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Sethomas Sethomas is offline
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Old Jul 2nd, 2008, 02:27 PM        Power makes no sense to me
So, I like history a lot. You all know this. However, I run into this problem a lot and it's something that intrigues/perplexes me about human nature--especially through historical hindsight--that I simply cannot relate to or understand. Why do people pursue power to such ludicrous extents? I understand that people want the greatest material comfort they can acquire and most societies do a good job of instilling a desire for dynastic perpetuity. Most cultures, historically, impart a desire for post-mortem continuity through having a legacy of reputation. What comes to mind is when Julius Caesar was traveling through Iberia and weeping in a perceived sense of failure when he came to a statue of Alexander the Great because Alexander achieved such great "power" and legacy by the age at which Caesar saw himself as having modest accomplishments.

Beyond that, I cannot fathom why billionaires would literally instigate wars to add larger numbers after the decimal points in their net value. I cannot imagine why people would act atrociously to gain power that doesn't supplement their material comfort when they're obviously aware that history will deride them for it.

I've noticed this tendency as someone who entered the Catholic faith notably after the cradle without having been given the normal cultural backdrop that comes with typical American catholicism. Being catholic will ensconce a powerful interest in the middle ages but a powerful interest in the middle ages to a non-Catholic will ensconce a powerful contempt of the religion. Catholics with an awareness of history do inevitably have to come to terms with the fact that the institution behind their faith acted in the Machiavellianism typical of the time, but that it had a social obligation to transcend this human ugliness made such transgressions overbearingly egregious. Alexander Borgia was in good company as a renaissance administer of Realpolitik, but taken as Pope Alexander VI he was an absolute monster. Hence, why did medieval popes (especially those throned in Avignon) pursue "power" with such overbearing abandon of scruples?

I am open to any interpretation of the Bush administration. I honestly don't know how to make that call. Extreme evil genius with disregard for sane public policy or reckless stupidity with too much investiture? Somewhere between, I expect and hope, but where? At any rate, it's impossible for me to comprehend them because I cannot relate to this idea of absolute and superfluous power they hunt at the known expense of being loathed.
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Kybo Ren Kybo Ren is offline
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Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 05:31 AM       
I hate people. People are stupid.

But a person- a person can be intelligent, compassionate, and other good things. seems like when people do do something good, they're more like a group of individuals.

Seems the root of the problem are the ASSociates and circles that they run in. Don't money hungry ceo's and businessmen claim to do their wicked deeds in the interest of others? Didn't the catholic church commit their sins in the interest of the human race?

It's kinda like Tony Soprano, He rants and raves to his immediate family that he does these things for them, even though they never asked him to. he can't stop himself it's what he knows, how he's been conditioned to act (thanks dad). But in the end, he's just making semi-plausable excuses for his own actions.

Accountability- we seem to hear about it alot, but never really see it were we need it.
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10,000 Volt Ghost 10,000 Volt Ghost is offline
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Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 08:27 PM       
Either people want to be omnipotent or they are afraid of others taking what they have. So a person who already has tons of power might become paranoid that others will rise up and take what's theirs. Said person goes out of their way to achieve more so others have less. Whenever there is opposition, one will continue to want to exceed and rise over the other/s.

Greed and fear can make for a dangerous opponent. Not only that, if you were on the other side what would you do to overcome them. Cycle repeats.
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Preechr Preechr is offline
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Old Jul 9th, 2008, 09:39 AM       
When the logic of a situation escapes you, it's wise to check your premises.

But if you want to think wars are fought for silly reasons and that you understand more about the world than world leaders, rock on.
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

How can someone who obviously thinks so much of their ideas have so little respect for expressing them? How can someone who so yearns to be taken seriously make so little effort?!
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Sethomas Sethomas is offline
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Old Jul 11th, 2008, 06:17 AM       
Sorry. I'd forgotten how much it offends you to apply any scrutiny or rigor to the more enlightened judgment of those with established power.
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Old Jul 11th, 2008, 08:58 PM       
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When the logic of a situation escapes you, it's wise to check your premises.
fallacy of presumption. nice going!
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Preechr Preechr is offline
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Old Jul 12th, 2008, 11:04 AM       
Wow... You guys aren't tired of life in the echo chamber yet?

Carry on then...
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

How can someone who obviously thinks so much of their ideas have so little respect for expressing them? How can someone who so yearns to be taken seriously make so little effort?!
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Lobo Tommy Lobo Tommy is offline
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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 06:19 PM       
They have small dicks.
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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 03:39 AM       
I've also noticed that while the people in this sub-forum probably have a net higher intelligence than the general rest of the boards, there is way more actual anger and vitrol here. Can someone explain that to me?
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Tadao Tadao is offline
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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 03:52 AM       
I wouldn't say they have a higher intellect. People just seem to be more passionate about what they care about. If there where two people in disagreement about a piece of art and they felt very passionate about their stance, the shit would fly around the room.
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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 08:02 AM       
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I've also noticed that while the people in this sub-forum probably have a net higher intelligence than the general rest of the boards, there is way more actual anger and vitrol here. Can someone explain that to me?
Ignorance, perhaps, is truly bliss. With due respect to all posters, though, I wouldn't equate the use of highfalutin lingo with intelligence. Big words can be a nice smokescreen for a lack of real understanding.

The way I see it (and I'm not intelligent, so bear with me) is that people with or without power want more power partly because that is the nature of ambition. There is no ceiling or cap on desire, and people who want something bad enough will go to any lengths to get it and keep it. There's also a factor which no one has mentioned: addiction. People get addicted to power, so like any addict they want more and more.

