As mostly non-political – at least in terms of voting – I find the idea of wielding power over others to be detestable. However I am beginning to think that there is at least some room for nuance. After all, we all find ourselves sometimes saddled with some sort of power. Parents over children, someone involved in a negotiation for something who has demonstrably better information than the other person, and yes, those who have better armed and trained themselves for self-defense versus someone attacking them who might not be as well trained or armed.
These are all examples of having power over someone else. Knowing this, especially as someone who wants to live peaceably with others, it becomes important that first we do not let ourselves become overconfident. These particular examples show a transitory sort of power and the power structure can easily be upended and reversed. It only takes a little thing to change the whole dynamics of a particular situation.
Political power, however, seems to be slightly different. It is very easy to accumulate influence and knowledge and, if you learn how to play the game you could be the next Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer or the late Dick Cheney. Political power dynamics become a lot harder to upend or upset (which Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is learning along with the rest of The Squad). This is what makes political power so corrupting. It only goes away if you let it go and, let’s be honest, as anyone who successfully con’s people on the regular can tell you: no one wants to let that kind of power go. It was difficult to gain, and the successful wielder finds great benefit to themselves to continue to wield it as they are always looking to improve their own situation.
How does this affect us? As people who are rejecting government and looking to build a parallel society without that power we are wielding power to because, you see, political power over a group of people (generally the governed) only works if everyone else buys into the legitimacy of the entire situation.
This image really is what got me thinking about this subject. We claim that politicians and their goons have power over us, but that is only true because we allow them. When we decide to stop listening, to stop smoking the hopium that “if only we vote better” is, when we walk away and just absolutely refuse to allow them such power in the first place, it will come crashing down on them, podium and all. All we have to do is exercise the one bit of power that they can never wrest away from us and that is the power to just walk away. Jail us, tie us down, lock us in our homes. Whatever their response is – and you can be sure that in the current political climate around the world that it will be a violent response on their end – we can still choose whether or not to participate.
That’s real power, and because everyone has the same power no one person can exert this type of power with undo influence. This makes it the weakest since each individual can only exert it over themselves, and the most powerful since it can topple even the largest of empires. It is both all-powerful and the most unassuming. This is why free thinkers are demonized. This is why they fear homeschooling. This is why they don’t want people “off-grid”. We are radical because we are saying that we not only don’t believe in the bullshit they are shoveling, but are actually willing to put our money where our mouth is just walk away from them and do our own thing.
Each individual has already defeated the Elizabeth Warren’s and Kamala Harris’ of the world the moment we say “Fuck this” and walk away. We have wrested that power away from them and they can’t do anything to stop us. No amount of jail, or even death, will get them back the power that they have lost.
Stay safe, stay warm, stay free. Happy holidays from the Chill Agorist and family. I may or may not post again before the new calendar year.