Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Max Weber on power as institutional

LAW exists when there is a probability that an order will be upheld by a specific staff of men who will use physical or psychical compulsion with the intention of obtaining conformity with the order, or of inflicting sanctions for infringement of it. The structure of every legal order directly influences the distribution of power, economic or otherwise, within its respective community. This is true of all legal orders and not only that of the state. In general, we understand by "power" the chance of a man or of a number of men to realize their own will in a communal action even against the resistance of others who are participating in the action.…
Max Weber
Class, Status, Party
Translated and Edited by H. H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills
Politics, October 1944, pp. 271

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For myself, I prefer a more natural view of Power.

From an Absolute Principle, something that we humans call 'will' or 'purpose' emerges, that creates Consciousness, that evolves - and forms for it to evolve in. From the atom to the ant, to the atom that is a human being, to the atom that is a solar system; all, says the perennial wisdom, is Consciousness evolving in a form.

Man appropriates to himself the creative principle and 'dreams' in his mind, creating his complex and captivating, personal, liberating yet imprisoning, dream-time. Because the human persona is involved and it is not conscious of the Consciousness principle within, we think human affairs are the only reality. We define power in terms of human affairs. That's like ants defining power in reference to what happens in the ant's nest. But 'life' as John Lennon once noted, is what happens to you whilst you are busy making other plans!

Power breathes the whole universe out into being, and inhales it in again; so says the perennial wisdom. Love is an aspect of Power as is Intelligence. The 'purpose' of the human being is to open oneself to them (although it is better stated as to simply enjoy)! Why shouldn't power and love and intelligence be absolutely enjoyable? In fact, their hallmark. That is where Law exists. If this is true, you begin to get an idea how far the human personality has got to go.

Humans make up Rules and Regulations to keep their own behaviour running in a track (or rut – depending upon the cycle). They love to manipulate each other, but hate being manipulated. Black, brown, white, yellow, red, and any colour waiting in the wings – they all hate being manipulated. Freedom is a feeling, a state of being (not a fancy haircut)! Teenage polar bears who dye their fur fluorescent.

We find it hard to imagine that humans affairs could shift as dramatically as the shift between the animal kingdom and the human, making the leap from the human to a truly human Consciousness. Well, once again, that's the view of the perennial wisdom! After looking at the European fiasco and the promises of the political class for human progress, its got much better bona fides than people who lie for a living. These people meditate on money and power all of the time, and it doesn't make any of them happy! So, why should that work for anyone else?