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Thread: Dreams of Power

  1. #31
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suttree View Post
    It's at the very least naive to presume that anybody's particular utopian vision is implementable or sustainable or even actually an improvement and particularly so when that vision would place demands on the actions or values of large groups of people.
    Yeah, I dont think anyboy's particular utopian vision is implementable, mine is though and I'm not going to place demands on the actions or values of large groups of people, I'm going to place demands on everyone, including people who arent even born yet.

  2. #32
    No Cigar Litvyak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    - People who want power are far more apt to abuse it. Contrastingly, they might still have personality traits that allow them to be effective in power use.

    - People who don't want power will typically think more about using it. Contrastingly, some of them won't use power effectively if they are in charge
    Nah. You can also say people who strive for power are more likely to have leadership traits than those who never even dreamt of being in a leadership position.

    Intelligent people who want power prepare themselves for the task, they create plans, learn history, economy, politics, IR etc. We're not talking about psychopats, but healthy individuals who recognize their ability to lead and who are ambitious enough to not settle for "changing the world through self-investment". Why change the lives of 10, 100, 1000 people if you know you're capable of creating a better environment for, let's say, hundreds of thousands?

    Why is it more possible for individuals who "do not think of themselves as worthy" to be better leaders than those who'll gladly lead people? Sure, they may or may not be delusional. But what about the humble small fry? Most of them are just not suitable for taking such responsibilities. Hell, they don't even take responsibility for their own actions.

    Two-thirds of the participants in the following experiment would kill you in the blink of an eye, because they "don't want to meddle" in others' decisions:

    The Perils of Obedience - Stanley Milgram

    Those who wouldn't, and recognize the quality to say no and assume responsibility in themselves, are far better leadership material than the hard-working folks going with the flow.

    Disclaimer before anybody starts pointing fingers: this is theoretical, I don't think I'd be a capable leader any time soon.

  3. #33
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Yeah, I dont think anyboy's particular utopian vision is implementable, mine is though and I'm not going to place demands on the actions or values of large groups of people, I'm going to place demands on everyone, including people who arent even born yet.


    I, for one, hope that you never get your wish fullfilled. For everyone's sake.

  4. #34
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Litvyak View Post
    Nah. You can also say people who strive for power are more likely to have leadership traits than those who never even dreamt of being in a leadership position.
    That's not what I have experienced IRL.

    People need to go through a growing and changing process before they can be entrusted with power. That means that instinctively domineering people, unless they have some sort of tremendous upbringing, need to be broken and driven to the limits of their strength. Only after they are broken can they really be trusted to understand the limits of power and what it can or cannot accomplish; and at that point, now they are more of a proper vessel for power.

    I watch it happen over and over again: People who want power end up making a big mess until they figure this stuff out... if they ever do.

    Disclaimer before anybody starts pointing fingers: this is theoretical, I don't think I'd be a capable leader any time soon.
    Exactly. And RL trumps theory.

    Nah. You can also say people who strive for power are more likely to have leadership traits than those who never even dreamt of being in a leadership position.
    Ironically, I *did* say that.

    I also said the other part of the post you quoted, which you then proceeded to say over again.

    I think you only bothered to read the beginning of each of my bullet points, because you ended up describing my qualification of each of my points with your own post. So I guess we sort of agree on some things.

