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Social Power

How is it that some people are able to command huge influence over others, to control them. How does the social structure of control operate and what are its advantages and disadvantages for those that live in it?

To what extent can we thank modern social control structures for raising us above the agrarian lifestyle and to what extent are those at the bottom of the structure better or worse off than they might have been living an agricultural village life? How has modern development changed the lives of those at the bottom?

Control and Power

Three mechanisms give control of one individual over another, force, wealth and inspiration.
  • Force can be used for involuntary servitude, it is the lowest form of control.
  • Wealth (usually in the form of money) can be used to buy voluntary servitude, it is the middle form of control.
  • Inspiration provides natural servitude and is the highest form of control. Power by Inspiration
After a great deal of thought I must add one more category, sex. The power that it exhibits over us is quite extraordinary. Any group that includes both men and women working together possesses a special cohesion.

Direct and Indirect Power

Above are direct mechanisms of control however there are indirect mechanisms whereby an individual can raise themselves in the control structure by there ability to call on others. Thus for example the queen, whom could easily be overcome by force by many of the population has an army she can call upon. As citizens we can call upon the police to use force to protect us against other citizens or indeed we can call upon other citizens.

If a social structure is attacked then one may dominate a low power person but they may call upon a higher person to dominate you. What makes the highest power person. Either a person with greater force, greater wealth or greater inspiration ability. From time to time such inspirers appear but if they conflict with the interests of the users of force they are assassinated. Similarly the power of wealth is from time to time subdued by force.

Thus force becomes the most fundamental control agent but the story does not end there because force when opposed by force is sufficiently destructive that it becomes ineffective as a means of conflict resolution. Inevitably therefore if force is to be used it must be with a minimum of destruction and targeted to achieve very specific goals only then can the social structure survive. Mass destruction is not an effective way of resolution if the wealth of a society is to be maintained.

© Tom de Havas 2011. The information under this section is my own work it may be reproduced without modification but must include this notice.

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