Devoir de Philosophie

Notion Anglais bac

Publié le 19/03/2017

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I would like to introduce you to the notion of Locations and Forms of power, focusing only on the second part of this concept. Power is the ability to exercise authority over others, to make things happen despite obstacles. It can be a person, a group, or a nation having great influence over people. Power is defined by political or social control. This definition leads us to ask what the forms of power are and in which way can you really have power? I would like first to stress the 2 forms of power that dominate the world and who are the most powerful people, and I will end with the power of organisations. To begin with, power has become synonymous with governments and political leaders, but we forget that there are other forms of power and that one of the most important of them is Economic power. Indeed, money governs relations in the majority of the administrations today, and as once said Benjamin Disraeli: “Money is power and rare are the heads that can withstand the possession of great power”. Money is one of the main social power so it seems coherent that the richest people can be the most powerful as well. Money is a mark of influence, thus, those who have it can have a great impact over the population. Each year, Forbes magazine elects the most powerful people in the world and many of them are also part of the richest; for example, in 2015, 6 of the richest people in the world were among the 20 most powerful, among others Bill Gates for his foundation or Larry Page for Google. Nevertheless, most people who are part of this ranking are political leaders. Undoubtedly Political power is the authority that prevails; above all in States with a dominant position in the international system having the ability to influence events, and project power on a worldwide scale to protect their interests. Some great leaders as Vladimir Putin (who has been elected as the most powerful person in the world 4 years in a row, including 2016) exert a power based on violence, fear and corruption and absolutely control their country, politically and economically; as opposed to democratic leaders like Barack Obama, who has a big but balanced power thanks to Checks and Balances, and who has no economic influence. In my opinion, this last way to lead a country is the most important because a democratic electoral process can also give power to the people. Besides, Time magazine name each year its “Person of the Year”, the person who had the greatest influence, for better or worse, on the events of the year so it’s obvious that the ones who have been elected are powerful people. In 2015 it’s Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, who has been elected for opening her nation’s border to hundreds of thousands of refugees. She is a really powerful woman, the most powerful of the world according to Forbes’ ranking, and her strength is based on charisma and respect. I think it’s really honourable because she has to assert her authority in the face of violent politicians while remaining strong and respectful. On the other hand, we must not forget the importance of religious power: Indeed, Pope Francis is the 5th most powerful man in the world in 2016 (according to Forbes), since he’s the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. He conveys a message of peace, he wants people to love one another and to stop violence. However according to me, even if his will is pure and very wise, he has less impact on the population than great politicians or rich CEOs. Finally, I’d like to mention the influence of Non-Governmental Organisation like Amnesty International. Their aim is to stop violence, they preach peace, justice, respect and primarily they defend Human Rights. I personally believe that if they are helped by governmental associations as the United Nations, their power can be significant. They try to have a big impact on the population through awareness campaign, informing about what’s happening in the world. They definitely can’t stop wars and slaughters but I am convinced that their actions are not useless. To conclude, I think that the dominating forms of power are political and economic power. Leaders of great States have an undeniable impact on a worldwide scale, but only democracies can give power to the population; Economic power is predominant in our consumer society, so obviously those who have money have power too. In my view, a nation can be powerful thanks to values as freedom of speech, tolerance or else innovation. But in any case respect for Human Rights must prevail, and some NGOs who represent them are doing their best to enlarge their influence, then have more power.

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