New Philosopher Issue 21: Power
“Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.” Seneca
Whether it’s using, seeking, circumventing, benefiting from, being subjected to, or railing against it, it’s impossible to deny the influence of power on our lives. We are born powerless, into a structure that demands that we rely on the benevolence of those around us – our parents, our family, our society, our government – and submit to the systems of power in place when and where we’re born.
However, how much power we have, or can potentially have, is more often than not simply a matter of luck. Gender, race, language, preferences – you name it, there are myriad factors out of our control that will determine who holds power, and who does not.
Whether you’re powerful or powerless, there is only one way to avoid its influence: live life as a hermit. But as Aristotle pointed out in Politics, solitude is for beasts and gods, so we have little choice but to deal with it, be it pernicious or benign, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ours or theirs.
If ignored, power will remain lurking in the background, casting a long shadow over our lives. As such, we must shine a spotlight on it, bringing power out into the open so that it might be revealed for what it is.
—Zan Boag, Editor, New Philosopher
New Philosopher is an independent quarterly magazine devoted to exploring philosophical ideas from past and present thinkers on ways to live a more fulfilling life. Commentary on New Philosopher aims to guide readers into living a happier and freer mode of existence.
Seneca, speaking on the shortness of life says: “It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realise that it has passed away before we knew it was passing.”
“Life is long if you know how to use it.”
New Philosopher caters to those who have not studied philosophy, as well as philosophy students and academics. Our aim is to introduce philosophical ideas that challenge contemporary thought and conditioning. Are our thoughts and aspirations truly ours?
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