On Power and Freedom

This post only expresses the opinion of the author

Freedom is the ability to decide on your own destiny and that of your belongings. Power is the ability to decide on the destiny and property of others. The exercise of power over a third party shows a loss of freedom on the part of the later. Power and freedom are therefore two sides of the same coin. The greater the power hold over you, the lesser your freedom. If there are a few in society that have a lot of power, this implies that others have very little freedom.

We can call capital everything that increases if it is properly invested. If those who have power invest it properly in acquiring more power, it increases. Power is therefore a form of capital.

Monetary capital is of course the fundamental form of that power and the rules governing monetary exchanges are in reality a normalization of exchanges of power and a tool designed for power to be multiplied in the hands of those who hold most, to the detriment of the freedom of others.

Information is also another form of capital. You can invest the information you have you have into acquiring more, or waste it. Democratic legality is undoubtedly another example of capitalizable good, since a state that invests it properly will foster the conditions that favour democracy. It can be strengthened and extended. Democracy, like money or power, can be wasted and ruined. It depends on how we use it.

Freedom is undoubtedly the most important form of capital in our lives. You are free to use the little freedom you have been left to achieve more freedom or use it to lock yourself in a room and throw the key away. In order to see your real freedom increase, in order to live free from the prison of fear, in a place where the streets at night do not imply danger, it is necessary to live in a fair and egalitarian world, it is necessary to contribute to the freedom of others and to make sure each citizen holds only as much power as the ret of society requires. The best way to achieve this is undoubtedly a vigorous democracy where decisions are taken for the common good according to the designs of the majority.

You can choose to use the little freedom that you still enjoy, which is really not too much, in building a democracy that guarantees your personal freedom and your right to hope for a better life. You can also invest that freedom in blindly playing your part in the great game that the world powers have put in place in order to sustain themselves by taking possession of our time and channeling our needs and desires to increase their own benefit.

Invest your freedom in acquiring freedom. You will see, if you do it wisely, that this produces great profits, although that freedom undoubtedly has a cost, since it has to be protected, taken care of. The price of your freedom is your commitment to participate in the democratic process, but you can chose how you do it, there are many ways.

If we choose correctly how to invest our freedom the power of money will be reduced in relation with the value of people. Our lives would be worth more, selfish plots less.

Salud, paz y democracia.
Pj

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3 thoughts on “On Power and Freedom

  1. Hey Pedro,
    thanks for your article and I really like your conclusion.
    But I have to admit I can´t really submit to you initial arguments. I do not mean to start a discussion that is highly embedded in established philosophical discourse, still to me your initial definitions, especially the one of freedom appear kind of vague.
    Could you please explain in more detail, where you see the connection between freedom and power in a sense that allows its mutual dependence on each other?
    For me this is not necessarily given. Only because A exercises power over B, for example forcing him to buy ice cream, this would not necessarily imply that B will actually buy the ice cream as there are always a multiplicity of possible options to choose from (e.g. to resist).
    So where do you see the relation of when power is being spent, it will necessarily always be spent on the expense of the freedom of others?
    Still, really enjoyed your article.
    Looking forward to your response,
    Hyde

    Like

  2. There may be a language issue here.
    When I use the word “decide” I mean to determine by will. I.e I only have power over you if my decision to make you buy an ice cream does result in you buying the icecream. Power over you means that you finally buy the ice cream on spite of your will to resist. Otherwise I do not “decide” over your destiny, I have no have power, I just desire or strive for it.
    Power can be spent, wasted or invested. I can waste my power in making you kill me, spend it on building a hospital or invest it in rising an army.
    Finally, these are figures of speech, I did not intend this to be rigurous but to convey a practical idea about how we live our lives.
    Pedrojuán

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  3. Hey Pedrojuán,
    thank you for your quick response. I guess I understand your point better now. I have read the notion of power rather as a potential that can be exercised, but on the other hand countervailed from another, opposing potential of power. So hadn´t understood it as an absolute value.
    Thanks again for your message.
    Cheers,
    Hyde

    Like

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