The most insidious kind of power is power-over. This is the power of domination and control, power that seeks to rule unilaterally. Power-over is voracious. Power-over takes what's there; it makes no distinctions between right and wrong. Power-over must expand or die. Power-over fills all vacuums, crushes the weak, extends itself wherever it can.
The development of power-over initiated the founding of civilization. Our present problems have their roots in the defining characteristics of civilization itself: domination and control. In the last century, two trends—the accelerating sophistication of technology, and increasingly ubiquitous global organization (themselves products of the domination mentality)—have given Power the tools to dominate and control as never before.
Politicians love power-over. They crave the capacity to control the lives of large numbers of people. It is the politician's job to make us believe that he/she is committed to helping people, or making the world a better place, or carrying out the will of his/her constituency. In fact, a true politician has but one goal: acquisition of more power. Power for power's sake. Power for the thrill of it. Love of power to a politician is an end unto itself, like the love of art or music.
Most politicians are corrupted with the lust for power-over, and deserve our utmost contempt. Fortunately, in the U.S. anyway, everyone hates politicians (except of course the elites for whom the politicians work). This is a good thing. Perhaps it is an indication that we are beginning to understand the poisonous nature of power-over.
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