    Although I think you're sort of quoting Milgram out of context. That experiment was far more complicated than what you're making it sound, and it occurred in a very contrived environment. People didn't just rebel because they were leaders, there were other factors involved; and they didn't just follow because they were followers. Lauren Slater followed up with two of the subjects, one of them a rebeller and one a follower, and it was kind of ironic that they were both impacted to live their lives differently because of the experience... the one who never challenged things was struck to the core because of how he had behaved, and he went on to break out of the mode, give up a good career to do what he loved, came out instead of living a conventional life, and seemed to be really happy decades later (a true leader), whereas the one who rebelled ended up living a very conventional life.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #35
    Senior Member LunarMoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    - People who don't want power will typically think more about using it. Contrastingly, some of them won't use power effectively if they are in charge.
    So there's some Catch-22 involved.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    That.
    I also find that the people who want to lead and be in charge are usually the last people who should be allowed to be in power.
    It's the humble people who have already proven themselves to be efficacious in their daily lives, who make a difference regardless of where they are, and who don't consider themselves worthy to make decisions for lots of other people can SOMETIMES be the best people to hold power.
    “Sometimes”, but very rarely. I’d imagine that being an exceptional leader is similar to being an exceptional painter or an exceptional anything else for that matter, in that it requires not only a passion for what you’re actually doing but also hundreds of hours of practice. The art student who doesn’t care, loathes what he does, and doesn’t consider any of his talents to be “worthy” doesn’t strike me as the next Van Gogh.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    There's too much damage done by ambitious people who truly do not have a freaking clue about life, and they're especially dangerous because they WANT to meddle and impose decisions on others and remake the world in their unrestrained image.
    Such people are only able to cause damage because of the apathetic followers who sway in their name.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    yes. Changing the world through self-investment and "relational living" rather than imposing power on others from above.
    Few people are going to emulate a lone, obscure individual. Generally in a culture in which what we refer to as “kindness” is not widely practiced, such behavior is only seen as a form of weakness. A few deviants aren’t going to change a set of norms. Not through simple practice at least.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    People need to go through a growing and changing process before they can be entrusted with power. That means that instinctively domineering people, unless they have some sort of tremendous upbringing, need to be broken and driven to the limits of their strength. Only after they are broken can they really be trusted to understand the limits of power and what it can or cannot accomplish; and at that point, now they are more of a proper vessel for power.
    The vast majority of individuals in the modern world who wield a large degree of power tend to obtain it through years, if not decades, of back breaking work. That’s part of the reason as to why there are virtually no teen and twenty-something CEOs of large corporations. The only real exception to this rule tend to be authority figures who don’t wield too much power to begin with. The managing fry cook of the local McDonald’s may, for instance, come into power through sheer luck and favoritism, but few people in the modern world end up in any considerable form of power without being “driven to the limits of their strength” multiple times.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    That experiment was far more complicated than what you're making it sound, and it occurred in a very contrived environment.
    “Contrived”, though it may be, the experiment has been replicated more than five times since and is regarded as one of the more influential one’s in psychological history. If all else fails there’s also the Asch Conformity Experiment which basically proves the same thing. That too has been replicated several times and is regarded as an authoritative study.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    People didn't just rebel because they were leaders, there were other factors involved; and they didn't just follow because they were followers. Lauren Slater followed up with two of the subjects, one of them a rebeller and one a follower, and it was kind of ironic that they were both impacted to live their lives differently because of the experience... the one who never challenged things was struck to the core because of how he had behaved, and he went on to break out of the mode, give up a good career to do what he loved, came out instead of living a conventional life, and seemed to be really happy decades later (a true leader), whereas the one who rebelled ended up living a very conventional life.
    Yes, there were other factors but I would wager to say that whether someone was a leader or a follower had a large effect on how they reacted, especially if they were a follower due to simple apathy or low self-esteem (humbleness). The example you presented can also be interpreted in multiple ways. One could easily argue that the experience simply shocked the conformer into becoming more of leader.
    Surgeons replace one of your neurons with a microchip that duplicates its input-output functions. You feel and behave exactly as before. Then they replace a second one, and a third one, and so on, until more and more of your brain becomes silicon. Since each microchip does exactly what the neuron did, your behavior and memory never change. Do you even notice the difference? Does it feel like dying? Is some other conscious entity moving in with you?
    -Steven Pinker on the Ship of Theseus Paradox

  6. #36
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    I've never considered myself powerful, but I've been compared to various
    fictional characters...one can only face the same challenges and set backs
    so many times before their very soul becomes resistant to struggle and ma-
    tters are taken into people's own hands. I have little respect for those
    that take the easy way out of their own problems while knowing what is
    going on around them and doing nothing about the things that are happ-
    ening to others.

    ENTJ

  7. #37
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I note it's all the self-proclaimed ENTJs who are complaining about my posts in this thread. ...That seems rather predictable.

    Quote Originally Posted by LunarMoon View Post
    “Sometimes”, but very rarely. I’d imagine that being an exceptional leader is similar to being an exceptional painter or an exceptional anything else for that matter, in that it requires not only a passion for what you’re actually doing but also hundreds of hours of practice. The art student who doesn’t care, loathes what he does, and doesn’t consider any of his talents to be “worthy” doesn’t strike me as the next Van Gogh.
    I've already qualified this elsewhere, what you are describing is not what I meant.

    Such people are only able to cause damage because of the apathetic followers who sway in their name.
    Cut off the dragon's head and the body collapses as well. We can both throw out generalizations, what's your point?

    Few people are going to emulate a lone, obscure individual. Generally in a culture in which what we refer to as “kindness” is not widely practiced, such behavior is only seen as a form of weakness. A few deviants aren’t going to change a set of norms. Not through simple practice at least.
    Deviants? That's really a shallow word for you to use.

    If you want to change the world, change the people.
    This is best done on a one-to-one basis.

    If you change the people, you change the culture.
    If you try to change the culture, you're imposing rules on people without changing the people. That's my biggest issue with the style of leadership that the Original Post suggested, and my comments should be read in light of that, thank you.

    When you look back over your life as you're finally about to pass on, you're not going to be thinking about mass global leaders... you're going to be recalling the specific individuals in your personal life who made a difference and became part of who you are. You know how different this country might be if parents invested better in their children, and people invested more in their neighbors?

    No, instead we get people with illusions of grandeur who want to force people to do things the way they think are best, and this necessarily creates a blindness and an insensitivity to what needs to actually be done.

