In theory, Shaw possessed a manner that should become a sergeant, and perhaps would become a drill sergeant or a Marine Corps public-relations sergeant, but not a combat noncom because under heightened realism any attitude of power must always be accompanied by something that makes the privilege of power pardonable, and Shaw possessed no such rescuing qualifiers. His resentment of people, places, and things was a stifling, sensual thing.–The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon
Tag Archives: Power
Eliminating Inconvenient People
What happened to Maria Halpin next was a cruel injustice straight out of a Charles Dickens novel. Cleveland arranged to have the child forcibly removed from his mother and placed in the Buffalo Orphan Asylum. Maria Halpin was thrown into the Providence Lunatic Asylum, although the facility’s medical director quickly released her after an evaluation, concluding (correctly) that she was not insane and that her incarceration was the result of an abuse of power by political elites.
-Charles Lachman, Grover Cleveland’s Sex Scandal: The Most Despicable in American Political History, The Daily Beast (Jul. 13, 2017)
Might Makes Right
He had a point. The Galactic Order wasn’t necessarily fair; it was about establishing rules that benefited the major members of the order. That’s why they didn’t interfere with the slavery on Charoth, and it was probably why they have allowed Despona to be exploited by the Jarks and others. Tamara herself could empathize. After all, she was employed by the mercenary Red before being captured and enslaved. “I supposed might makes right,” she agreed, pausing to think. “But is war the only option?”
He grunted again. “It doesn’t have to be war, but without a strong military and without a powerful financial industry, you are left looking up to the rich rather than staring them in the eyes.”
–Doom Sayer by Thane Keller
Books are Fragile
But books are so fragile. Paper and leather and wood cannot stand up to fire or water or time.
And there is one thing I know is true in this world: only what is remembered survives. Only what is written has a chance in the future. People forget. Rivers rise. Stories and songs are snuffed out every time some town takes a fever or loses to a man with a little power.
Destruction is common. Creation is rare.
Because I know this truth, I must do two things. First, I must collect and keep as many pieces of record and evidence as I can, to ensure that they do not pass out of this world. Second, I must write my own record so that it survives. I must write the people in my life into the record as well, just as the Midwife did, so that they survive, too. I sometimes do as she did, putting the book into their hands. I write it for them. I did it more when I was younger. I trusted too much then.
–The Book of Flora (The Road to Nowhere 3) by Meg Elison
I thought how there was a kind of power in being needed. In having a purpose. I could feel it hardening up my bones and thickening my blood.
–Tell the Wolves I’m Home
Fashion Does Not Equal Power
Tonglong was wearing the ceremonial white jade armor traditionally reserved for China’s rightful ruler, and holding a white jade sword of similar significance. He glowed like a beacon in the bright moonlight, and seemed to think that his outfit should make the Forbidden City forces bow at his feet. It did not.
The Five Ancestors Book 7: Dragon by Jeff Stone
The Power of Insults
When we sat down a week later to sweet teas at a local Starbucks, I asked Madonna what she loved about Limbaugh. “His criticism of ‘femi-nazis,’ you know, feminists, women who want to be equal to men.” I absorbed that for a moment. Then she asked what I thought, and after I answered, she remarked, “But you’re nice . . .” From there, we went through Limbaugh’s epithets (“commie libs,” “environmental wackos”). Finally, we came to Madonna’s basic feeling that Limbaugh was defending her against insults she felt liberals were lobbing at her: “Oh, liberals think that Bible-believing Southerners are ignorant, backward, rednecks, losers. They think we’re racist, sexist, homophobic, and maybe fat.” Her grandfather had struggled as a desperately poor Arkansas sharecropper. She was a gifted singer, beloved by a large congregation, a graduate of a two-year Bible college, and a caring mother of two. In this moment, I began to recognize the power of blue-state catcalls taunting red state residents. Limbaugh was a firewall against liberal insults thrown at her and her ancestors, she felt. Was the right-wing media making them up to stoke hatred, I wondered, or were there enough blue-state insults to go around? The next time I saw Madonna, she was interested to know if it had been hard for me to hear what she’d said. I told her it wasn’t. “I do that too sometimes,” she said, “try to get myself out of the way to see what another person feels.”
–Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild
I suggest you take a page from Jane’s book. Seize the day. Go out there and do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Don’t sit around hoping that someone’s going to notice that you’re missing. Invisibility can be an impediment or a power depending on what you decide to do with it.
–Calling Invisible Women
Importance is Relative
“It’s easier to matter less. To just be what you are—one tiny person who doesn’t really affect huge things like this.”
“You don’t think one person matters?”
I tentatively slide my hand down her spine to settle against her hip. “Maybe everybody can matter that much to at least one other person.
–Gold Runner: A Novella of Goblins, Theft, and Teenage Gods (United States of Asgard) by Tessa Gratton
“It is empowering to believe we can stay in good health by making the right choices in lifestyle. It is equally empowering, however, to realize that these choices also extend to the natural world, the environment.”
–Animal, Mineral, Radical: Essays on Wildlife, Family, and Food