Does political power Acquisition always lead to negative outcomes? I do not believe this because it has many gains. Power could be defined as authority and strength which may include any form of physical force or energy, ability to act, or control. Thus, when it comes to political power, power means an ability to control an area or people for specific outcomes. Political power is that form of power that an individual or a society hold and it can be achieved in various methods.
This power might be used as a tool to achieve positive outcomes such as bringing the prosperity to the members of society, can positively be used to influence people to take a particular course of action, to suppress any external aggression, power can also be used crash rebellions from within the state and it can also be used in making individuals in a state to stay peacefully and obedient to the states law.
Political power might also be used as a tool to produce negative outcomes such as establishing a dictatorship, can be used to silence people who might be demanding for their rights, can be used in imposing your will on others forcefully and it can also be used to suppress and deny people to enjoy their rights. The meaning of using Political power negatively was clearly represented in the book ‘Animal Farm’ By George Orwell who Portrays how the negative use of political power. However, although George Orwell predominantly represents a negative use of Political power, it is highly unlikely that the acquisition of political power does not always lead to negative outcomes.
The positive side political power is that it can be used in suppressing external aggression that might be directed to a particular state. It is power that a country or a state has that prevents other nations from interfering with the internal affairs of a country.
This power is seen when military personnel are placed along the borderline that might be used by the aggressors in attacking. Any state that is unable to protect its national affairs is not worthy to be a sovereign state. This is because a sovereign state is that state that has its government, territory, and citizens and is able to protect its interests as well as the interests of the slate. This power is clearly portrayed in (Orwell G. I956; 45-54) when Mr. Jones armed with a shotgun appeared in what seemed to be a trial to recapture the animal farm.
Mr. Jones together with about six men descended on the animal farm through the five barred gate carrying weapons like sticks but me Jones had a gun. He talked to his neighboring farmers Nilkington and Fredrick to help him in recapturing the farm. Finally the animals were able to chase these men out thus, they successfully safeguarded their sovereignty. This fight came to be named as “The battle of the cowshed” during their victory celebration.
Another example of when power is used to prevent external aggression is of Cuba when what seemed to be self exiled Cubans who had sought refuge in United States of America turned to be rebels and attacked their own country with the help from USA. Fidel Castro organized his military men and within a short time the rebellion was crushed. Fidel had overestimated their power by directing all his military force on his enemies. Were it not for his powerful army, the rebels could have subjugated his country.
Secondly, power can be used to suppress internal resistance or rebellion. When people start opposing the government that is place for no good reason, the country destabilizes, peace deteriorates and the economy of the country collapses. To prevent all these misfortunes, states use power in preventing or crushing those rebellions. This either done peacefully through dialogue but if it fails to be productive then, the only other alternative is to use force.
A classic example of this is in the animal farm where snowball and Napoleon disagreed on the idea of constructing a windmill that would generate electric power that would be used in pumping water in each stall as well as heating these rooms.
To show his displeasure, Napoleon decided to pee on Mr. Snowball’s sketches. Later when the animals convened for the weekly meeting, Snowball tried selling his idea to them but Napoleon appeared with nine veracious dogs that he had been rearing in secret. They descended on Snowball who fled out of the farm. When other animals tried to protest, a trained sheep silenced them by bleating at the top of her voice while singing that “Four legs good, two legs bad” while those dogs barked loudly (Orwell G., 1956; 85-90)
Thirdly, power can be used in promoting and maintaining internal peace and stability. A good government is that which is capable of maintaining peace and providing security to its people. No government can do this if it does not have the required mandate or power to do so. A government is said to be in power if it is capable of commanding its police and its army.
This is also clearly exemplified in the (Orwell G., 1956; 94-96) Napoleon who became the sole ruler after chasing Snowball became the one who controlled the dogs that he was rearing in order to achieve power. He used these dogs in reinforcing laws and ensuring that the animals obeyed the laws and ensuring that the animals obeyed the laws to the letter.
Another example where power is used to maintain order is in the states of America. Every state has its governor, and its law enforcement agencies. The main aim of this is to ensure that people do not break the rule of law and abide by it. Just like the way police shoot criminals, that is what Napoleon’s dogs did. For example they ripped open the throats of the four pigs which confessed to have protested against the actions of Napoleon. (Grayston L.2000: 58-62)
Fourth, power can be used to influence other people in taking or following certain desired course of action. For example, people, who are regarded as experts, have certain influential power. People tend to believe them and are assumed to know everything. Also if you are believed to have good characteristics, then you can highly influence others for example Oprah Winfrey is much capable of persuading and influencing many people in the whole world because of his attitude of believing in herself.
For example, the squalor used his oratory skills to influence other animals. He even applied gestures to emphasize his points. Squalor that had round cheeks and shrilled voice tone talked brilliantly and when arguing a difficulty points, he swayed from side to side something that attracted many animals not forgetting the wagging and whisking of his tail. (Orwell G., 1956; 36)
Power can positively used to create regimes, state or dynasties. Most dynasties in bible came to be because of power. This was after defeating many simple communities who were obstacles to their development here power was used to crush their resistance. This also happened in the same and made it to reach to its highest power levels. (Seagrave S. 1986; 103)
On the other side of the coin, power can be destructive in that it can be used as a tool for establishing dictatorship or anarchism. Here individuals misuse power so that they would become authoritarians. In dictatorial regimes the leader is above the law thus, no law on the land that is applicable to him. In other words, his deeds are not subject to questioning. This power misuse is evident in the Animal Farm (Orwell G., 1956; 42-47) Napoleon and Snowball were both pigs who almost disagreed in every thing.
