the power of corporations... (part 2)

Continuing "The Power of Corporations is the Power of the People":

It seems that what the makers of The Corporation and the OWS protesters are promoting is not a different power, but a redistribution of power. They want the power to be in different hands, more hands. Such a transfer of power is certainly possible. The power of the people has been transferred from the few to the many often throughout history, often after popular uprisings. It has been shifted from the aristocrats to the political parties of the noblemen, and even to the political parties of the “commoner” many times. The power has been shifted from business owners to unions of workers. Through demonstrations and voting, organized people have shifted power out of the hands of kings and CEOs and bankers and owners time and time again.

Yet the power of the people keeps ending up back in the hands of those who dominate. How is that? Why is that?

It's because “the power of the people” is precisely that: the power that comes from people. The power that people can give, that people can muster, the power of their work and their wealth. And people, as we all know from first hand experience, are quite malleable. They can be convinced in any number of ways to contribute their work and wealth, and that convincing doesn't have to be honest or upright to be effective. As we see throughout history, people can be quite effectively organized through deception or threats. The power of the people is available to whoever can gather it, to whoever can get enough people to cooperate or obey, for as long as they can keep that cooperation. That's always been quite tantalizing to those who wish to dominate, and overwhelmingly tempting to whoever has access to that malleable power. The power of the people can be used to dominate because it is the power of human beings, and human beings can be used by other human beings. And if it can be used to dominate, there will always be people who will use it to dominate.

What we need is not “the power of the people” fighting against the power of the corporations, for those powers come from the same source, and always end up looking almost indistinguishable. What we need is a power that is not “of the people.” A power that does not come from malleable people, a power that is not available to whoever can take it, a power that cannot be used to dominate. This is the only power that can truly oppose the power of corporations and nations and every human power.