3 Types of Attitudes Among People Towards Power – Essay

Power is Evil:

Power holders are regarded as potential enemies and usurpers of the rights of the people. According to this view power should be resisted because it is morally dangerous. The subtle exercise of power has a sinister and evil connotation.

The evil reputation of power is justified on same grounds. There is ample evidence to say that throughout the history of mankind power holders have exploited those over whom they have power.

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The problem got intensified because over a period of time power tended to become concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. To combat the tendency of power to become concentrated in few hands, several persons suggested devolution of powers which promoted the ideal of egalitarianism or equality of men.

Power is observed:

Since power is often viewed as an evil, there has been a strong tendency to observe it. This tendency to observe power is supported by several scholars. Filppo notes that power is an emotionally laden term, particularly in cultures that emphasize individuality and equality.

Gross observes power like sex under the Victorians which has often been regarded as a subject not to be openly discussed but rather to be sought and thought about and used under cover of darkness. Galbraith argues that because of power’s bad connotation, a person seldom says he wants power. Rather he says he wants challenge, the opportunity to serve, to do interesting work, to do something important and so forth.

Power is Natural:

In recent times, there has been increased acceptance of the idea that power is natural and a necessary feature of organisations. In this view, power is seen as neither good nor bad but as elemental.

There has been a serious attempt to uphold the view that power is natural. It was proved that power systems were well developed even during the beginning of human history. Thus power systems appear to have preceded human development. This attitude towards power gained the support of a number of scholars more than the two attitudes.