Quickie While You Wait

“Power has a way of revenging itself upon its usurpers.”

[Originally published on MySpace on July 29, 2010.]

First off, I think MySpace needs to include a blog category called “Life, the Universe, and Everything.”  Good idea, ya think?

I accidentally managed to do some reading just for entertainment earlier today.  I failed miserably at it, but never mind, I ran across this sentence, thought I’d share:

“Power has a way of revenging itself upon its usurpers.”

Interesting.  Then I recalled this saying:

“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

I juxtapose these two sentences on purpose.  I’m curious to hear whether this provokes any thoughts for any of you, and if so, what they might be.

Please limit your discussion to between 1 and an infinite number of words, and please don’t talk about anything that doesn’t interest you.

…you in the driver’s seat now!  LOL!!

x
Thea

(Tip: Check out other people’s comments, too…good discussion going on.)

3:32 PM  23 Comments  4 Kudos

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This entry was posted in Critical Thinking, Epistemology, Ethics, Humanism, Life, Life The Universe and Everything, Philosophy, Religion, Religion and Philosophy, Sociology. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Quickie While You Wait

  1. Thea says:

    Faust:

    It is interesting to look at such soundbytes side-by-side, and this pair reminds me of a basis for a multi-year examination of literature of my own based on a potentially related soundbyte attributed to Abraham Lincoln: “Nearly all men can stand the test of adversity, but if you really want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

    Literarily, I’ve been examining this in the archetypal stories of Job, tested by adversity (and succeeding) and Faust, tested by power (and failing).

    Posted by Faust on July 29, 2010 – Thursday – 3:56 PM

    • Thea says:

      Faust! Nice to see you here!

      So…what is the nature of adversity? And power? Where and how do they intersect with human endeavor…? I.e., is anyone ever “given” power? Hmm…food for thought.

      T

      Posted by Thea on July 29, 2010 – Thursday – 4:02 PM

      • Thea says:

        Faust:

        I could be snarky and say “adversity are those obstacles that get in the way of our goals and power is what we use to overcome those obstacles.”

        Posted by Faust on July 29, 2010 – Thursday – 7:35 PM

        • Thea says:

          I’m glad you thought better of it. LOL!! If you hadn’t, I might have had to say something about how the above is a bit too generic to be useful for discussion here–doesn’t really explain anything.

          Posted by Thea on July 29, 2010 – Thursday – 7:40 PM

  2. ladyswaye says:

    They both seem to go with the general theme that power can not really be had. It is unattainable because once one has power one is no longer oneself. It is compromised and corrupted and thus changed. As for the revenge aspect just kinda defines the consequences of corrupting oneself. Maybe a little food for thought I’d like to hear some other opions because i think this is an interesting pairing of ideas.

  3. Thea says:

    ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs!:

    PEOPLE; WE KNOW AND NEVER WILL HAVE “POWER ‘OVER’ US”! AS A TEACHER, AN ALMOST MIND BOGGLING POWER SUPERFLUITY IS GIVEN, ALONE? w EVERY ACTION. WE HAVE POWER TO REACT, IGNORE, OR COMBINE BOTH, TO “DO, wo DOING”? DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, THEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, BUT I HATES TO BE IGNORED! LIKE I’M DEAD, OR THE NON-PARTICIPANT WANTS ME TO BE?

    Posted by ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs! on July 29, 2010 – Thursday – 5:49 PM

  4. Thea says:

    ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs!:

    LIKE ELECTRICITY, POWER IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS! NO MATTER HOW INSULATED; ONE THINKS S/HE IS! THOSE THAT, TRULY, EARN IT, USE IT WISELY, BUT TO DO SO, IS RARE AND, STILL, SUBJECT TO INSTABILITY, ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS?
    I COULDN’T POST ON YOUR, NEW BLOG, AS MY MESSAGE, JUST SENT, SAID?

