of struggle and sacrifice that ultimately floods the ramparts of oppression when, and if power. But power relies on the control of communication, as counterpower .. a relationship is always reciprocal, in power relationships there is always. differentiation of capacities, reciprocal coordination in relation to apparatuses or tasks. Lastly, the disciplines have to bring into play the power relations, not. Civil pro-independence associations are playing an increasingly .. reciprocal relationship between civil movements and institutional action in.
Some people become influential even though they don't overtly use powerful behavior. Power as a Relational Concept: Power exists in relationships. The issue here is often how much relative power a person has in comparison to one's partner. Partners in close and satisfying relationships often influence each other at different times in various arenas. Power as Resource Based: Power usually represents a struggle over resources. The more scarce and valued resources are, the more intense and protracted are power struggles.
The scarcity hypothesis indicates that people have the most power when the resources they possess are hard to come by or are in high demand. However, scarce resource leads to power only if it's valued within a relationship. The person with less to lose has greater power in the relationship. Dependence power indicates that those who are dependent on their relationship or partner are less powerful, especially if they know their partner is uncommitted and might leave them.
According to interdependence theory, quality of alternatives refers to the types of relationships and opportunities people could have if they were not in their current relationship.
The principle of least interest suggests that if a difference exists in the intensity of positive feelings between partners, the partner who feels the most positive is at a power disadvantage.
There's an inverse relationship between interest in relationship and the degree of relational power. Power as Enabling or Disabling: Power can be enabling or disabling. Research[ citation needed ] has been shown that people are more likely to have an enduring influence on others when they engage in dominant behavior that reflects social skill rather than intimidation. People who communicate through self-confidence and expressive, composed behavior tend to be successful in achieving their goals and maintaining good relationships.
Change the World without Taking Power ? - Le site de Daniel Bensaïd
Power can be disabling when it leads to destructive patterns of communication. This can lead to the chilling effect where the less powerful person often hesitates to communicate dissatisfaction, and the demand withdrawal pattern which is when one person makes demands and the other becomes defensive and withdraws mawasha, Both effects have negative consequences for relational satisfaction.
Power as a Prerogative: The prerogative principle states that the partner with more power can make and break the rules. Powerful people can violate norms, break relational rules, and manage interactions without as much penalty as powerless people.
These actions may reinforce the powerful person's dependence power. In addition, the more powerful person has the prerogative to manage both verbal and nonverbal interactions.
They can initiate conversations, change topics, interrupt others, initiate touch, and end discussions more easily than less powerful people. See expressions of dominance. Rational choice framework[ edit ] Game theorywith its foundations in the Walrasian theory of rational choiceis increasingly used in various disciplines to help analyze power relationships. One rational choice definition of power is given by Keith Dowding in his book Power.
In rational choice theory, human individuals or groups can be modelled as 'actors' who choose from a 'choice set' of possible actions in order to try to achieve desired outcomes. An actor's 'incentive structure' comprises its beliefs about the costs associated with different actions in the choice set, and the likelihoods that different actions will lead to desired outcomes.
In this setting we can differentiate between: This framework can be used to model a wide range of social interactions where actors have the ability to exert power over others. For example, a 'powerful' actor can take options away from another's choice set; can change the relative costs of actions; can change the likelihood that a given action will lead to a given outcome; or might simply change the other's beliefs about its incentive structure.
As with other models of power, this framework is neutral as to the use of 'coercion'. Cultural hegemony[ edit ] In the Marxist tradition, the Italian writer Antonio Gramsci elaborated the role of ideology in creating a cultural hegemonywhich becomes a means of bolstering the power of capitalism and of the nation-state.
The back end, the beast, represented the more classic, material image of power, power through coercion, through brute force, be it physical or economic. But the capitalist hegemony, he argued, depended even more strongly on the front end, the human face, which projected power through 'consent'. In Russia, this power was lacking, allowing for a revolution.
However, in Western Europe, specifically in Italycapitalism had succeeded in exercising consensual power, convincing the working classes that their interests were the same as those of capitalists. In this way revolution had been avoided. While Gramsci stresses the significance of ideology in power structures, Marxist-feminist writers such as Michele Barrett stress the role of ideologies in extolling the virtues of family life.
