The Couch

About Power

Comments on About Power

Zum
Senior Member

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jan 21, 2009

Total Topics: 23
Total Comments: 420
Zum
Posted 07/26/09 - 10:28 PM:
Subject: About Power
What do you think would be a good working definition of power?

What are the forms of power, in your view? Let's exclude "power" as used in the phrase "power lines."

In what ways has power been represented in the history of philosophy, literature, religion and mythology?

One form of power--a familiar one--is this: "A" exercises power (force) over B." "A" and "B" are presumed to be persons or groups of persons. Under what circumstances, if any, would such use of power be justified? The word "justified" seems to presuppose some ethical stance or other.

How can it be the case that power is often thought to be negative or, at best, dangerous? Perhaps one can blame the sentence "Power corrupts; absolute powerful corrupts absolutely"--which, at times, seems to have merit--for this notion. But utter powerlessness is obviously utter misery.

For those of us who believe in, or entertain questions about, forms of human excellence such as enlightenment: does it seems that such a condition would entail a renunciation of power or an accrual of power?


Thinker13
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 27, 2009

Total Topics: 357
Total Comments: 3379
Posted 07/27/09 - 1:55 AM:

Zum wrote:
What do you think would be a good working definition of power?

What are the forms of power, in your view? Let's exclude "power" as used in the phrase "power lines."


Zum wrote:
In what ways has power been represented in the history of philosophy, literature, religion and mythology?


In history,power has essentially been associated with politics. For example: phrase 'In power' means someone is holding a seat/an office. If you are in power,it means, you can 'exercise authority'. Now: I do not think that you need to exclude the type of power flowing through power lines,in order to form a significant,coherent definition of 'power'.

Power flowing through lines or muscular power are similar things,scientifically --'capacity to do work'. Now,why would a man exercise power over another? Only because he has got more,simple? Is not it?

He has more monetary/physical/political/public/spiritual power,which he exercises over others.

Zum wrote:
Under what circumstances, if any, would such use of power be justified? The word "justified" seems to presuppose some ethical stance or other.


Ethics is 'relative' as said earlier and has extensively been discussed in the thread 'Axiology as a hooey" --Justified as per the individual agents. There seems to be no absolute justifications IMHO.

How can it be the case that power is often thought to be negative or, at best, dangerous? Perhaps one can blame the sentence "Power corrupts; absolute powerful corrupts absolutely"--which, at times, seems to have merit--for this notion. But utter powerlessness is obviously utter misery.


The power as said earlier,is necessary,in order to do something. Right now,as I am typing these words,and you are reading them,both of us are using 'power'. There is no possibility of work without power.

As far as political sort of power is concerned,it corrupts,without doubt. It has been seen in negative shed,due to the same. 'Will to the power' is always at work in animalia. Struggle for existence is 'power struggle' between species. There is this struggle always present in 'intra' as well as 'inter' species domains.

For those of us who believe in, or entertain questions about, forms of human excellence such as enlightenment: does it seems that such a condition would entail a renunciation of power or an accrual of power?


I do not entertain enlightenment as a form of 'excellence'. Such a condition,if any,means 'total renunciation of power' because of 'lack of any individuality available to exercise the same' but paradoxically,this cannot be said to be 'voluntary renunciation' because it is a natural phenomenon.



Thank You
henry quirk
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 17, 2008
Location: here

Total Topics: 47
Total Comments: 1298
Posted 07/27/09 - 9:56 AM:

Power (or might): my capacity to enact change. This can be the brute power of the physically superior man, the seductive allure of the temptress, the whisper of a compelling message into a significant ear, the vigorous application of reason, the subtle application of charisma, the overt application of the 'stick', the 'gun', the 'bomb' and on and on.

Another way to look at it: 'might' is the capacity to 'convince' the other guy ('the other guy', as descriptor, includes the natural 'world') of the 'correctness' of your position, or of 'you'.

'Convince' -- as I use it here -- can be the application of the reasoned argument, or, the 'convincing' slam in the head with a length of pipe, or, the use of a technology to alter a circumstance (building a dam, for example), and on and on.

#

It should be noted: a more accurate, refined, sharp, statement might be: 'the wise application of might makes right'.

A superior 'might' applied stupidly will generally fail against the wise application of an inferior 'might'.