    Posted by ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs! on July 29, 2010 – Thursday – 4:04 PM

  5. Thea says:

    Chelle Lee:

    Power is responsibility with an attitude. Either you handle it or it handles you. If it handles you then you and everyone around you suffers the consequences. If you handle it you and the people around you may not even be aware that you have it. And of course, you must always be careful to take all you want, but eat all you take. Greed is a poor bedfellow of power.

    Posted by Chelle Lee on July 29, 2010 – Thursday – 6:09 PM

    • Thea says:

      Wow, lots of really good, sticks-in-your-head metaphors here! Hmm…if you’re in a situation where the power is handling you, then what’s happening? (Aside from suffering, I mean…)

      Good to see you, Chelle Lee!

      Posted by Thea on July 29, 2010 – Thursday – 6:22 PM

      • Thea says:

        ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs!:

        POWER IS SUBSTANTIVE AND NOT, DEPENDING ON TYPE AND TIME. LIKE EGG NOG! HAAA OK. THEN NO MORE! “POWER IS LIKE WATER. THE MORE; YOU GRIP; THE MORE YOU LOSE!”-T. GEenerah; here & now

        Posted by ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs! on July 29, 2010 – Thursday – 7:36 PM

        • Thea says:

          ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs!:

          I NOODLED THIS. FAVOR? TELL ME ANY, ENGLISH OR ADOPTED-BY-US, NOUN, THAT HAS NO POWER? THINK; IMPOSSIBLE.

          Posted by ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs! on July 30, 2010 – Friday – 2:25 PM

          • Thea says:

            Good point. Creating meaning by definition implies relationships, which implies an exchange of…what?

            Posted by Thea on July 30, 2010 – Friday – 7:57 PM

            • Thea says:

              ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs!:

              “KNOW THYSELF”? THEN, w MUCH MORE SPEED AND ALACRITY, KNOW OTHERS, OR YOU KNOW NOTHING!? AND, ONCE A BROAD ENUFF, COMMON KNOWLEDGE IS ESTABLISHED, THE REAL KNOWING OF ONE ANOTHER BEGINS!? FOREVER! PART OF THE FUN OF BEING A HUMAN!

              Posted by ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs! on July 31, 2010 – Saturday – 11:58 AM

            • Thea says:

              ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs!:

              THE DEAL IS, AS, ALWAYS, w YOUR SUBLIME “?s”, DEAREST THEA, THE ANSWERS ARE ENDLESS! NOT EDITING (AND, FORGET, FOR ALWAYS, -“CRITICIZING”!) YOU, BUT I’M ASKING: “MIGHT IT BE BETTER, TO ASK NAME -ANYTHING- THAT HAS NO POWER, AND -BRIEFLY IF YOUR LAZY LIKE THE DRAGON (HAAA) ‘SPLAINE WHY IT DOES,”? OR, “LIST, AS MANY KINDS OF ‘POWER’, AS YOU CAN?” THINK; THAT IS ENDLESS, BY ITSELF?
              ILY!

              Posted by ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs! on July 31, 2010 – Saturday – 11:58 AM

              • Thea says:

                If it occurs to you to define power this way, then by all means, ask questions from this perspective. You’ll observe that the questions I asked provoked yours, eh?

                *grin*

                Posted by Thea on July 31, 2010 – Saturday – 3:17 PM

                • Thea says:

                  ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs!:

                  I’VE RESOLVED TO EXIT, BUT I DON’T CHOOSE TO DEFINE IT, IN THIS MANNER. CONSIDER AND SEE THE UNIVERSE OF POWERS? “NOTHING HAS POWER, bc EVERYTHING DOES!”-T. ISRENDER; H&N

                  Posted by ROBERTOelDRAGÓN&IDYs! on August 1, 2010 – Sunday – 2:04 PM

                  • Thea says:

                    I do not deny that every thing might have power, certainly at least in terms of potential. However, there is no “automatic” cancelling out, or balance that occurs as if the power of each thing was always equal to the power of each other thing. Power, while it may be given or taken, is thus yet relative and ever shifting…very similar to what we consider when we think of dynamic relationships.