The classic argument to illustrate this point of view is the use of women as a ' reserve army of labour '. In wartime it is accepted that women perform masculine tasks, while after the war the roles are easily reversed.
Therefore, according to Barrett, the destruction of capitalist economic relations is necessary but not sufficient for the liberation of women. He shows that power over an individual can be amplified by the presence of a group. If the group conforms to the leader's commands, the leader's power over an individual is greatly enhanced while if the group does not conform the leader's power over an individual is nil.
Foucault[ edit ] For Michel Foucaultthe real power will always rely on the ignorance of its agents. No single human, group nor single actor runs the dispositif machine or apparatus but power is dispersed through the apparatus as efficiently and silently as possible, ensuring its agents to do whatever is necessary. It is because of this action that power is unlikely to be detected that it remains elusive to 'rational' investigation. This milieu both artificial and natural appears as a target of intervention for power according to Foucault which is radically different from the previous notions on sovereignty, territory and disciplinary space inter woven into from a social and political relations which function as a species biological species.
He writes, "A body is docile that may be subjected, used, transformed and improved. Instead of using corporeal punishment in order to convince people to adhere to the laws of the day, Foucault says power becomes internalized during this period.
Instead of watching someone be drawn and quartered in a public space, political power is exerted on individuals in a way that compels them to obey laws and rules on their own - without this show of force. He builds on the ideas of Jeremy Bentham regarding the Panopticon in which prison inmates are compelled to behave and control themselves because they might be in the view of the prison guard.
The physical shape of the Panopticon creates a situation in which the prison guard need not be present for this to happen, because the mere possibility of the presence of the guard compels the prisoners to behave. Foucault takes this theory and makes it generalize to everyday life. He claims that this kind of surveillance is constant in modern society, and the populous at large enacts it.
Power (social and political)
Therefore, everyone begins to control themselves and behave according to society's rules and norms. Feminist philosophers took up Foucault's ideas regarding docile bodies and applied them to the different ways men and women are socialized to use their bodies. Holloway thinks he has the answer. Changing the world by means of the state thus constituted in his eyes the dominant paradigm of revolutionary thought, which was subjected from the 19th century on to an instrumental, functional vision of the state.
The illusion that society could be changed by means of the state flowed Holloway says from a certain idea of state sovereignty. This state must not be confused in fact with power. The state is thus very precisely what the word suggests: It is not a thing that can be laid hold of in order to turn it against those who have controlled it until now, but rather a social form, or, more accurately, a process of formation of social relations: Claiming to struggle by means of the state thus leads inevitably to defeating oneself.
The Zapatista challenge by contrast consists of saving the revolution from the collapse of the statist illusion and at the same time from the collapse of the illusion of power. He thus presents an imaginary Zapatismo as something absolutely innovative, haughtily ignoring the fact that the actually existing Zapatista discourse bears within it, albeit without knowing it, a number of older themes.
The vicious circle of fetishism, or, How to get out of it? On this subject Holloway provides a useful, though sometimes quite sketchy, reminder. Capital is nothing other than past activity dead labour congealed in the form of property. Thinking in terms of property comes down however to thinking of property as a thing, in the terms of fetishism itself, which means in fact accepting the terms of domination. The problem does not derive from the fact that the capitalists own the means of production: The concept, says Holloway, refers to the unbearable horror constituted by the self-negation of the act.
He thinks that Capital is devoted above all to developing the critique of this self-negation. This fetishism worms its way into all the pores of society to the point that the more urgent and necessary revolutionary change appears, the more impossible it seems to become. Holloway sums this up in a deliberately disquieting turn of phrase: This presentation of fetishism draws on several different sources: The concept of fetishism expresses for Holloway the power of capital exploding in our deepest selves like a missile shooting out a thousand coloured rockets.
It makes the status of critique itself problematic: And who, what superior and privileged beings, are the critics? In short, is critique itself still possible? These solutions lead ineluctably to the problematic of a healthy subject or a champion of justice fighting against a sick society: Is criticism still possible?
Who are we then to wield the corrosive power of critique?
And how can we avoid the dead end of a subaltern critique that remains under the ascendancy of the fetish that it is claiming to overthrow, inasmuch as negation implies subordination to what it negates?