#

'Right': that which is due me by virtue of my assertion and defense (or offense). If a 'right' must claimed for me by another, offered to me by another, then it is privilege, not 'right'.

Please note (and I include this in anticipation of the inevitable question): simply because someone (or something) else has a superior, or more wisely applied, 'might', this obligates me in no way to submit.

I may 'comply' till the time when an opportunity arises to revolt, or, I may openly, from the beginning, defy the other's 'might', or, I may go underground, hiding from the other till my chance comes to redress injury.
Zum
Senior Member

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jan 21, 2009

Total Topics: 23
Total Comments: 420
Zum
Posted 07/27/09 - 11:16 AM:

Can you give an example of a wise application of might, such that it "makes right"? It seems that "wise," without clarification, might mean at least either (1) prudent, effectual, smart, likely to bring about a desired objective, or (2) possessed of sagacity as a result of reflection and experience, possessed of universal understanding. Or a touch of both. As to the first, which refers only to a pragmatic orientation--knowing how to do the thing that will get the job done--it is unclear how this objective relates to "right." Indeed, the intent of the slogan "Might makes right" is to abolish the notion of "right" in its usual sense. It is thus really to say the opposite of what it cynically pretends to say: to say, in effect, that when the more powerful overcome the less so by force, what is right is overwhelmed; the more powerful claim their own definition of right: whatever is to their interest becomes "right." Thus the real power, in this case, becomes the power to define. As to the second possible meaning of "wise," as used in contexts like "the wisdom of the ages," the word "wise" evokes Socrates, Siddhartha, Jesus, and the elders in the Tao te Ching. Their thinking went beyond a pragmatics of satisfying immediate desire or personal ambition, and entered the realm of ethics. So if, in saying "the wise application of might makes right," you meant "wise" in the second of the two senses, the word "right" retains its usual sense...

You say that only (?) rights you yourself claim and defend are truly rights. If a "right" must be claimed for you by another, it is a privilege, not a right.

There must have been many slaves who did not fight in the American Civil War. At the end of that war, emancipation was extended to them. Do you say that for them, emancipation wasn't a right, but a privilege?
henry quirk
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 17, 2008
Location: here

Total Topics: 47
Total Comments: 1298
Posted 07/27/09 - 12:27 PM:

Wise = prudent, effectual, smart, likely to bring about a desired objective.

*An example: We have dinner, you and me. At evening's beginning: you act coolly towards me. I ply you with wine, humor, cleverness. By evening's end: I bed you. In this example: I used seductive allure, the whisper of a compelling message, the vigorous application of reason, the subtle application of charisma, etc., to get what I wanted, which, of course, was into your panties.

Change the circumstances to anything, or in any way, you imagine...the equation remains the same.

#

"...the intent of the slogan "Might makes right" is to abolish the notion of "right" "

Indeed! Because of this, I suggested another, cleaner, statement (something Thinker 13 can attest to). My suggestion was/is 'I ACT'.

'I ACT' carries all the 'weight' of 'might makes/is right' without all the messy possibilities of misunderstanding or misinterpretation.

#

"...the more powerful claim their own definition of right: whatever is to their interest becomes "right." "

Yep: that's it in a nutshell.

#

"There must have been many slaves who did not fight in the American Civil War. At the end of that war, emancipation was extended to them. Do you say that for them, emancipation wasn't a right, but a privilege?"

Yes: that's exactly what I mean to say. The Master giveth and the Master taketh away.

If one is given something, it stands to reason that 'something' can be taken away. Certainly: if one fights for and acquires something on one's own, that 'something' can be taken away too, but the dynamic is so much different. The passive or semi-passive receiver of 'something' versus the active and perhaps vicious claimer and defender of 'something'.

#

*No offense is intended with this example. Just chalk it up to my natural perversity... wink
Thinker13
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 27, 2009

Total Topics: 357
Total Comments: 3379
Posted 07/27/09 - 12:36 PM:

Zum wrote:
Can you give an example of a wise application of might, such that it "makes right"?


Buddha,for example,transformed the historical figure called 'Angulimaala' by his subtle application of charisma and wisdom.

Indeed, the intent of the slogan "Might makes right" is to abolish the notion of "right" in its usual sense. It is thus really to say the opposite of what it cynically pretends to say: to say, in effect, that when the more powerful overcome the less so by force, what is right is overwhelmed; the more powerful claim their own definition of right: whatever is to their interest becomes "right."


