How Are Power And Control Connected?

Power and control are not tightly connected although many people seem to think they are.

A story

Decades ago I did some work with the Cree in northern Quebec. I found the way the social fabric in the village worked and when talking to the Chief one day, the conversation came around to the idea of his power.

He told me that culturally his power was absolute. He could order someone to be killed if it came to it. But he added a caveat.

“The power is real, but it is hard to use. It’s like in your world. The man is the head of the house and the pedestrian has the right of way and they are both safe if they don’t try to assert that power.”

In the Cree culture, the Chief exerts his power by persuasion. By seeking counsel from other experienced members of his band. By offering help.

What’s happening now.

Many western leaders have made an error. They believe, the power of persuasion takes too long, so instead they have reverted to the persuasion of power. That is ultimately a failing tactic. Only the inexperienced can believe it will both work and last.

I found a thought that summarizes the situation and puts it into the Cree Chief context, I would like to know who to attribute it to if anyone knows.

“Control eventually leads to resistance and resistance to rebellion. The more you try to control people, the less control you get.”

Converting power into control is a difficult task and handled poorly works against the person doing it.

Rebellious 4-year-olds come to my mind. There are better ways than mandates and bullying.

The takeaway

It does not take armed insurrection to cause people to back away from their controlling inclinations. Dissidents everywhere have shown the near powerless in large numbers are in fact persuasive. It takes an honourable position and many people who hold it.

I am reminded of a comment Stalin purportedly made when people pointed out the Russian army was poorly trained and worse equipped. His thought has application to our current situation. “Quantity has a quality all its own.”  The question is simple enough. “How many people does it take to change the direction of society? If we look at changes ongoing, we can likely decide that 10% can influence society and 20% can make changes. People pay attention repetition and urgency.

Be part of a movement to reduce tyranny and increase liberty. You may need to ask old people about liberty. Someone who understands how society worked be for political correctness was a thing. Someone who can smile at this cartoon.

It will take years, but it will be worth the resistance. For inspiration remember things that don’t work, don’t last. and tyranny is a thing that does not work for the people.


I help people have more retirement income and larger, more liquid estates.

Call in Canada 705-927-4770, or email don@moneyfyi.com 

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