Power to the People

I quite enjoy being powerless. Much more comfortable. And fun.

What’s more, nothing you say can nor will be used against you in a court of social capital.

Let’s hear it for power-free humanism!


About enkerli

French-speaking ethnographer, homeroaster, anthropologist, musician, coffee enthusiast. View all posts by enkerli

8 responses to “Power to the People

  • enkerli

    You know me. I’m an idealist.

  • Yara El-Ghadban

    The question is not to let go of power or not, but when to let go … Eventually we all have ot let go of power because power corrupts, but for the time being I think what we need is to take away power from those who have it right now because they’re putting it to really bad use and in order to do that we need … power.

    How depressing


  • Alexandre Enkerli

    Nice exchange, here.
    I could have elaborated my views but my posts tend to be long and this one was more of a direct reaction to a specific stimulus ending up in a realisation: power is just not what I want or need.
    I don’t see myself as lazy and I do see myself as quite passionate. Because I was given some elements of power, climbing on the empowerment ladder would be easier than doing what I’m frequently doing: letting it go.
    BTW, it took a lot for my father, son of a cleaning lady, to go to university.

  • Marko

    I must say that I unfortunately disagree unless I am misunderstanding ‘powerless’.

    Individual people have a lot of power, we are not powerless we are just lazy. It takes effort to change what we don’t like and it’s so much easier just to watch T.V.

    In fact, the Simpsons are on now so beer and T.V for me.

  • Yara El-Ghadban

    I think of power, first and foremost, as being free. Freedom, true freedom is very empowering, but to attain freedom, in other words the freedom to be powerless if you chose to be, you need to have a lot of means … social means, economic means, cultural means, linguistics means and ofcourse, political means.

    It’s the same thing with cosmopolitanism. If we think of “traditional” ideas on cosmopolitanism, the only true cosmopolitan individual is the one who has the money and the right passport for it. Some are trying to subvert this notion which is quite elitist by talking about “rooted” cosmopolitanism (Appiah) and discrepant cosmopolitanisms (Abu-Lughod) … but I’m not sure how much that really changes the reality of cosmopolitanism. Being an egyptian village girl exposed to Western tourists and capable of navigating through different discourses to get the most out of them doesn’t change the fact that the village girl remains heavily dependant on the generousity of these tourists and on them viewing her as the exotic Indigène. Sams thing with “rooted” cosmopolitanism. Appiah who holds most probably double-citizenship and has the moeny and name recognition to establish a home for himslef in any country he chooses, can easily speak of rooted cosmopolitanism. I’m not sure illegal refugees selling their organ for a passport in Britain feel the same way.

    But I’m deviating here … I’m reading the literature on the subject now so I can’t help going there.

    To go back to power. I think that on many levels, I am very much empowered, but it took two generations before me to get to this point. It would be unethical I think for me personally to let any of it go ( but hey may be I’m just being presumptious).

    The idea of volontary powerlessness is quite poetic and noble. If only the US could take some of that medecin.

  • enkerli

    Yes, I did think about that. But my conclusions are different in part because my view of power is quite different from the one that most social scientists seem to be using.

  • Yara El-Ghadban

    OK, this might sound harsh but you know me 😉

    Only people who already have power can afford to be powerless, don’t you think?


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