I think your views are partially aligned to those of mine. It is not that there is a preconceived,well defined 'right' as per my perspective but rather it is the prevailing agent(s) who decide it for the time being,only to be replaced by another agent(s) and hence 'right' also gets changed with time. It may or may not be associated to a certain degree,with the natural ethical perception of mankind,yet,it is always associated with the application of power.




There must have been many slaves who did not fight in the American Civil War. At the end of that war, emancipation was extended to them. Do you say that for them, emancipation wasn't a right, but a privilege?


For those slaves who did not have a say in the civil war,it was a 'privilege' to have freedom? Not necessarily. Right was decided by the prevailing might therefore it was 'right' as per my view and might have been a privilege for a handful of them,as per their individual contexts.








Thank You
Zum
Senior Member

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jan 21, 2009

Total Topics: 23
Total Comments: 420
Zum
Posted 07/27/09 - 8:45 PM:

Okay. That's a clear definition of power--the ability to do that which is necessary in order to obtain something desired.


Let me just say that I just finished reading The Brothers Karamazov, and it was all Thinker 13's fault. He mentioned the book, with the comment that all the characters were happy enough (I think you said) except Alyosha, the youngest brother. I had not read the book for a while; I reread it. By the way, Thinker, we disagree on that one: to me Alyosha seems the only sane one.

Dostoyevski seems less interested in story than in psychology, or pathology; his characters--the ones that interest him--are analyzed so minutely, each one seems like a whole gang. And just as there tend to be subtle and not-so-subtle power struggles within a group--a vying with each other about who is smartest, wealthiest and generally best-- in most of Dostoyevski's persons, power is the principal motive. Now the characters strive against each other for power, and I'm blessed if the FRAGMENTS don't strive against each other.

Two women are in competition for Dmitri. First he likes Katya, then Grushenka. The rejected woman, Katya, is extravagantly unhappy, not so much through loss of love as through humiliation. Grushenka comes to see her. She says that an old lover who once broke up with her has come back; not to worry; she will go with him, and Katya can have Dmitri back. Katya makes much of Grushenka, lavishes affection on her, kisses her hands, makes a pet of her. This appears as friendliness; it is in fact a power ploy on Katya's part; she wants to annex Grushenka. Someone witnesses all this, an audience being necessary in such cases. Suddenly Grushenka says that she thinks perhaps she has changed her mind, maybe she'll have Dmitri after all, and, having been about to kiss Katya's hand, says that she has changed her mind about that, too. This, of course, is Grushenka's counter-ploy. It is such a blow to Katya's pride that she goes into hysterics and becomes ill! After this, Grushenka punishes herself, as do all the divided characters...constantly. Taken out of context, the incident might suggest that the women principally crave love; considered together with the whole book, it's clear (to my satisfaction, anyway) that they crave power almost to the point of madness. Their craving for power keeps them in a condition of stasis. Nobody gets anything done except damage.

Another incident: a poor man is offered money. He needs it; his family is hungry, his son is ill. At first he accepts it, but then, as he goes on speaking to the donor, he perceives that the donor is taking pleasure in presenting the gift. The poor man, seeing this as a sign of arrogance on the donor's part, throws the money into the snow and runs off. The faction within the man that craved power has triumphed over the faction that desired his family's welfare.

A characteristic of the sane guy is that he is unified though not simple, a complex piece of work, functioning harmoniously. "Together."

Now I'm asking myself about the power example. If I recall, you behave coldly at our date, but I, with my devastating charm, wit, charisma and other ineluctable qualities, so stun and overpower you, that . . . etc. As a story, this gives me all the power; you aren't into it; I get the better of you; I take something that you, before my exercise of power, didn't wish to give. All power fantasies run that way. Embedded in reality, is it that simple? Wouldn't such an act, retrospectively considered, disturb my inner harmony, thereby disrupting my personal power as a consistent and available quality?



Thinker13
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 27, 2009

Total Topics: 357
Total Comments: 3379
Posted 07/27/09 - 9:32 PM:

Zum wrote:
Let me just say that I just finished reading The Brothers Karamazov, and it was all Thinker 13's fault. He mentioned the book, with the comment that all the characters were happy enough (I think you said) except Alyosha, the youngest brother.