    Yes, there are leaders who actually can make things happen on a big scale... but I don't think they are typically the sort of people described in the OP, who seem to have no problem imposing their abstracted ideas on human beings without real regard for the individuality and humanity of the people involved. I still think the best leaders are those who either (1) are not your typical "power wielders" because they have natural sensitivity and restraint OR (2) they have gone through some horrific oppression/crap in their lives, have learned the limits of power, and no longer see it as the end-all, be-all of their existence.

    This is hardly a profound concept.

    Go check out Direction of Disintegration/Integration within the Enneagram, for example -- the "bull in a china shop" Eights basically learn how to restrain their power and view people as people rather than opposition or numbers, in their pursuit of higher enlightenment. And now we're going back in the work of Karen Horney, and Jung, and others.

    The vast majority of individuals in the modern world who wield a large degree of power tend to obtain it through years, if not decades, of back breaking work.
    Some. Although nowadays, we've had far more people "rocketing to fame," so I don't think your comment is as true today as it was in, let's say, the 1950's USA. We also see a lot of irresponsibility in higher level management and allocation of money (e.g., let's not even get started on CEO's who fail at their job walking off with billions in stock options while a quarter of their staff gets laid off.) That sense of being able to wield power over people as if they were numbers, coupled with a sense of entitlement, is again exactly the scenario that leads to these abuses -- a scenario you seem to support.

    That’s part of the reason as to why there are virtually no teen and twenty-something CEOs of large corporations. The only real exception to this rule tend to be authority figures who don’t wield too much power to begin with.
    No, see above. And what is this "back-breaking" work? More likely, it involved equal amounts of self-promotion and schmoozing and getting hooked in with the right people. Frankly, back-breaking work occurs as much or far more on the base level, with all the little people who actually make a corporation run, people who will never reap the same rewards as the guy who wants to be at the top of the pyramid, and yet they do it anyway; and when I've met business leaders I admire and like, they are all aware of that and tout people for their individual commitments.

    The managing fry cook of the local McDonald’s may, for instance, come into power through sheer luck and favoritism, but few people in the modern world end up in any considerable form of power without being “driven to the limits of their strength” multiple times.
    I'm not talking about fry cooks, thank you.

    “Contrived”, though it may be, the experiment has been replicated more than five times since and is regarded as one of the more influential one’s in psychological history.
    Did I say it didn't?

    In any case, my point is that Asch and Milgram don't seem related to this topic. They describe the power of conformity... but the reason people complied in Milgram had a lot of variables that were not mentioned by Lit, he conveniently just generalized the experiment to support the point he wanted to make.

    ... and Asch deals with conformity of answer in groups. If the group is giving the wrong answer, individuals within the group are more likely to agree with it even if it goes against their own perceptions.

    Can you now please explain what that has to do with, in regards to the vague claims of the Original Poster? It certainly can't be the point that people who wield authority with ease and have no issues trying to make the crowd comply are somehow more accurate or better in their perceptions. I'm waiting for one of you to make a connection.

    Meanwhile, I'm still gonna stick with the premise that a lot of the people who want to wield power... and especially those who haven't done "jack" with their lives and yet sit around and "dream of power" (as per the title given this thread by the Original Poster)... are probably not the best people to put in charge.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #38
    Member promethathustra's Avatar
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    So far...you are all NOT talking about Power...least not in the way I perceive same.
    Money=power...please...over what? Fruit and veggies. Political power is an oxymoron...especially in a democracy!

    So what are we talking about?

    Yes. I dreamt of power...Have you defined it? That is the first step. Trust me...when you achieve it, you will wish you could return it...it is a trap!

    Does history accord the impoverished philosophical soul with any grandeur? Do we recall their names and the Empires which have fallen to their ideas of resentimentation, to the religions long forgotten,to the new ideas which have pushed chaos back and formed the New?

    Yet...power is not a toy on the playground of recess in our lives. Only those truly insightful,dedicated and profound souls can truly have (obtain) practical power.
    If OP is looking at dominion in terms of politics...or others in terms of money...the Real POWER is not only unthreatened but doesn't awake from its nap as it goes truly unattacked!

    "What does it avail when nimble smarties or clumsy solid mechanics and empiricists push near them, as is common today, trying with their plebeian ambition to enter the "court of courts." Upon such carpets coarse feet may never step:" Nietzsche
    "This fearless one always is the same in essence,however.He is Holy heresy born stout lacking the ability to cower or break.The Universe is transparent to him." Me

  9. #39
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Who else dreams of rising to power and transforming their country and possibly even the world for the better?
    It's telling that the thread isn't titled "Who else dreams of making the world a better place?"

    Means are not ends.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  10. #40
    Member promethathustra's Avatar
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    Exactly, Morgan!
    "This fearless one always is the same in essence,however.He is Holy heresy born stout lacking the ability to cower or break.The Universe is transparent to him." Me

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