The politics of Power versus Force

Power versus Force

Power (real authority) is a result of respecting the
will of people, and taking action that derives from their wishes .

Force relies on the threat of violence, or actual violence
to control the behavior of other people.

In the political arena, real power is manifest when
a leader responds to the will of those he/she represents.

Force is the opposite of power. Force puts a figurative
or actual gun to your head and makes you do something
against your will.

On Abortion:

No one wants to “kill babies.” People will sometimes
get an abortion because they believe the fetus is not a
yet a baby.

Power: The parents of a pregnant teen express their wishes,
then ask the young couple what they want to do.

Force: The parents take away the free will choice of their child.

Power: Polls consistently show that the US population supports
Roe v. Wade, and legislation upholds their wishes.

Force: Stack the Supreme Court with minority-view justices to
create an end-run around the people’s vote.

On International Relations:

A rogue nation is threatening its neighbors, and creating
regional instability.

Power: The US cooperates with other nations to order
sanctions against the rogue nation in order to provide
incentives to change their behaviors.

Force: The US unilaterally bombs the offending nation
and sends in troops to occupy their territory.

Can ya smell what I’m cooking here?
Power is real authority to act, based on the will of
the majority of the people.

Force is abuse of people and leads to resentment,
and ever-escalating use of force.


~ by christianliberal on September 14, 2008.

3 Responses to “The politics of Power versus Force”

  1. Great post. Are our leaders around the world exercising their power or their force when implementing their policies? Given that responsible government is built on the idea that the governed give their consent to the governors and elect them to enact their will, going against the will of the people makes a nation like America no better than Zimbabwe. Americans want out of Iraq, Americans want action on global warming, Americans want their government to take care of them.

  2. […] Christian Liberal elaborates the differences between a nation using its power wisely versus using force. […]

  3. What happens when sanctions no longer are effective, which they really are not effective anymore? Look at the history of who is sanctioned and what it actually effectively solved? This is why the U.N. is pretty much pointless because they don’t fulfill their obligation to the world when sanctioning another country. Look at these middle eastern countries and asian countries. The U.N. could effectively help prevent such situations, but doesn’t really do that. I kinda agree with you on this post. I just want to know what you think when this definition of power doesn’t work.

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