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Lesson Number 2A Mode} of Power POWER AS A TYPE OF INFLUENCE
Two boys named A1 and Bill are-hanging around downtown. We quote:
A1: How about going over to that Republican campaign office and loading up on those matches they give away?
Bill: You mean the kind with Garfinkle on them? A1: Yeah. Bill: Who needs them? A1: We're not doing anything here.
Bill: Hey, wasn't that chick Alice coming to see your sister this afternoon? A1: Yeah.
Bill: You know, she turns me on. Let's go find her.
A1: OK. We can stop on the way for the matches. Last time I got a whole year's supply. Bill: OK.1 This, friends, is an illustration of influence.
Al has influence over Bill in any transaction in which Al determines Billis policy regarding something.
1. Al has a rather common motive; he's in politics for what it does for him, but he is like a bee that alights on a flower and while sticking its
proboscis into the nectar gets its feet sticky with pollen, so that when it flits to the next flower,
the bee's feet do the job for the flower that autolocomotion and other sexual organs do for other species.
Similarly, Al is doing Garfinkle's job willy-nilly.
Note the following:Transaction means that an exchange of some kind is~occurring,
ranging from mute subjection to an equal exchange of influences.
In the hypothetical example given, Al tries at first unsuccessfully to influence Bill to go along to pick up the matches
(Transaction no. 1). Bill (apparently nearly an equal) responds with his own initiative of a different kind
(Transaction no. 2). Al cleverly combines Bill's motive with his own, and, in
Transaction no. 3, influences Bill to go after the matches after all, but in the exchange has to spend time with his sister.
The word determines here means only that the initiative, formulation, and pressure to perform the
Transactions (nos. 1 and 3) rest with Al, not Bill. Moreover, Bill, a free agent, influences Al in
Transaction no. 2. Let's face it: Al and Bill are manipulators. A., When we say policy we mean "a course of action pursued."
It can be an action, a response, etc. "Policy'' usually means a group's action or plan or response, but we can use it
loosely here in Order to retain the word later on in talking about both individuals and groups.
Policy demonstrates some value, some direction, some object (the matchès in Transactions nos.
1 and 3; Alice in Transaction no. 2). If this is influence, what then is powers Power is a special kind of influence.
Power is compulsory influence.
Suppose Al has muscle, has used it in times past on Billj and, in the dialogue that we have overheard is simply
taking it easy; he does not use his power unless he has to and in certain showdowns. Al and Bill do not speak of it,
but behind the seeming near-equality is the knowledge that somehow or other Al will get those matches and Bill will go along.
THIS IS A POWER TRANSACTION, then, despite the gentlemanly nature of the exchange. Power becomes part of each of the
transactions as a hidden forced In other words, power stands for influence that can be enforced, if necessary.
Suppose Bill is influenced by Alice's beauty; he becomes excited. But if she says, "Love me, baby," he may turn off,
and there is nothing she can do about it. However, if Alice were the Roman empress Theodosia, she might say,
"Love me, Wilhelminus," and he had better love her, or else . . . ! That is power.3 2. Interesting, isn't it, that human
beings are so subtle as to conceal all kinds of motives and realities when necessary? Animals are much more direct
(and stupid?), but you can understand why some people prefer dogs; their motives are usually clearly expressed.
This all makes the sciences of man (psychology, anthropology, sociology, economics, history, aesthetics, philosophy,
and political science) much more difficult than sciences about rocks, machines, and "lower animals." 3. One could go on about
this. Suppose Wilhelminus thinks "when rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it," but fear makes him impotent (preview:
some power-driven people are sexually impotent because the same early fears that made them seek power as a compensation and
reassurance made them sexually impotent). So he is axed, anyway. His situation is comparable to that of thousands of
Vietnamese civilians who have heard a loudspeaker from an American helicopter telling them, "Abandon your village.
It is coming under fire!" They would have liked to have done so, but the local Viet Cong was telling them,
"Stay put and pass the ammunition!" Which brings up another proposition: Power on the spot is more effective than
distant power, even if the distance can be covered in only minutes.
THE SPAN OF INFLUENCE In Al's and Bill's transactions there exists a situation where two persons and their interests
are directly involved. Each one feels that he should "make up the other fellow's mind for him,"
or "keep his freedom of choice" against the other party. But what is happening to Al and Bill affects
third parties—the Republican party, the public, the matches manufacturer, Alice, ánd Al's sister, to mention a few.
All are directly related to the power or influence transactions and many others are indirectly related.
That is, power and influence here are relevant to many parties other than those directly involved.
The competence of a pure and applied political scientist depends heavily upon his ability to see all who are
connected with an event or an action.
THE PAYOFF OF POWER What are the motives behind peoples' actions? Why do people seek power? Or anything else? We begin with
a trip into "philosophical psychology." Here is a formula to remember: assimilate A person (Al or Bill, for example) seeks
to experience some combination 1. power 2. wealth 3. respect 4. affection 5. health 6. knowledge in relation to
To Assimilate First, one seeks to assimilate—to take into oneself, make a part of oneself, hold securely.
It is the developing of the mine, the ours. All the senses are used for the process of injecting stimuli,
transubstantiating the stimuli into a part of oneself. Just as the food I eat becomes a part of my body, so those things
which I see, hear, smell, feel, and taste affect and become part of nay spiritual being. But spiritual here does not imply ghosts or gods—rather it refers to that aspect of me that is not physical but is nonetheless vital. Its absence means death.
