Power not Only Corrupts Completely, it Destroys Completely
This is so obvious, I wonder why I never saw it before. I wonder why everybody never saw it before. But let that go – at least one person now knows this, and this one person is determined to give it a good airing. So let me begin.
First of all, I consult the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary, which I have online. Power as a noun is: a position of ascendancy : ability to compel obedience. This is its social meaning, probably its primary meaning. Power as a verb is: to give strength to : make powerful. This is its scientific meaning – in contemporary terms: fossil fuels, mainly petroleum.
It’s amazing how these two are combined in our minds. But on further thought it doesn’t seem so surprising. Those that control the supply of oil have all the power – as the Saudi’s know. And as the manipulators of the oil market know also.
But I want to concentrate on something else: power in in the corporate complex. I have a hard time convincing people that this exists – they keep insisting that it doesn’t exist – a very strange situation.
But let us back up in time. Society has almost always been stratified – where a few at the top have the most. Often this was a monarchy. Democracy had been tried, and also Republics, but they had always failed – and been replaced by some form of despotism.
The modern world was the result of two forces: humanism and capitalism. I realize this is an oversimplification, but a useful one. The first is concerned with people and the second with power. And they are not compatible, as history has shown over and over.
We are now in a historical period where power is, once again, triumphing over people. But this time with a difference: technology is part of the mix, and has complicated everything. It has made it impossible for people to see themselves as people. What they are is hard to say: some kind of techno-people or mechanism, operated from outside them.
A corporation, or some other large organization, where nearly everyone works, is a hierarchical structure: a power structure – where a few at the top have all the power – another form of despotism. Computers, software, and the Internet have merged all these organizations into a super-organization – including the military (which it identifies with), the Media (which it owns), the government (which it also owns), the schools (which are dedicated to serving it) – and even the security/penal system (to back up its decisions).
Instead of a monarchy, we have this corporate complex – which has a strange properties: it is invisible and all-powerful. No one wants to admit it is there.
People have been eliminated in favor of things that can be easily manipulated. And these things have no ability to judge what kind of society they are in – or to realize that they do not exist themselves.
The net result: people have been destroyed – top, bottom and center – and destroyed by power.