Power makes perfect sense to me. Besides natural ambition and addiction, there are also the longings for control over one's life and to leave a legacy. People of meager means can exert less control on their lives and on others than the affluent. Most people like being in control of things because it gives them (perhaps illusory) control over their destiny. As far as legacy, it all boils down to the fact that the more powerful and/or influential you are, the better your chances of being remembered. It's a back door route to immortality, and it's certainly served Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar well.
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liquidstatik liquidstatik is offline
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Old Jul 19th, 2008, 05:24 PM       
im posting here to prove im smart 8]
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Fathom Zero Fathom Zero is offline
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Old Jul 19th, 2008, 05:34 PM       
It's easy to be dumb and happy! I gave up on trying to be smart. It's very boring. And comes with too many expectations and responsibilities.
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Preechr Preechr is offline
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Old Jul 23rd, 2008, 12:42 AM       
Emmy, I have no answer to your question, but I would like to add some evidence to the investigation in hopes that someone smarter... someone like Seth... might figure it out for us.

Some folks around here like to think that they have it all figured out already, and the rest of us are just wrong and thus stupid. I think it might be a misunderstanding between the concepts of thinking of everybody and thinking for everybody.

Unfortunately, those that think they are capable of thinking for everybody don't have a lot of patience with those that like to think for themselves, so instead of sitting around and waiting to be proven right, if that might be the case, they tend to insist that they are and demean those that might be.

Some of us, put in this position, opt for greener pastures.
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

How can someone who obviously thinks so much of their ideas have so little respect for expressing them? How can someone who so yearns to be taken seriously make so little effort?!
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kahljorn kahljorn is offline
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 09:46 PM       
I think it's possible that different people pursue power for different reasons. But here's some quick thoughts!:

Perhaps when we look at some of these people with a lot of power already, and think, why do they need a few extra billion, what we are not considering is that they might not necessarily care about being more powerful than you and me. Instead, they may be competing with other rich and powerful people, who may have the same amount of money as them -- or more.

Similarly, they may continue to attempt to gain power because they are afraid that someone may usurp their position and/or take their power away. Much like with PHYSICAL POWER, if you want to keep your muscles you have to stay in good shape and always be working out and striving to keep on top. Otherwise, you will gradually lose your power, while the world around you gains power.

Plus they could just like it, just like you like to have some type of intellectual power. Perhaps you don't really need to know more, yet you keep struggling for it. Everybody wants some sort of power over others...

I like Neitzsche's thoughts on power, though.

Oh and preechr is quoting the great american philosopher HUGH AKSTON who became a hamburger salesman! A HAMBURGER SALESMAN! with that, "If the conclusion doesn't follow, check your premises" thing.

as witnessed in the works of Ayn Rand.



Also i think that Bush will go down as the greatest president ever for encouraging all of us to buy gas efficient cars and get out of our suburbans/fix all kinds of other problems because he made them so obvious. Thank you, MR PRESIDENT.
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Old Jul 31st, 2008, 06:26 PM       
i thought this thread was going to be about how seth is baffled by electricity.
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Sethomas Sethomas is offline
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Old Aug 1st, 2008, 12:04 AM       
I'm having a hard time read this thread over because I made it with a genuine, sincere profession of lacking understanding and the mere premise was attacked as trying to sound "too smart".
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Tadao Tadao is offline
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Old Aug 1st, 2008, 12:20 AM       
I think you are just as dumb as the smartest people here.
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Sethomas Sethomas is offline
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Old Aug 1st, 2008, 03:23 AM       
The "skinniest kid at fat camp" retort is far too obvious. Let's try:

Thanks, I'll cherish that remark up there with the email I got saying the University of Phoenix Class of 2009 has voted me "most likely to succeed".
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Preechr Preechr is offline
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Old Aug 4th, 2008, 11:04 AM       
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I'm having a hard time read this thread over because I made it with a genuine, sincere profession of lacking understanding and the mere premise was attacked as trying to sound "too smart".
I tried to give you an honest answer, but you didn't like that.

I don't know where you got the idea that applying scrutiny to authority figures is something I frown on... No, actually, I do: You are just making that up.

You say you can't understand the pursuit of power because the people that pursue power do it for either reason A or reason B. I say you're probably perfectly capable of understanding this at least to the point of not having to ask Pac Man for his opinion on the matter, but you've constrained your premises to the point that you can't come up with a logical picture.

It's simple: Power CAN make sense to you. You are just looking at it the wrong way.

By the way, I'm taking you at your word that this was a "genuine, sincere profession of lacking understanding" since for all I can tell your monologue sounded a lot like a 4th generation trust-fund kid at a party claiming to be baffled with the idea that anyone would ever choose to be pooooor...
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

How can someone who obviously thinks so much of their ideas have so little respect for expressing them? How can someone who so yearns to be taken seriously make so little effort?!
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kahljorn kahljorn is offline
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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 08:49 PM       
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At any rate, it's impossible for me to comprehend them because I cannot relate to this idea of absolute and superfluous power they hunt at the known expense of being loathed.
I didn't even notice this before but maybe they don't care if dumb ugly poor people don't like them but that's just my pitch.
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pac-man pac-man is offline
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Old Aug 21st, 2008, 10:50 PM       
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I say you're probably perfectly capable of understanding this at least to the point of not having to ask Pac Man for his opinion on the matter
I don't recall anybody here ever asking my opinion on anything. And if you ask me, that's just fine.
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