The final straw came when they disagreed on a project to construct a windmill that would generate electricity power to the farm. Napoleon used his secret weapon, nine dogs that were secretly reared to attack Snowball and chasing him away. They were both supposed to be the leaders of this farm but Napoleon usurped it after snowball was chased. These dogs were like policemen. They defended his laws, enforced it and offered him protection. He never walked outside alone without being accompanied by these dogs on both sides. He used these powers to alter the law as he pleased without consulting anyone and used his dogs to impose it on other animals.
Another case where political power was used to create dictatorship is in Italy and Germany. Mussolini and Hitler used their political powers to ascend to power. They used the same force to clear anybody who stayed on their way. The same force was used to suppress their subjects in to submission of their laws. Hitler killed about six million Jews using his troops. After the First World War, he conquered and acquired other countries’ territories by force. Though this stabilized his country, it destabilized others. For example France lost its two provinces; Lorraine and Alsace to Germany. (Richard E., 2005: 250-252)
It is used to silencing the voice of the people especially when they are demanding for their rights. This mostly is applied to those individuals who hold different opinions about the government or those who are referred to as radicalists. These are the people who are the watchdogs of human rights or whistle blowers. Many regimes have been noted to have used their political powers to silence these people either by giving them death threats or they are arrested and never tried.
A good example of where power was misused in this way was in the Animal Farm. Napoleon used his veracious dogs to silence his fellow animals by killing them. For instance, the four pigs who protested after napoleon victimized snowball were killed. Their throats were ripped open by these dogs. Also the hen ringleaders who were protesting against lack of enough food and yet they were expected to lay eggs which would be used in buying grains for other animals to eat. They were killed immediately after they confessed that they incited other hens to lay their eggs from rafters so that they could smash on the ground. (Orwell G., 1956; 95)
Also power is negatively used by leaders to protect their personal interests as opposed to those of the majority. Leaders change or alter laws so as to suit their selfish ends. For example in the past there was a law that said that four legs were good and two legs bad.
This was made with an objective of discouraging any relationship with human beings but later after there was a shortage of seeds and other supplies, the pigs started trading with people in their neighborhood. A law that prohibited animals from sleeping in beds was altered to read that “No animal shall sleep in bed with sheets” this was altered with a motive of allowing the pigs to sleep in bed but without sheets.
Another power misuse is of leaders who kill their opponents. Some people use their political powers in clearing these people who they refer as obstacles. Saddam was said to have killed about hundred and forty eight Shiites who were against his government. (Joseph B. 2003; 125)
Political powers can be used in acquiring the properties of others illegally. When state of lawlessness exists, the strong ones take those of the weak. It is misused by avaricious leaders in amassing wealth by illegal means for example, (Orwell G.1956; 34-35) manor a 12 years boar who had earlier won the farm’s prize called a meeting of all the animals so that he could tell them about his dream and the prophesies he had. He also taught them a song called (Beasts of England).
After he died, his prophesy and dream came true when Snowball and Napoleon rebelled against Mr. Jones land after he became obsessed with beer. He never fed his animals and this forced them to break in to the grain store. When Mr. Jones came with his hired men, the animals chased them away and usurped the power.
After looking critically looking the pros and cons of political power, the positive side or the pros outweighs the negative effects of power. This because power when used well it brings out significant changes like good government, external aggressions are controlled. This is what makes a state to be sovereign. Power can also be used in acquiring new territories and properties that would increase the wealth and economic base of the country whereas it can negatively impact on the type of government in place, it can be used in silencing people but this issue can be addressed by the constitution and the international criminal court.
This essay can be concluded by saying that acquisition of power does not always lead to negative outcomes, as there are many positive uses of power than the negative ones. The positive uses are like protecting the nation against external attacks, maintaining peace, crushing rebellions within the state, to positively influence people and on the other hand it can be misused in bringing anarchy, suppressing the subject from airing their grievances, leaders imposing their will on others and when used uncontrollably it can lead to abuse of human rights.
Seagrave Sterling. The Soong Dynasty. Harper: trade paperback publisher. Seagrave Sterling.1985; 58
Orwell G. The Animal Farm: a Fairly Story. Signet Classic, USA. 1956. 36-96.
Joseph B. The new Iraq: Rebuilding the Country for its People, the Middle East and the World. New York, Basic Books. 2003; 125.
Scott R E: Solving the Iraq Crisis. NCY: Simon and Scruster. 2002:78
Richard E. The Dictator: Hitler’s German, Stalin’s Russia. Penguin Books. 2005: 250- 252
Grayston L. Decision for Disaster: Betrayal at the Bay of Pigs. Potomac Books Dulles Virginia 2000; 58-62.