  6. Thea says:

    Jared: Genibus Tuis Canis³:

    The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell an a hell of heaven. And so I say only if your mind allows power to corrupt or revenging can it do as it says, but the weak minded will tend to allow power to corrupt, or revenge itself, or make a hell of heaven. And while I’m on the subject of heaven and hell stuff, doesn’t “God” have absolute power, so is god corrupted

    Posted by Jared: Genibus Tuis Canis³ on July 31, 2010 – Saturday – 6:23 PM

    • Thea says:

      So all power transactions (is it a transaction, or a static state?) happen exclusively internally to individuals? What is a strong mind vs a weak mind? Is this a matter of will entirely? Does God have absolute power, or is God power itself? Who says so? Does it make any sense to think so in either terms, and if so, how? If not, why not? What is being overlooked? What is being included that may not belong? What might the impact of these differences (are they different?) “senses” be? Does God have anything to do with human sorts of power? In what regard? Does power itself have its own will that it might corrupt anything or revenge itself for being usurped? What kind of person is power? If it could revenge itself, taken as metaphor, what is actually happening?

      Thank you, Jared…*grin*

      Posted by Thea on July 31, 2010 – Saturday – 6:39 PM

  7. Thea says:

    M. TERESA CLAYTON:

    Someone other than you only has the power if you give it to them. You can also take it away. You can be singular or plural for this statement.

    My other thought upon reading this blog – power, in and of itself, is not bad – it is excessive power (anything in excess, really) that corrupts.

    That’s my thought.

    Posted by M. TERESA CLAYTON on August 2, 2010 – Monday – 6:11 AM

    • Thea says:

      Speaking in terms of humans (as opposed to, say, solar power), does power exist independently of human relationships? I think your “plural” hints at an answer. Are we ever singular? Or are relationships amenable to being more heavily weighted in one (general) direction, yet there is still power flowing back in the other? Put another way, does a single person, bereft of any relationship with at least one other, have any power?

      “If a man alone in the woods speaks, and his wife cannot hear him, is he still wrong?” LMAO!!

      Posted by Thea on August 2, 2010 – Monday – 7:23 AM

  8. Thea says:

    jcmmanuel:

    Makes me think of another saying: “absolute justice corrupts absolutely”. It’s not the same thing and we all tend to admit that justice is a good thing. But this is related to the human factor: even if justice is a factor that exists in, let’s say, an eternal shape (God) – which I believe – it still tells us humans nothing about our ability to make something good of it, because we can interpret justice to our hearts content, shape it as it serves us better than our neighbor (as usually happens in the personal realm of things) and in that sense making it absolute, usually means to absolutely corrupt justice. Leverage that to the public level (what we call politics), it becomes absolute power and absolute corruption – the world ‘absolute” becomes absolutism.

    Posted by jcmmanuel on August 3, 2010 – Tuesday – 5:14 AM

    • Thea says:

      Yep, you got it–or at any rate, I was thinking something similar. The first statement I felt was more an honest observation, granted it takes power as an external given–which in some cases it may be–and so allows for critical choice. The second statement amounts to a power play (iow, an example illustrating the first statement): it sets the game field (establishes itself as the authoritative narrative) and then makes all the rules so that any players are bound away from alternative contexts that might be more flexible and meaningful (useful), and especially removes grace from the landscape of possibility.

      Posted by Thea on August 3, 2010 – Tuesday – 5:48 AM

  9. Looks like you are an expert in this field, you got some great points there, but you’ll want to add a facebook button to your blog. I just bookmarked this article, although I had to complete it manually. Simply my $.02 🙂

    – Daniel

    • Thea says:

      I lay claim only to helpless brick turning; I am seldom expert (no lie!), but I thank you most humbly for the intended kind remark. *grin*

      Took me a minute to figure out what you meant by “add a facebook button,” but I did, woot! I always feel mighty mighty when I (usually accidentally) figure out technical stuff. See above, and thank you very much for the suggestion.

      ~Thea

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