“But where there is danger, there grows also what saves.” Friedrich Hölderlin Attention is our most limited resource. William James proposed…
“Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.” Seneca
Whether it’s using, seeking, circumventing, benefiting from, being subjected to, or railing against it, it’s impossible to deny the influence of power on our lives. We are born powerless, into a structure that demands that we rely on the benevolence of those around us – our parents, our family, our society, our government – and submit to the systems of power in place when and where we’re born.
However, how much power we have, or can potentially have, is more often than not simply a matter of luck. Gender, race, language, preferences – you name it, there are myriad factors out of our control that will determine who holds power, and who does not.
Whether you’re powerful or powerless, there is only one way to avoid its influence: live life as a hermit. But as Aristotle pointed out in Politics, solitude is for beasts and gods, so we have little choice but to deal with it, be it pernicious or benign, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ours or theirs.
If ignored, power will remain lurking in the background, casting a long shadow over our lives. As such, we must shine a spotlight on it, bringing power out into the open so that it might be revealed for what it is.
—Zan Boag, Editor, New Philosopher
Ethics of political power ~ Russell Blackford
Uncontrollable feelings ~ Mariana Alessandri
Money talks ~ André Dao
Systematically lucky ~ Keith Dowding
Ethical dilemmas ~ Matthew Beard
Is knowledge power? ~ Marina Benjamin
Three dimensions of power ~ Steven Lukes
Enfranchisement of women ~ Harriet Taylor Mill
Slaves of men ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley
Ants, life, and spinsterhood ~ Phiona Stanley
13 questions: Hugh Riminton
Strategically incompetent ~ Oliver Burkeman
Underwater psychopath ~ Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore
Machiavellian Office ~ Existential Comics
Somebody’s watching ~ Patrick Stokes
The aim of torture ~ Nigel Warburton
The great morality scam ~ Tim Dean
Hacking power ~ Tom Chatfield
Power scripts ~ Myisha Cherry