Holloway puts forward several solutions: Today postmodernist rhetoric accompanies this form of resignation with its lesser chamber music. He thinks this process is in fact pregnant with its contrary: We are not mere objectified victims of capital, but actual or potential antagonistic subjects: Capitalism should be understood above all as separation from the subject and from the object, and modernity as the unhappy consciousness of this divorce.
Within the problematic of fetishism the subject of capitalism is not the capitalist himself but the value that is valorised and becomes autonomous. Capitalists are nothing more than loyal agents of capital and of its impersonal despotism. But then for a functionalist Marxism capitalism appears as a closed, internally consistent system without any possible exit, at least until the arrival of the deus ex machina, the great miraculous moment of revolutionary upheaval.
In this perspective labour, as the active element of capital, always determines capitalist development by means of class struggle. To conclude provisionally on this point, we should acknowledge the service John Holloway has done in putting the question of fetishism and reification back in the heart of the strategic enigma.
We need nonetheless to note the limited novelty of his argument. Emphasising the close connection between the processes of fetishisation and anti-fetishisation, Holloway, after many detours, brings us once more to the contradiction of the social relationship that manifests itself in class struggle. Like Chairman Mao, he makes clear nonetheless that since the terms of the contradiction are not symmetrical, the pole of labour forms its dynamic, determinant element.
Questioning the status of his own critique, Holloway fails to escape from the paradox of the sceptic who doubts everything except his own doubt.
Implicitly an intellectual elite, a kind of vanguard, Holloway admits. For once the choice has been made to dispense with or relativise class struggle, the role of the free-floating intellectual paradoxically emerges reinforced.
Decidedly, taking fetishism seriously does not make it easier to dispose of the old question of the vanguard, whatever word you use for it.
Change the World without Taking Power ?
Holloway admits that this approach may not seem very realistic. While the experiences that inspire him have not aimed at taking power, neither have they — so far — succeeded in changing the world.
This certainty, however peremptory it may be, hardly brings us much further. How to change the world without taking power? At the end of the book, as at the beginning, we do not know. The Leninists know, or used to know. Revolutionary change is more desperately urgent than ever, but we do not know any more what revolution means We have lost all certainty, but the openness of uncertainty is central to revolution.
We ask not only because we do not know the way So here we are at the heart of the debate. On the threshold of the new millennium, we no longer know what future revolutions will be like. But we know that capitalism will not be eternal, and that we urgently need to cast it off before it crushes us. This is the first meaning of the idea of revolution: We also know — after the political revolutions that gave birth to the modern nation-state, and after the trials ofthe Commune and the defeated revolutions of the 20th century — that the revolution will be social or it will not be.
This is the second meaning that the word revolution has taken on, since the Communist Manifesto. But on the other hand, after a cycle of mostly painful experiments, we have difficulty imagining the strategic form of revolutions to come. It is this third meaning of the word that escapes our grasp. This is not terribly new: Have so many beliefs and certainties vanished in mid-career since the Russian Revolution? Let us concede this although I am not so sure of the reality of these certainties now so generously attributed to the credulous revolutionaries of yesteryear.
This is no reason to forget the often dearly paid lessons of past defeats and the negative evidence of past setbacks. Those who thought they could ignore state power and its conquest have often been its victims: And those who thought they could dodge it, avoid it, get around it, invest it or circumvent it without taking it have too often been thrashed by it. But did they ever, beginning with Lenin himself, claim to possess this doctrinaire knowledge that Holloway attributes to them?
History is more complicated than that. In politics there can only be one kind of strategic knowledge: The necessity of a hypothesis in no way prevents us from knowing that future experiences will always have their share of unprecedented, unexpected aspects, obliging us to correct it constantly.
Renouncing any claim to dogmatic knowledge is thus not a sufficient reason to start from scratch and ignore the past, as long as we guard against the conformism that always threatens tradition even revolutionary tradition.
While waiting for new founding experiences, it would in fact be imprudent to frivolously forget what two centuries of struggles — from June to the Chilean and Indonesian counter-revolutions, by way of the Russian Revolution, the German tragedy and the Spanish Civil War — have so painfully taught us. Until today there has never been a case of relations of domination not being torn asunder under the shock of revolutionary crises: In the end no crisis has ever turned out well from the point of view of the oppressed without resolute intervention by a political force whether you call it a party or a movement carrying a project forward and capable of taking decisions and decisive initiatives.
No doubt we must learn to do without them.