Good or evil? - Political psychology

Good or evil?

So, power is the ability and real opportunity for rulers or people to exert a radical and all-encompassing influence on the activities, behavior, conscience and thoughts of people, and control their destinies. Power is an expression of social relations, which are revealed in the imposition of other people's or communities' social will on their own will. Power differs from physical violence in that it affects the body, soul, mind, subordinates others to the law of one's will. In political science, power is seen as the central, organizational and regulatory control principle of politics.

Is power a blessing or an evil? Here that writes, for example, the domestic explore Boris Didenko: "Power ... About her written mountains of books. It can rightfully be considered one of the "eternal themes", along with themes of love, death, the meaning of life ... And the fact that power is evil is difficult to challenge. It is impossible even to describe in general outline the entire waterfall of misery and grief, which the authorities bring down upon the people. Crimes and injustices committed by the powers that be and equally struggling for power are incalculable. " Didenko poses the question of what is the internal (introspective) psychological picture, the motivational basis for the inhuman behavior of the rulers themselves (rulers, hierarchs, authorities) who, without losing their spiritual comfort, condemn people to adversity and suffering. "Power corrupts man, absolute power corrupts absolutely". Is it possible that any person who has gained power is capable of such "corruption"? Or just some "favorites"?

The ancient thinkers saw in the aspiration to power some kind of human ability, a deep quality. "A man shows authority," wrote Pittak of Mytilene. Old Chinese philosophers linked power with political processes and stressed that it should be moral, for the moral power is stable. At the same time, they showed the manipulative nature of power, coming to the conviction that it's easier to manage stupid people.

"Only moral authority is respected," said the ancient Chinese philosopher Mo-tzu. However, in the history of mankind there are too many examples that show that politics does not agree well with morality. The king of the Israel-Jewish state (circa 950 BC) was called "meek". However, he ruthlessly dealt with the population of the conquered cities. It was this king who commanded everyone, including the elderly, women and children, "to put under the threshers, iron saws and throw them in the kilns." The Roman dictator Sulla (138-78 BC) after the seizure of power made a massacre of six thousand of his opponents. When asked what terrible screams were heard outside the window, he replied: "There are several scoundrels punishing me under my order."

And. Kant believed that power is a human passion. "Indeed," he wrote, "gaining power over the inclinations of other people, in order to manage and dispose of them in accordance with their goals, is almost the same as mastering them as simple tools of their will. Not surprisingly, the desire to have an influence on others becomes a passion. " This ability, according to Kant, contains in itself a threefold power: honor, power and money.

Nietzsche developed a peculiar concept of power, noting that we are used to thinking about the existence of a huge mass of forms compatible with their origin from some unity. "My theory," he wrote, "would say that the will to power is a primitive form of affect, that all other affects are only its modifications." According to Nietzsche, everything is the will to power, except it has no physical, dynamic or psychic power.

Nietzsche's "will to power", therefore, in no way means only "romantic" desire and desire for something else powerless to seize power. The "Will to Power", as it turns out, is the self-authorization of the authorities to transcend itself. Will to power is the designation of the main features of being and the essence of power. True, Nietzsche often says, giving rise to misunderstandings, about the "force". He notes the main feature of being as a will to power. Everything that exists, as it is and is as it is, is the "will to power". If everything is a will to power, then has value is as value only that which is exercised by power in its being.

The most important aspect of the phenomenon of power is its legal provision. In other words, - VS Soloviev wrote, - the law should have in the society of real carriers, powerful enough that the laws issued by them and pronounced judgments could have force compulsory. Such a real representation of law, or such a legally valid legality, is called authority. "

New aspects in the consideration of power were introduced by psychoanalysis. Special attention was given to the anthropological section of psychoanalysis, in other words, they traced the prerequisites of power as a consequence of special mechanisms of the human psyche. The genesis of the relations of domination and subordination researchers of this orientation saw in unconscious strata of the psyche. Thus, CG Jung singled out the complex of power as the sum of all those energies, efforts and ideas that are aimed at the acquisition of personal power. When this complex prevails over the person, all other influences obey it, whether they emanate from other people and external conditions or arise from the person's own impulses, his thoughts and feelings.

However, according to Jung, you can have power and not being a victim of the complex or possessed by a thirst for power. E. Fromm, interpreting the experience of totalitarian regimes, noted that researchers were unable to believe in a person's ability to display such a predisposition to evil, such a thirst for power, disregard for the rights of the weak and such a desire for subordination. Jacques Lacan's psychoanalytic school is entirely focused on learning the language of power as it is born in the unconscious.

The social and philosophical aspect in the definition of power is found in the political semiology of R. Barth, who argued that any depoliticization of the world is carried out for political purposes. It's hard to think of yourself as a "disinterested observer" power, which opens itself up for selfless contemplation. In such a disinterestedness reveals itself, according to Bart, active statement of the contemplative attitude to the world as a value.

The political anthropology of the Austrian writer E. Canetti showed that "the mechanics of power" can be traced both at the level of elementary interpersonal interactions and in institutionalized systems of power. According to Canetti, the phenomena of power and the masses are initially related to each other. The nature of this connection and the concrete forms of its embodiment remain unchanged practically throughout the entire course of human history. The anthropology of power contains sad statements about the prospects for the social and political development of mankind. At the same time, the writer comprehended new forms of relations between power and the masses. The incarnation of the original power impulses turns out to be practically untenable in this context.

The French philosopher M. Foucault considered the genealogy of power. He analyzed specific complexes "authorities - knowledge", power strategies and discursive practices, which in the course of interaction determine certain cognitive approaches to a person. Power, according to Foucault, can not be determined through negative characteristics (suppression, coercion, pressure). It is the different types of power that generate the very reality, and objects of cognition, and rituals of their comprehension. M. Foucault shows that the relations of power impregnate the entire society. They can be found in the school and barracks, the doctor's office and the family.

The modern structure of power, according to Foucault, took shape at the turn of the XVII-XIX centuries. Since then, power is not a privilege of one person, as it was in monarchies, does not have a center, is not a privilege of society. Modern power provides "vigilance", discipline and rationing. So there are certain strategies for managing people. Eloquent illustration of the current government is a prison as a social institution.

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