Power is the main concern in political thought, theory and events – contemporary and historical. The balance of power between states is supposed to be essential, however we can clearly see an imbalance or even extreme polarity in the custodian(s) of power on the world political stage.
*power |ˈpou(-ə)r| (n.)
- the ability to do something.
- the ability to influence people or events.
- the right or authority to do something.
- Political authority or control.
- A country seen as having international influence and military strength.
Post-war realist H.J Morgenthau aptly describes power as;
“Man’s control over the minds and actions of other men.” (1948)
He goes on to say;
“Power is a relational concept, one does not exercise power in a vacuum but in relation to another entity.”
Other relevant power quotes;
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln
“Power is my mistress. I have worked too hard at her conquest to allow anyone to take her away from me.” Napoleon Bonaparte
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” Alice Walker, author.
“Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat.” John Lehman, Secretary of the US Navy, 1981-1987
Robert F. Kennedy (1964)
Malcolm X (1965)
Woodrow Wilson (1913)
*definition taken from the Oxford conscise dictionary