Power that goes unused requires justification.
"They are threatening to cut our funding."The justification is often that others have power that they might use.
"The foreign peril are dangerous, we might need to fight them."The use of power cannot be justified if its application results in the use of power by others having similar power.
"The foreign peril are as dangerous as we are, and they are not fighting us at the moment."Ideologies/subcultures have an appearance of power.
"Those damn druggies/terrorists are threatening my way of life."Ideologies/subcultures are almost immune to argument through power.
"We jailed/shot a lot of them but it didn't have much effect, they have no leader that will negotiate with us."The enemy that cannot be defeated whilst also having little power makes a good focus for the application of excess power.
"We are jailing/shooting all of them that we can find, but there are always more of them."Power that is always in use requires little justification.