.H. (1959). The bases of social power.
Raven, B. H.& Rubin, J. Z. (1976). Social psychology: People in groups
Castel, R. The metamorphoses of the social question. Voices, 1998.
Moscovici, S. (1976). Social influence and social change. London: Academic Press
Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison
Festinger, L. (1954). A theory of social comparison processes.
French, J. R. P., Morrison, H. W., & Levinger, G. (1960). Coercive power and forces affecting conformity