Despite the fact that I am constantly assimilating, and hence constantly changing, I do not assimilate everything in the world;
there is a distinction between the me and the non-me. For some people the me is narrowly restricted, encompassing little more
than the individual physiological beings. Fòr others the me is much broader; there are a few who proclaim "I amidst one with
the world," a Buddhist kind of idea meaning that whatever happens to any living (and in some cases nonliving) thing happens
to oneself. This type of person has assimilated the entire world; everything is a part of his or her identity; for such
a person there is no non-me, only me.The boundary between oneself and others is often somewhat cloudy.
Note the interminable casualty reports in war: AMERICANS—16 DEAD, 37 MISSING OR WOUNDED; THE OTHERS—SOUTH VIETNAMESE,
394 DEAD, 1964 MISSING OR WOUNDED; Enemy, 3772 Dead, 6010 Wounded; Civilfans (Try to Find Out); elephants and freest).
The self of many people to a degree 4. If you wish, you can use another term, perhaps one of the following: value, goal,
end, end-in-mind, ~ intention, plan, design, purpose, proposal, object, objective, subject, aim, target, quintain,
or point. Payoff i is rather fashionable among psychologists, economists, and political scientists.
assimilates their "own boys" and assimilates others to lesser and lesser degrees. If that is scandalous, there is the equally
scandalous condition of a great many people who don't even assimilate "our boys." To Experience Now, second, a person seeks
to experience. People quest, create, invent, "expand their horizons." They attempt to know more about their environmeet.
The stimuli that are assimilated into the me are not the only ones that have any effect on the individual.
The majority of the people are not "at one with the world," and yet the world is still significant to them.
The way that the world (i.e., the non-me) is experienced is closely related to the things that are assimilated into the me.
For example, Casanova was a loving man; he assimilated the trait of loving into his being; the me of Casanova involved
the process of loving women. What he experienced was many women; if you skip several chapters of his Memoirs, you can be fairly
certain when you return to the book that he will still be chasing women. You'll find him, like Bill, making trade-offs
of power, wealth, and prestige in return for affection (as he defines it). The drive to experience and expand leads one
into many areas, often at some expense to one's material and/or spiritual possessions. For some it leads to religious
encounters and consciousness-expanding drugs. One cannot statically remain "just oneself." Assimilating leads to a
consciousness of the me, a sense of integrity, but "genuine vital integrity does not consist in satisfaction, in attainment,
in arrival. As Cervantes said long since: 'The road is always better than the inn.' 5. José Ortega y Gasset,
The FTevo/t of the Masses (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1932), 32.
To Adjust Now, third, a person seeks to adjust. To adjust means broadly to bring the "selfish" and the "nonselfish" into
balance in the "soul." The problem of adjustment is that what one is often does not coincide with what one wants to do and
what one does in the way of new experience. We have said that experience is related to assimilation, but the relationship is
often not pure and direct. There are conflicting characteristics within the me leading to conflicting desires. When one desire
is acted upon, the contrary desire must be dealt with. Adjustment aims to make that which is assimilated (the me) and the
experience compatible. Adjustment makes your Identity whom you own, body and soul, compatible with your Identity
"Mark ''"—that which you would like to possess as your identity. In politics adjustment means creating a proper
correspondence between those groups that you belong to and thy groups that you wish let influence. It means defending
your own against the claims of others to influence you and defending what you wish to do. Political adjustment stops
certain actions and permits. others to occur, according to the laws and courts. Giving everyone his or her day in court;
equality before the law; and the rights needed to defend what he or she is, owns, and has made—these are specific
illustrations of institutions of law created to satisfy the requirements of adjustment. 6. Freud modified his trilogy late
in life, as did Plato. So you can figure how much you can rely on this author sticking to his trilogy!
CATEGORIZING PAYOFFS Now, the things that are possessed, expanded, and adjusted are the payoffs. These can be divided into six
broad categories, as follows: POWER: A person's drives are power-cantered if he prefers his payoffs to be an increased ability
to determine (and enforce) the policies of other people. WEALTH: Here the preference is for payoffs in economic assets. RESPECT:
Fame and regard given by others are the preferred payoffs here. AFFECTION: One seeking the many forms and tokens of affection
has love-cantered drives. HEALTH: Here one seeks physical and mental well-being. KNOWLEDGE: One seeks skills and information
about human and natural conditions as payoffs for knowledge-cantered drives. It is alarming to.see all people's desires so
simplified. It raises serious questions: Why this Holy Six? Why not add two, take away four, split one, or throw the whole
classification away? ANSWER NO. 1. Because you cannot talk about millions of human actions in the concrete as if they
were all unique and different, even though they are! Confess it, the only way you can think and communicate is by generiè
words. When several preadolescents get together and one utters the word "parents!" the "ughs!" that arise spontaneously
from the assembled primitives show that some important general meaning is being conveyed, although the specific image varies
somewhat from one "ugh!" to another. (Meanwhile, the parents, no less primitive though outraged by their own inferior status
and their being lumped together, are blowing the foam off their beer and saying "Politicians! Ugh! ") So we settle on the "Holy Six,"
to reduce all actions to something manageable yet still meaningful. ANSWER NO. 2. You can add or subtract or amend as you please, but
tr to be useful. Don't add money, because we are cramming it into wealth. Don't add influence, because we are already using that term to
describe a factor in the power transaction between two people—and, besides, influence can always be categorized under
poweror respect, depending on the situation. These terms have to be general and cover broad areas of human concern.
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