Friday, April 29, 2005

On the Nature of Power

No, I'm not going to give you that crap about absolute power corrupting absolutely. You've probably heard it a thousand times already. It's lost all meaning for you.

I've resolved for this blog to be as angst-less as possible, so I'm going to try to keep this more as a lecture and less as a rant. Please excuse me if I turn out not to be entirely successful.

Each one of us holds power in a certain way. It could be a physical method of dealing with things. It could be something that's tied into social influence. It could be some skill that you hold over everyone else. Regardless of who you are or what you do, you have power in some way.

It is exactly how you wield this power that determines which side of the moral fabric you're on.

I say that power exists to help people. The fact that you have greater access and control over your circle of abilities implies that others do not have the same degree of skill or influence as you do. The moral conclusion dictates that you use your power to fill these out - to cover such 'gaps' and achieve a sort of equilibrium by fulfilling others' needs.

In the event that there is no such need for the power you wield, the prudent course of action would be to wait, perhaps to continue practicing. There would be a right time to wield the power that you have, and the right move would be to await that moment.

Using your power and influence purely for the purpose of getting what you want puts you squarely on the immoral side. A bully who beats kids up for their lunch money is immoral. A politician who stiffs pensioners of their monthly payments just to increase his wealth is immoral. A man who rapes the woman he is infatuated with is immoral. We may say as much as we want that only the acts themselves are immoral, but no matter how many times we say it, those acts still make their perpetrators evil in our eyes.

Wielding what power you have just for the sake of expressing it is also by itself evil. If you look for other kids to steal money from, then you are evil. If you look for other illicit sources of wealth to siphon, then you are evil. If you constantly taunt and harass a woman with the intention of rape, then damn it, you are evil in every sense of the word.

I see little difference between immorality and evil. Immorality leads to evil by view of the common man, and it is difficult to return from that path no matter what you do.

I write of heroes and villains, and I know that it is the wielding of power that differentiates them more than anything else. I hold knowledge that heroes are, when the chips are down and all hell is breaking loose, fully willing to use everything at their hands to set things right. I hold knowledge that villains are, when the world is still and the silence is passing, fully willing to shatter the peace with their own baseless needs and desires.

Everyone must stand somewhere. On which side are you on?


Arashi-KIshu said...

Then it boils down to choices the choices that we make. I read somewhere that your choices define your destiny.

Sean said...

Oh, it is about the choices we make. Yes, indeed.

It is also as much about the choices we choose whether or not to make that shape who we are. I'll leave that one for the appropriate people to think about, though. Let's just hope that they take it to mind.

Marcelle said...

Happy birthday.