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the_anatomy_of_power [2008/11/08 04:29]
dan
the_anatomy_of_power [2008/11/08 12:00] (current)
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 A feudal lord's power was more predominantly property in source and condign in mechanism, although he also provided compensation to those who worked his land and benefited from a significant implicit conditioning affirming his right to rule.  Personality was certainly of great importance in the more successful secular figures, those who were able to increase the stock of property that they commanded. A feudal lord's power was more predominantly property in source and condign in mechanism, although he also provided compensation to those who worked his land and benefited from a significant implicit conditioning affirming his right to rule.  Personality was certainly of great importance in the more successful secular figures, those who were able to increase the stock of property that they commanded.
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 ===== The Emergence of Capitalism ===== ===== The Emergence of Capitalism =====
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 In the principle trading centres (Amsterdam, Bruges, Venice) the interests of merchant capitalism and that of the state were essentially one and the same; in other areas there was an ongoing conflict between feudal and mercantilist interests. ​ Merchants also derived their power principally from property, although in their case this property was embodied in inventory, transport infrastructure (particularly shipping) and specie rather than the land of the feudal system. ​ Their principal source of power was compensatory,​ which they used to command the labour of craftsmen and artisans and those they needed to manage the navigation of their shipping. ​ Personality was far less important than in the feudal case.  Organisation became increasingly important as the period progressed, as chartered companies came to be necessary to manage long-distance transit, and gradually to increase in size and power. ​ Chartered companies, as they became more substantial,​ gained access to increasing quantities of condign power, to protect their own shipping and dominate areas of land important to the pursuit of their commerce. ​ Companies such as the East India and Hudson Bay companies thereby came to closely resemble national governments --- and indeed the areas they commanded and the organisation that commanded them gradually morphed into nation-states. ​ Such organisations commanded formidable property but rarely any significant personality. In the principle trading centres (Amsterdam, Bruges, Venice) the interests of merchant capitalism and that of the state were essentially one and the same; in other areas there was an ongoing conflict between feudal and mercantilist interests. ​ Merchants also derived their power principally from property, although in their case this property was embodied in inventory, transport infrastructure (particularly shipping) and specie rather than the land of the feudal system. ​ Their principal source of power was compensatory,​ which they used to command the labour of craftsmen and artisans and those they needed to manage the navigation of their shipping. ​ Personality was far less important than in the feudal case.  Organisation became increasingly important as the period progressed, as chartered companies came to be necessary to manage long-distance transit, and gradually to increase in size and power. ​ Chartered companies, as they became more substantial,​ gained access to increasing quantities of condign power, to protect their own shipping and dominate areas of land important to the pursuit of their commerce. ​ Companies such as the East India and Hudson Bay companies thereby came to closely resemble national governments --- and indeed the areas they commanded and the organisation that commanded them gradually morphed into nation-states. ​ Such organisations commanded formidable property but rarely any significant personality.
  
-> It was their singular advantage that, almost everywhere, they moved into what rather precisely could be called a power vacuum. ​ The term, though rarely ​ever defined in modern usage, aptly describes a community or territory where all the sources of power --- effective personality,​ property, organisation --- are feeble or absent, as also, in consequence,​ are all the instruments of its enforcement. ​ This accurately describes the East Indies and the subarctic reaches of North America as they were invaded by the trading companies ​ In northern America there was, in these terms, nearly nothing; in the East Indies there were occasional personalities,​ some property, and some slight organisation. ​ But these, and especially the organisation,​ were weak compared with those possessed by the Europeans, and so were the resulting instruments of enforcement. ---page 105-6+> It was their singular advantage that, almost everywhere, they moved into what rather precisely could be called a power vacuum. ​ The term, though rarely ​if ever defined in modern usage, aptly describes a community or territory where all the sources of power --- effective personality,​ property, organisation --- are feeble or absent, as also, in consequence,​ are all the instruments of its enforcement. ​ This accurately describes the East Indies and the subarctic reaches of North America as they were invaded by the trading companies In northern America there was, in these terms, nearly nothing; in the East Indies there were occasional personalities,​ some property, and some slight organisation. ​ But these, and especially the organisation,​ were weak compared with those possessed by the Europeans, and so were the resulting instruments of enforcement. ---page 105-6
  
