The blog of Gray Woodland, this site is dedicated to his simple faith that what this world really needs is far fewer sheep and a bunch more goats.
Saturday, 26 November 2011
They got the power! - George W Bush and Tony Blair shake hands at a White House press conference. Photo by Paul Morse, for the US Government, via Wikimedia Commons - public domain.
I'm in a triadic mood, and have three thoughts about power:
1) The will to do or make something which will require a lot of power, is a sign of virtue and quality - specifically, the virtue of magnificence. Aquinas's idea that this is ultimately an aspect of fortitude or courage is looking good to me at first blush.
2) The will to make oneself fit to wield a lot of power should one need to, is the sign of a more careful and scrupulous virtue - which feels, to me, like a sort of magnanimity. But it is magnanimity played in a careful and questioning mode, if so, and seems to me intimately linked to fortitude's three companion cardinal virtues - prudence, temperance, and justice.
3) The will to power for itself, as against these, seems to me a psychic form of self-gratification - pleasant and harmless enough in moderation and in private, but neither attractive nor civil to exhibit in public, and depressingly narcissistic and sterile if considered as a vocation.
So magnificence seeks power as a tool to do great things, by which I mean some particular great things which it has the heart and mind to imagine; magnanimity cultivates the skills to wield one's power greatly, by which I mean gracefully instead of grossly; and mere ambition is satisfied with just being a great big power tool. That sounds about right.
What does this say about people who are 'passionate' about attaining the highest levels of power, so that they can deliver 'strong leadership' towards - 'whatever works'?
I'm an amateur fantasy novelist, looking to move to professional publication. Here I also touch on politics, society, science, literature, random adventures, and the importance of not hopping when addressed as Frog.