Yes,let me admit my nonaccomplishment: I suggested that Alyosha was most neurotic sort of person,because,religious persons are most neurotic ones. Still,I stand by that one.


Zum wrote:
I had not read the book for a while; I reread it. By the way, Thinker, we disagree on that one: to me Alyosha seems the only sane one.


Good. It is fine by me.

Zum wrote:
Dostoyevski seems less interested in story than in psychology, or pathology; his characters--the ones that interest him--are analyzed so minutely, each one seems like a whole gang. And just as there tend to be subtle and not-so-subtle power struggles within a group--a vying with each other about who is smartest, wealthiest and generally best-- in most of Dostoyevski's persons, power is the principal motive. Now the characters strive against each other for power, and I'm blessed if the FRAGMENTS don't strive against each other.



Indeed. Pathology,as you say has been main concern of Dostoevsky. As suggested earlier,his works have mostly been 'autobiographical'--to say,he has examined meticulously his own psyche,or say 'aspects of his own psyche' using various characters in his works. Another interesting fact related to 'Brothers Karamazov' is-'Parricide'---you may know that Freud included this work in best three works of all times with an allusion that works on parricide have been most significant ones(or something like that), in literature.



Zum wrote:
Two women are in competition for Dmitri. First he likes Katya, then Grushenka. The rejected woman, Katya, is extravagantly unhappy, not so much through loss of love as through humiliation. Grushenka comes to see her. She says that an old lover who once broke up with her has come back; not to worry; she will go with him, and Katya can have Dmitri back. Katya makes much of Grushenka, lavishes affection on her, kisses her hands, makes a pet of her. This appears as friendliness; it is in fact a power ploy on Katya's part; she wants to annex Grushenka. Someone witnesses all this, an audience being necessary in such cases. Suddenly Grushenka says that she thinks perhaps she has changed her mind, maybe she'll have Dmitri after all, and, having been about to kiss Katya's hand, says that she has changed her mind about that, too. This, of course, is Grushenka's counter-ploy. It is such a blow to Katya's pride that she goes into hysterics and becomes ill! After this, Grushenka punishes herself, as do all the divided characters...constantly. Taken out of context, the incident might suggest that the women principally crave love; considered together with the whole book, it's clear (to my satisfaction, anyway) that they crave power almost to the point of madness. Their craving for power keeps them in a condition of stasis. Nobody gets anything done except damage.


It was indeed a very significant scene. Would I wonder why you have chosen this one example here over all others? No. First reason is : This thread,about power;and the second one is,perspicuously, your desire to explore 'psyche of women' using the characters of 'Brothers Karamazov'. I mean to say that you may have gone for 'parricide' or for something else...



Another incident: a poor man is offered money. He needs it; his family is hungry, his son is ill. At first he accepts it, but then, as he goes on speaking to the donor, he perceives that the donor is taking pleasure in presenting the gift. The poor man, seeing this as a sign of arrogance on the donor's part, throws the money into the snow and runs off. The faction within the man that craved power has triumphed over the faction that desired his family's welfare.


While doing family's welfare he needed 'monetary power' along with goodwill for his family and while redeeming his self-esteem he required the power of 'renunciation' or the power of 'self-reliance'--in both cases he was going to have one type of power and abandoning the other one,for the time being.



Thank You

henry quirk
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 17, 2008
Location: here

Total Topics: 47
Total Comments: 1298
Posted 07/28/09 - 8:42 AM:

"As a story, this gives me all the power...is it that simple?"

Of course not. There's no single circumstance one can point to and say, 'this is how things tick out and here's the why', but, as far as examples go, it serves to conduct the point, that being: 'power' or 'might' can take many, perhaps infinite, forms.

Ultimately, however, 'power' or 'might' is an expression of the individual. The hammer I use to beat Joe is useless till I direct and power it. The wine I ply you with (to move you toward the bed) is useless till I purchase it, open, and decant it. The convincing information (for or against the notion of, say, climate change) is useless till I take it up and present it directly, or in writing.

#

"Wouldn't such an act, retrospectively considered, disturb my inner harmony, thereby disrupting my personal power as a consistent and available quality?"

I don't know what you mean by 'inner harmony'.

