Saturday, January 28, 2012

Potential Energy

Waking up early this morning to head into work to get caught up.  Saturdays are productive as hell as everyone is gone and not pestering me.  But it still involves getting up and going into the salt mine.  
You spend a lot of time trying to figure out what the hell is going on.  All of us probably have spent time thinking about what we would do if we had the power to set things right.  Then, after these little thought exercises (or navel gazings), we look out on the world and pronounce the current leaders inadequate because they have not accomplished what we have already accomplished in our mind.

I am coming more and more to the conclusion that we really don't have a leadership structure at the national level at this point.  The President (the MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD) and Congress that we elect and grandiosely project our inner desires do not really have that much power.

Consider for a moment the full text from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Definition of POWER1
(1) : ability to act or produce an effect (2) : ability to get extra-base hits (3) : capacity for being acted upon or undergoing an effectb : legal or official authority, capacity, or right

a : possession of control, authority, or influence over othersb : one having such power; specifically : a sovereign statec : a controlling group : establishment —often used in the phrase the powers that bed archaic : a force of armed mene chiefly dialect : a large number or quantity

a : physical mightb : mental or moral efficacyc : political control or influence

plural : an order of angels — see celestial hierarchy

a : the number of times as indicated by an exponent that a number occurs as a factor in a product <5 to the third power is 125>also : the product itself <8 is a power of 2>b : cardinal number 2

a : a source or means of supplying energy; especially : electricityb : motive powerc : the time rate at which work is done or energy emitted or transferred

: magnification 2b

: 1scope 3

: the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis in a statistical test when a particular alternative hypothesis happens to be true.

Out of the possible choices, 1B, 2D, and 9 are the only ones that have a little application here.  1B is only a possibility because of the passive nature of the description.  There is a potential for power, but the potential has not passed the activation energy threshold in the current system.
It really strikes me how little these definitions apply to the residents of the District of Columbia that we hold elections to select.  Yes, we ascribe to them power, but how much of that is our overweening desire to be a part of THE GREATEST COUNTRY ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH.  I really think that the 
Our power structure that guides the country's entrance into the future is too fragmented and self-referential to perform its primary task.  The ability to make and implement decisions is no longer centered at the national capital (I tend to think that it never was).  The real problem is that there is no coherent source of decision making in our country.  
The decision making power has been devolved to the corporations, political parties, and organized groups that cluster around K Street and make their wishes known.  The real problem here is that these folks serve masters whose goal is not the common good, but the narrow, rather parochial needs of the vocal minorities that are their wellspring.
We are ungovernable in our current form.
I have been trying to come up with a way that we can fix the current system.  I really don't think that we can fix it.  It is well and truly broken.  Not broken like a machine, where you put in a couple of new parts and weld a couple of joints and back you go, but broken like Cheynes -Stokes breathing. 

1 comment:

NoHype said...

I'd like to examine some of our modern assumptions about power for a minute, while we navel-gaze. Who, in the history of the world, was truly all-powerful? Any of the Caesars? How about King Henry VIII, or his daughter Elizabeth? They all had to wield their power through a complex web of special interest groups with varying loyalties, both internal and external. They all had to resort to intrigue and power-plays. Even the Sun King (Louis IV) laid the foundations of his grandson's spectacular failure via the methods he used to consolidate French imperial power. Maybe Nero wasn't as crazy as we'd like to think he was. Maybe he knew he was just as powerless as everyone else against the forces of fate?