Overwhelming power: Part one ‐ inflationary tactics

Abstract
The paradigm case of power as ?power over? (not ?power to') betrays a concern (1) more with the capacity to dominate others than with the unqualified capacity to act as such; (2) more with the fact, than with the morality, of dominance ? underscoring the key analytical distinction between ?power? and ?authority'; and (3) more with compulsion than co?operation. The three moves to combine (1) ?power over? with ?power to?, (2) ?power? with ?authority?, and (3) ?power? with ?co?operation?, are all seen as inflationary, diminishing the value of the paradigm case, and assisting in rendering power, in its actual operations, both more obscure and insidious. Tumbling down this slope, there is a further argument, to the same effect, but secured by deflating, rather than inflating, the paradigm case. This deflationary argument (4) views luck as an alternative to power. In a world of dizzying technological innovation, marked by a deepening gap between rich and poor in the cities, between advanced and dependent states, we confront an inclination in many quarters both to expand and to contract power, so that it is everything and everywhere, thus nothing and nowhere. In attempts to substitute luck for power, it becomes difficult to assign to power responsibility, as heretofore. This paper is the first of two parts, taking a critical look at the overwhelming of power by inflation. The second part of this paper will be published in a subsequent issue, and it critically inspects the argument for deflation
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Citations of this work BETA
Pamela Pansardi (2012). A Non-Normative Theory of Power and Domination. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 16 (5):1-20.
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