As for 'personal power': I equate this with my own idea of my being my first, best, property. Seems to me: if I possess my 'self' then harmony of any kind is not the issue. It follows then if I don't possess my 'self' then I have no 'personal power'. That is: self-efficacy is synonymous with self-possession.
Zum
Senior Member

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jan 21, 2009

Total Topics: 23
Total Comments: 420
Zum
#10 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 07/28/09 - 10:12 AM:

Yeah, Thinker, thank you for pointing out that, of course, the theme of The Brothers Karamazov is parricide. That's really an important point.clap

Do you think that Dostoyevski sees parricide as the ultimate expression of negative power? By negative power, I mean violence--the power to destroy.

Three of the four brothers are drawn variously to parricide. Dmitri occasionally wants to kill his father, and raves on about it; Ivan talks a good parricide; Smeridakov, incited to do so by Ivan, does kill the father. Nobody benefits. Smerdiakov hangs himself; Dmitri goes to Siberia; Ivan, when we last see him, is "at death's door."

The part most often excerpted from the book and quoted, probably, is Ivan's story of the Grand Inquisitor, which is loved for its symmetry and for the identification of Jesus with man's freedom--and, by some, for the identification of organized religion with miracle, mystery and authority. But Ivan precedes the story with a denunciation of God, because of the suffering He allows to exist in the world. Verbal parricide... None the less serious because verbal. Talking is what Ivan DOES; it is lethal weapon; his words result in the death of old Karamozov.

Indeed, the tale is about parricide, the ultimate negative power, murdering one's father, one's basis and one's foundation. And, of course, Karamazov was a terrible, atrocious parent... This is the problem posed by the book. (?)

About harmony and self possession: it seems to me that disharmony and self possession are contradictory. It is certainly true that if I own a house, it is all mine whether or not it is neat and tidy within. But if there is disharmony within me, there is contradiction, internal argument, various drives competing for power, incessant chatter. I have heard this interior clamor called "the itty bitty shitty committee." Such disharmony, it seems to me, interferes with efficacy in the long run, though, admittedly, one could still beat Joe useless.
henry quirk
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 17, 2008
Location: here

Total Topics: 47
Total Comments: 1298
#11 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 07/28/09 - 11:30 AM:

"...if there is disharmony within me, there is contradiction, internal argument, various drives competing for power, incessant chatter."

Ah...now I understand!

Yes: I agree.

Perhaps: because I have no 'itty bitty shitty committee' I was left in the cold about 'inner harmony'.

This ('inner harmony') kinda dovetails with my thinking on the human individual as 'whole'. Maybe I'll start a thread...let me think a bit on it...
Thinker13
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 27, 2009

Total Topics: 357
Total Comments: 3379
#12 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 07/29/09 - 3:28 AM:

Zum wrote:
Yeah, Thinker, thank you for pointing out that, of course, the theme of The Brothers Karamazov is parricide. That's really an important point.clap


As usual,you are most welcome Zum.sticking out tongue

Zum wrote:
Do you think that Dostoyevski sees parricide as the ultimate expression of negative power? By negative power, I mean violence--the power to destroy.


Cannot say exactly what Dostoevsky wanted to convey. In my opinion it is destroying your own root,trying to eradicate the very medium of your presence in this world,symbolically it is an attempt to be a rebel against taboos and mores and an expression of hatred which has accrued for so long towards your parents.



Indeed, the tale is about parricide, the ultimate negative power, murdering one's father, one's basis and one's foundation. And, of course, Karamazov was a terrible, atrocious parent... This is the problem posed by the book. (?)


Perhaps.




Thank You
Zum
Senior Member

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jan 21, 2009

Total Topics: 23
Total Comments: 420
Zum
#13 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 07/29/09 - 11:09 PM:

A couple of ideas. One of them is in response to Thinker 13, who said that maybe the Katya-Grushenka encountered interested me as a study of women.

In fact, I've never met any women who resembled those characters... I guess the characters interest me as particularly good examples of Dostoyevski's treatment of the human condition. For them, nothing is spontaneous, nothing flows; every action is taken after a tug of war among contrary drives. Tremendous importance is attached to small matters. Did Dostroyevski really encounter people like this--or has he exaggerated, written large and in red, for the sake of a clear illustration?

