Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself.

Elie Wiesel

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Power is a complicated subject.  Our own healthy and balanced being requires we come to know that we, like all others, must come to grips with our power.  Indeed, innocence cannot live in us but that we have a mature grasp of our power and the world’s use and abuse of it. One cannot hide from power so as to preserve the illusion of innocence for this, more than any other trait, invites evil to increase.

Likewise one must be concerned with those for whom power is so important.  I think in particular of the secular Left and their desire for power, their capacity to see all things in terms of power.  I think as well of how today secularism denies God and faith, dismisses Christianity and how the Left oppose both in culture.

What might this tell us?

The answer may be in the intellectual trajectory of the recent centuries in the West – in Europe, in particular, as its ideas are transported to us.

What do I mean?

A look at German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche might help.

Nietzsche did not believe that beauty existed but for man making it so by the assertion of his own power.  That is, that there was no transcendent authority imparting beauty, that it was not present in nature, in creation – not authored by a Divine, nor reside in the Spirit. For him, man’s will to power produced perfection. It follows in Nietzsche’s thought that man must assert his power, women as well. For him, the notion of a Christian view is but weakness.  He sees no strength and power in the way of Christ.

Of those who seek power, for whom political power is a central concern, a captivating focus – one might ask: Are they balanced?  Should power be so important, especially when it is extended to rule over others?  Does their language of division give us the answer?  Does our power depend on belittling and dismissing those who disagree with us?  Does not that trait tell much?

The truth stated by those for whom power is central in their life is this: they are telling us of their weakness, their fear – and in that, they do not feel the power of their own existence.  They, of course, make the worse kind to follow for they know not their own God-given power.

To those who seek power, religion must be dispatched, and faith, too – and God exiled; for those things deny the will to power, show us the person’s proper relationship to power and power’s relegation to that which is below the Divine, self-proclaiming and bound by mortal life.

The lust for power is not rooted in strength, but in weakness.

Erich Fromm

Shalom.

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