 With the Industrial Revolution a further shift came with the waxing of the industrialists. ​ Here, yet again, the source of power was property but, yet again, of a different sort than that possessed by the existing classes. ​ The industrialists'​ property existed in the form of the factories and machinery with which they worked. ​ History enjoys focus on the personalities involved, and though under entrepreneurial capitalism these were significant,​ it is easy to exaggerate their influence. ​ The organisational form, too, of the industrial firm represented a significant advance and new source of power. ​ In form, the use of condign power continued to decline although it was still available from the state where necessary --- but it was far less important than compensatory power. ​ Conditioning played a similar role as it had for the mercantilists. ​ Although neither managed to convince the general population of much, both managed to convince the relevant legislature that their interest was broadly the same as the national interest. ​ The mercantilists managed to convince governments of the value of protection, trading monopolies and to support the chartered companies --- in turn, the industrialists would convince their governments of the unique benefits of free trade. With the Industrial Revolution a further shift came with the waxing of the industrialists. ​ Here, yet again, the source of power was property but, yet again, of a different sort than that possessed by the existing classes. ​ The industrialists'​ property existed in the form of the factories and machinery with which they worked. ​ History enjoys focus on the personalities involved, and though under entrepreneurial capitalism these were significant,​ it is easy to exaggerate their influence. ​ The organisational form, too, of the industrial firm represented a significant advance and new source of power. ​ In form, the use of condign power continued to decline although it was still available from the state where necessary --- but it was far less important than compensatory power. ​ Conditioning played a similar role as it had for the mercantilists. ​ Although neither managed to convince the general population of much, both managed to convince the relevant legislature that their interest was broadly the same as the national interest. ​ The mercantilists managed to convince governments of the value of protection, trading monopolies and to support the chartered companies --- in turn, the industrialists would convince their governments of the unique benefits of free trade.
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 The became largely the instrument of the industrialists although Marx's description of it as the executive committee of the governing classes is an exaggeration. ​ Other interests were represented and protected --- farmers, small businesses, religious groups and in some countries the landed classes. ​ Not only that, but little by little the state developed power to act on its own behalf as an independent agent. The became largely the instrument of the industrialists although Marx's description of it as the executive committee of the governing classes is an exaggeration. ​ Other interests were represented and protected --- farmers, small businesses, religious groups and in some countries the landed classes. ​ Not only that, but little by little the state developed power to act on its own behalf as an independent agent.
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 > Hundreds of thousands of otherwise intelligent young people have their thoughts guided innocuously away from the exercise of industrial power. ​ We have seen that power is served in many ways and that no service is more useful than the cultivation of the belief that it does not exist... > Hundreds of thousands of otherwise intelligent young people have their thoughts guided innocuously away from the exercise of industrial power. ​ We have seen that power is served in many ways and that no service is more useful than the cultivation of the belief that it does not exist...
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-> But social conditioning,​ however deep and pervasive, cannot collide too obviously with reality. ​ The presence and power of the modern great corporations... are hidden only with increasing difficulty behind the market ​facade.  In consequence,​ a reference to neoclassical economics, the conditioning medium of instruction,​ has come to have a vaguely pejorative sound; something no longer quite real is implied. ​ Once economic instruction is perceived not as the reality but as the guidance away from the reality, its conditioning value is, not surprisingly,​ impaired... +> But social conditioning,​ however deep and pervasive, cannot collide too obviously with reality. ​ The presence and power of the modern great corporations... are hidden only with increasing difficulty behind the market ​façade.  In consequence,​ a reference to neoclassical economics, the conditioning medium of instruction,​ has come to have a vaguely pejorative sound; something no longer quite real is implied. ​ Once economic instruction is perceived not as the reality but as the guidance away from the reality, its conditioning value is, not surprisingly,​ impaired... 
->>+>
 > [A]n important effect of the social conditioning of corporate propaganda, as significantly it is often called, is to cultivate disbelief. ​ There must be some misuse of power when those who so obviously possess it are so at pains to deny having it.  In the industrial countries it is now a minor mark of sophistication that one does not believe what one reads or hears in the public-interest advertising of the great corporation. ---page 141-2 > [A]n important effect of the social conditioning of corporate propaganda, as significantly it is often called, is to cultivate disbelief. ​ There must be some misuse of power when those who so obviously possess it are so at pains to deny having it.  In the industrial countries it is now a minor mark of sophistication that one does not believe what one reads or hears in the public-interest advertising of the great corporation. ---page 141-2
  
the_anatomy_of_power.1226118559.txt.gz · Last modified: 2008/11/08 12:00 (external edit)