I think that if one were to ask the author of The Brothers Karamozov--who might be a different alignment of drives from the author of Crime and Punishment and The idiot...zen for a definition of power, he might say, Power is elegance.

Elegance? raised eyebrow You mean like expensive clothes and upscale accommodations?

D: No. Who, me? I never had more than three shirts in my life. I'm talking about elegance as effectual action performed without wasted effort. Alyosha moves easily from one human war zone to another, doing what he can, not expending needless emotion; everything he does and says is positive. He understands the territory he is in (the world); it is all right with him; he does not try to reinvent it. He has been able to adapt.

Zum
Senior Member

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jan 21, 2009

Total Topics: 23
Total Comments: 420
Zum
#14 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 07/30/09 - 10:11 AM:

By the way, that was supposed to be The Idiot, above, the book... And the one who claimed to have had no more than three shirts at a time was supposed to be "D"--Dostoyevski. I just put that in for fun...

On the subject of power as elegance, efficacy, realistic adaptation and coordination, my postulated definition of power in the context of The Brothers Karamazov: the above attributes are complex, but look simple at the moment of execution. Let's think about sports--whatever sports we do or watch: a magnificent serve, a winning slalom run, a swift and efficacious intercept. These require a precise application of appropriate physical strength together with flawless coordination.
It looks easy until you try it.

Dostoyevski may have been imagining a life lived by a supremely coordinated individual--spiritually, psychologically and physically coordinated. Alyosha's deft movements to and from the nut cases and calamitous relations among his friends and family don't look like much; his unfailing kindness, truthtelling and appropriateness seem easy. All his energy is vectored toward the act and not toward the spectator.

There is a guy like him in Crime and Punishment, too, Razumikhin; this one isn't holy, just "together."
Thinker13
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 27, 2009

Total Topics: 357
Total Comments: 3379
#15 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 07/30/09 - 2:45 PM:

Zum wrote:
who said that maybe the Katya-Grushenka encountered interested me as a study of women.

In fact, I've never met any women who resembled those characters... I guess the characters interest me as particularly good examples of Dostoyevski's treatment of the human condition. For them, nothing is spontaneous, nothing flows; every action is taken after a tug of war among contrary drives. Tremendous importance is attached to small matters. Did Dostroyevski really encounter people like this--or has he exaggerated, written large and in red, for the sake of a clear illustration?


Dostoevsky had no doubt an extraordinarily great capability of 'attention to the details' which became obsessive at times. I have also remarked while reading his works that I rarely meet characters in my day to day life as perceptive and intelligent as are even his most 'down to earth' characters!

Again: It was only an opinion and you need not be too serious,it is very well that you have not met characters like Grushenka and co.





Thank You
Thinker13
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 27, 2009

Total Topics: 357
Total Comments: 3379
#16 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 07/30/09 - 2:55 PM:

Zum wrote:
It looks easy until you try it.


Quite the contrary,in my personal experience,it has mostly been easier 'hands on' than 'watching at a distance',may be it is so because of my kinesthetic gifts. I do not mean to say that you could compete with Federer/Woods/Jordan/Ronaldo but you could surely amuse yourself doing it on your own rather than watching.

Zum wrote:
Dostoyevski may have been imagining a life lived by a supremely coordinated individual--spiritually, psychologically and physically coordinated. Alyosha's deft movements to and from the nut cases and calamitous relations among his friends and family don't look like much; his unfailing kindness, truthtelling and appropriateness seem easy. All his energy is vectored toward the act and not toward the spectator.


Indeed. As said earlier 'too intelligent and perceptive individuals'--did you notice that focal point of hatred --the father in the story of Brothers Karamazov is also an introspective guy? You may come to realize that not even the most sane guys you meet in course of day are as introspective as he is


Zum wrote:
There is a guy like him in Crime and Punishment, too, Razumikhin; this one isn't holy, just "together."


It made me a bit befuddled the way Razumikhin made his entry in the plot and got adjusted between things.



Thank You
Spirited
New

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jul 31, 2009

Total Topics: 0
Total Comments: 1
#17 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 07/31/09 - 8:27 PM:

smiling face Well, I would imagine one might start with some limiting parameter or genre, yes? My personal interest stems from educational philosophy and group dynamics. From that perspective, I consider power to be an evolving construct that emerges as individuals begin to interact. It is just beneath the surface, coming to bear once leaders within an environment emerge. At that point, power becomes a engaging force - a part of the communication toolbox if you will - that helps to drive whatever exchange that is taking place. "Force" is the key word for me, because I have found that once something is at stake, what was subtle (or just beneath the surface as I noted), becomes quite startling. To watch people jockey for power can be very interesting and sometimes just plain scary.
libertygrl
Administrator
Avatar

Usergroup: Administrators
Joined: Apr 16, 2005
Location: San Francisco

Total Topics: 425
Total Comments: 4672
#18 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 07/31/09 - 9:14 PM:

hi spirited, welcome to the couch smiling face
Zum
Senior Member

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jan 21, 2009

Total Topics: 23
Total Comments: 420
Zum
#19 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 08/01/09 - 12:56 AM:

It's true. But I think that Razumikhin is structurally important to Crime and Punishment as the one solid and reliable presence, assuring the reader that there is something beyond, or at least something besides, madness and suffering.

Spirited, your description of power as an emergence out of a limited context and, I guess, out of a dynamic, is interesting. It reminds me of the ambiance that can arise in a context where there is a lot of energy and freedom--a really good class, say, or a political rally.

What you have described may be a dictator's worst nightmare...

Thinker13
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 27, 2009

Total Topics: 357
Total Comments: 3379
#20 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 08/01/09 - 1:07 AM:

Spirited wrote:
smiling face To watch people jockey for power can be very interesting and sometimes just plain scary.


Indeed! It is perfectly so.


Welcome to the couchzen



Thank You
Thinker13
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 27, 2009

Total Topics: 357
Total Comments: 3379
#21 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 08/01/09 - 1:10 AM:

Zum wrote:
It's true. But I think that Razumikhin is structurally important to Crime and Punishment as the one solid and reliable presence, assuring the reader that there is something beyond, or at least something besides, madness and suffering.


I agree with his role,but the only thing which stroked me hard was his entrance and I am not able to sum up why it was so,somehow intuitively it seemed peculiar to me!


Zum wrote:
What you have described may be a dictator's worst nightmare...



How so?


Thank You
Zum
Senior Member

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jan 21, 2009

Total Topics: 23
Total Comments: 420
Zum
#22 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 08/01/09 - 10:12 AM:

The "dictator's worst nightmare" post was in response to Spirited. That description suggests energetic discussion in a context with a specific theme. Spirited suggested free exchange, lots of talk, power jockeying and, possibly, an emergency of leaders. A dictator would send in the police at once. Dictatorship requires a silent, terrified populace.
Zum
Senior Member

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jan 21, 2009

Total Topics: 23
Total Comments: 420
Zum
#23 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 08/01/09 - 10:14 AM:

Oops! That should have been "emergence of leaders"! Though in a dictatorship, it would be considered an emergency. laughing
Thinker13
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 27, 2009

Total Topics: 357
Total Comments: 3379
#24 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 08/01/09 - 12:14 PM:

Zum wrote:
The "dictator's worst nightmare" post was in response to Spirited. That description suggests energetic discussion in a context with a specific theme. Spirited suggested free exchange, lots of talk, power jockeying and, possibly, an emergency of leaders. A dictator would send in the police at once. Dictatorship requires a silent, terrified populace.


You are correct. You know what is interesting about you? You are a bit careless while communicating. You often come up with ideas which are important but your interlocutor has forgotten about their role in the present context and you often reply to many interlocutors simultaneously, in a single post, which makes it eerie at timeskooky. Still,you are a very good interlocutor,Zum.zen



Thank You
Zum
Senior Member

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jan 21, 2009

Total Topics: 23
Total Comments: 420
Zum
#25 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 08/01/09 - 1:13 PM:

Thank you, Thinker.
Search thread for
Download thread as
  • 0/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5



Sorry, you don't have permission . Log in, or register if you haven't yet.



Acknowledgements:

Couch logo design by Midnight_Monk. The photo hanging above the couch was taken by Paul.

Powered by WSN Forum. Free smileys here.
Special thanks to Maria Cristina, Jesse , Echolist Directory, The Star Online,
Hosting Free Webs, and dmoz.org for referring visitors to this site!

Copyright notice:

Except where noted otherwise, copyright belongs to respective authors
for artwork, photography and text posted in this forum.